Return to Central America - Winter 2011

Photos from the Islands of Granada

As mentioned in my last post, Granada, Nicaragua sits on the shores of Lake Nicaragua. To the south of Granada is Volcan de Mombacho which is an active volcano, but it has not erupted since the 1500’s. Just east of Granada, in Lake Nicaragua, lies a cluster of 365 small islands that were the result of an eruption of Mombacho thousands of years ago. The eruption sent a huge portion of the side of the volcano flying into the lake resulting in some extra real estate for the wealthy of Nicaragua. Earlier this week I took a tour of said islands and snapped a few photos while we were out, but I’m not going to lie, I mostly just drank and swam…

$4,000,000 can buy you this island and house.
Many of the islands are purchased by wealthy people from around the world and adorned with elaborate and beautiful houses. This island is considered to be the priciest property as the island and house cost the owner a quick $4,000,000.

Lucy the MonkeyOne of the islands is called “Monkey Island” because, well, there are monkeys on it. Basically someone got the bright idea that tourists like monkeys so they put some spider monkeys (who don’t like to swim) on an island and the boats drive past it and feed the monkeys who hop into the boat to hang out and get food. I like monkeys.

Island near Granada

Lighthouse Island
One of the islands furthest out has a lighthouse to guide ships coming into the port.

Bird Nests
Dozens of bird nests hang in a tree on another island.

Sunset on Lake Nicaragua
The trip ended watching the sun set from our boat before heading back to the docks.

Sunset Tree

  1. Cam @ Traveling Canucks

    WOW – great pics! We are heading down to Belize and Guatemala in May, looking forward to some tropical jungle islands!

    1. Matt

      They are everywhere and amazing to see! Have fun on your trip and feel free to message me if you want tips on places to see. I was in both of those countries last summer and again in Guatemala at the beginning of this trip.

  2. Andrea

    Awesome shot of that monkey! Would love to see a monkey island – cute! Touristy as that is 😉

    1. Matt

      Definitely touristy, but yes still cute.

  3. Rease

    I love monkeys but it makes me sad that they force them to live there!

    1. Matt

      Yea, I kinda felt that way as we were heading out to the island and I heard about it, but once we got there I realized they weren’t living that bad of a life. Yes it is sad they can’t really leave the island, but I’ve seen MUCH worse here in Central America where many people chain them up as pets and shows for tourists. At least these guys could move around quite a bit. Still not the best situation though, I agree.

  4. inka

    Is there maybe a tiny island left at a bargain price? If I start saving now….Or maybe the volcano could be kind enough and throw up some more real estate?

    1. Matt

      I think they’ve all been bought up but maybe the volcano can help you out sometime in the near future 🙂

  5. Jeremy B

    Great photos! I love the one of the monkey because my older son loves monkeys! 🙂

    1. Matt

      Thanks a lot!

  6. jade

    Love the photos! We really can’t wait to get down to Central and South America sooner! These are just making my travel-lust go crazy.

    1. Matt

      Well I hope these can hold you over for a little while! Let me know if you want any itinerary advice before you go. I’ve been to the 5 northern countries of Central America now and feel pretty confident I’ve seen or heard about almost everything in 3 of them so feel free to message me!

  7. Stephen

    Nice shots! I took this boat ride when I was in Granada, but definitely did not have a monkey come on board!

    1. Matt

      Still a beautiful ride though!

  8. Steve

    Wow! I was not familiar with those islands before now, but they look like an awesome way to spend some time. Just found your blog and am enjoying it very much.

    1. Matt

      Thanks so much! Glad you enjoyed it! And yes, definitely a good place to spend a day.

  9. Michael Figueiredo (StruxTravel)

    Wow–great shots! Those birds’ nests are crazy! It looks like a really beautiful place. I wish I were there right now instead of my office 😉

    1. Matt

      Yea, it was pretty cool to see. There were a few dozen of the birds up there as well making a lot of noise as well.

  10. Grace

    Matt the place is beautiful. The 3rd photo with the orange beach house- I want to own one someday! Is that the one that costs 4million??

    1. Matt

      You’re in luck! The third photo is not the $4,000,000 one. The first one is the most expensive one. No idea how much that one in the third photo costs though.

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