Why did I want to go to The Granada Islands? Simple, they said there would be monkeys, a whole island of them in fact! I will come back to the monkeys momentarily, but first, let's talk about the pre-monkey adventure.
There is so much to tell you when it comes to these islands; for example the boat tours, the private Islands, the private islands that are for sale (yes, please), the jaw dropping view, the birds (there is a holy grail amount of birds), the wild horses, the only fresh water sharks and of course feeding the monkeys. Now, before we start... none of this, 'don't feed the wild life', blah blah blah... I hear you, but you just need to keep reading. I promise, it's them not me... not sure who 'they' are, but let's point the fingers at them!
I highly recommend heading over to the wharf and taking a boat tour.
When you first arrive at the wharf, you will be greeted with the amazing view of wild horses everywhere. On the beach, in the road, by the water, in a field, they are everywhere! They may not be completely wild, but they sure do roam around like they own the place.
There is typically several guys out front that have a list of tours to choose from. They are all pretty much the same thing. Pick the guy you fancy the most and then pick the tour that meets your adventurous itch qualifications.
They are all very affordable, safe and a great way to see everything. You can ride with a group for $4 bucks or pay extra and have a private boat. We took a private boat for an hour long trip and paid $25 bucks for 4 people.
Our boatman only spoke a little English. If you speak spanish, I am sure he was a great tour guide. We opted for the sign language-spanglish translation of, 'Donde la monas', 'mirrar us all the things' & 'no leavo outo anythinga!'. Just kidding, kind of.
There are 365 islands of Granada. If you have a year to island hop, Granda is your jam. Our 60 minute tour wasn't going to cut the 'show us all the things' criteria, but we were more than pleased with our adventure!
The islands are all residence of Lake Nicaragua, the largest lake in Central America. The lake looks like a beach. You can go hiking, kayaking, paddle boarding, fishing, horseback riding, ride a horse drawn carriage or even build a sand castle.
The horses look like skin and bones. I can tell you that it is very shocking and pulls at the heart strings. Pack an extra carrot or apple if you have the opportunity.
The kids there will make you 'free gifts' out of plant leafs. They are sweet, adorable and very persistent. Just remember, nothing is free. They expect a few cordobas. Trust me, whatever they say it is not, 'a gift for you.'
The islands are gorgeous. There is a mixed scenery of open waters with mountainous and volcano silhouettes to smaller intimate coves of luscious greenery and wildlife. You will see birds of all shapes colors and sizes, plus the worlds only fresh water shark will be sharing the same waters you are gliding across. Don't worry, they say they are harmless.
Some of the Islands are privately owned and are decked out. You will see a lot of islands that have no development on them. They even have Islands you can buy.
Our tour guide told us that you could buy one as cheap as 30k. I know what you are thinking.... then why don't we all have our own private Island? Easiest answer, the cost of running drinkable water, electricity, building supplies, oh and things like hurricanes; create a far greater expense and risk than just a solid 30k for a plot of land that could float away during the next monsoon. I'm not hating on it though. I expect an invite once you inhabit your new Island.
There are several Islands that you can rent or stay at their resort accommodations. I haven't done either, so I can't give you any insight there.
I haven't forgotten about the monkeys...
Go to Granada Islands they said. There will be a monkey Island they said. It will be so much fun they said.
Ok... with that description, don't you think you are about to head off on some adventurous voyage to an Island... hopefully not to far away... where all the monkeys just want to cuddle you, play with you and be your best friend forever? Right... Right!
Ok, so there is this Island. Some individual owns it. It is a very small Island. I would say it probably was the size of a medium sized gas station. The monkeys weren't born there with all their little monkey friends. No sir! Whoever owns the Island put about 10 monkeys on his land and made it a tourist stop.
As you can see, I didn't hate it though! I got to feed the monkey. My heart was happy! The tour guide just so happened to have a handy dandy bag full of bananas that we could purchase for just 50 cordobas. This was a no brainer. Give me your tourist trap bananas and let me pretend I am best friends with a monkey for ten minutes already!
We weren't allowed to get off the boat or step foot on the Island, but the driver was more than willing to get us close enough to personally hand the banana over!
One of the monkeys did have a little baby hanging around her neck. This was the cutest thing ever, until the mama got mad and started causing a ruckus. This lead to my new found monkey best friend, that I was sharing a moment over a half rotten banana with, to also get very upset and run away.
Overall, I was sad I did't get to skip hand and hand with all the monkeys on the monkey Island, but it was still a very cool experience that I would do again.
The Granada Islands are a must do for any adventurous spirit! Check out the rest of the Island pictures below. Click on them to enlarge each photo!
Let me know what you think in the comments below. Don't forget to follow me on Instagram and check back for more adventures!