The city of Granada combines old world with new. You never know what you will see on these historic city streets. We easily found Los Patios, the hotel we had reserved online. It’s a unique little five suite boutique hotel set in a quiet neighborhood approximately five blocks from Granada’s Central Park. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but once we entered the front gate and walked through the hallway, a whole new world appeared before our very eyes. There are gardens, Spanish style décor and an outdoor common area equipped with a full kitchen and sitting area. We were greeted by our hostess with a smile and a welcomed drink. She showed us to our room, which was very spacious and well arranged. It had an over sized dresser, large closet, a king size bed and a separate bathroom with great water pressure. Everything we need for a comfortable stay.
It was a typical day in Central America with lots of heat and humidity, so we decided to take a cooling dip in their inviting pool. It was in its own little secluded area that offered a quiet and relaxing feel. We laid in the sun for a while before returning to our room. We put on casual clothes and walked to the hotel’s sitting area. There we ordered a few rum specials and visited with another couple staying at the hotel. After a bit of small talk, we strolled down to the Centre Park area. As we left the hotel, we noticed the neighborhood was starting to come alive. People were coming out of their row houses to enjoy the cooling afternoon breeze. They greeted us with a few nods, waves and buenos tardes as we walked by.
We walked approximately four short city blocks and turned to left for another couple of blocks. We came upon a four-way corner that pointed us to the right where we could hear lots of music and voices that carried heavy Spanish accents. We followed our ears, which lead us directly to Central Park. The festivities were in full swing. There was a stage with music and dancers, booths filled with delicious looking cuisines and vendors selling a variety of crafts. Everywhere we looked we saw excitement, entertainment and people visiting with one another. We walked around for awhile and just enjoyed the celebration that was unfolding before our eyes. We did a little window shopping and sampled some of Nicaragua’s cuisines. The aroma from the food vendors captured our attention as our appetites grew.
We ventured down Calle La Calzada (The Causeway Street). The street was blocked from motorized traffic on both ends. All restaurants and cantinas placed tables, chairs and large umbrellas in front of their establishments. We walked along the street until we came to a restaurant that advertised “The Best Margaritas in Town” painted on their outside wall. Challenging their claim, we sat at one of their street side tables and ordered a couple of margaritas. They were actually very tasty. We had read in a local Nicaraguan travel magazine about Granada’s street dancers, and were hoping to get a chance to see these amazing kids perform. Lo and behold, as the afternoon turned into early evening the street dancers magically appeared. We were their first stop of many. They set up their boom-box, armed their hands with leather gloves, attached a few plastic guards, and away they went. The street was constructed with pavers that had concrete strips dividing the mosaic sections. They performed acrobatic moves and spins on the hard surface streets as if it didn’t bother them at all. They were extremely amazing and held the audience’s steady attention until their dance routines were done. A hat was then passed around and people donated money in appreciation of their skills. We finished our dinner and called it a night. What a fantastic evening it was. The walk home was easy and very safe.
If you get a chance to visit Granada, its people, culture and history will not disappoint you.
Author: Anthony Scopel
Photographs: Maureen & Anthony Scopel