The excursions to Mombacho volcano and Granada were great experiences and got us in touch with the real Nicaragua.
Jicaro Island Lodge is located on an isleta (small private island) in Lake Nicaragua. Lake Nicaragua is the largest freshwater lake in Central America and the 9 largest in the Americas. What is really special about this lake is the fact that an island with two volcanoes sits in the middle of the lake. One of them, the Maderas is extinct, the other one, the Concepcion is still active. The lake connects with the Caribbean sea via de San Juan river which technically makes Granada an Atlantic port though it is geographically closer to the Pacific. The lake has a history of Caribbean pirates such as Captain Morgan that assaulted Granada several times during the Spanish colonial period. There were serious plans to build a canal connecting the Atlantic with the Pacific using the San Juan River and Lake Nicaragua. But for mostly political reasons, the canal was build in Panama.
Granada itself is a beautiful example of Central American colonial city with a slightly faded grandeur and vibrant color all of its own. Just a 15 minute boat ride fromn Jicaro Island its bustling markets and historic civic buildings are in contrast to the tranquility of Jicaro Ecolodge.
The isletas (islets in English) of Granada are located southeast of the colonial town of Granada. They are a group of 365 small islands of volcanic origin and wrap around the Asese peninsula. They were formed the Mombacho Volcano over 20,000 years ago and created this archipelago. There is a good array of wildlife on the islands and tours are available. But there is only one upscale lodging option. No big hotels or resorts have been constructed and the 9 room Jicaro Island Lodge is has been known to blend in perfectly with the surrounding nature.