To believe in the power of nature one only needs to visit Las Isletas. When nearby Mombacho volcano blew off its cone thousands of years ago, it literally spew hundreds of rocks into Lake Nicaragua. These now form the 365 islands of Las Isletas, right in front of colonial town Granada.
From the city itself you can just walk eastward, to the lakeside, and enjoy the views. Locals will approach you there already again and again to offer you boat tours. Because once you turn right, at the beach, after around a kilometre you will find Asese harbor. Your port of entry to Las Isletas.
Of course, there is a shadow side to this. What the local fishermen aka tour guides didn’t tell us, but Wikipedia does: during the Somoza dictatorship, many of his National Guard forced the local residents off the islands.
When – after the end of the dictatorships – the Sandinistas started to loose elections, the court system returned these islands to family members of the National Guard who had confiscated the islands. This gross injustice was exacerbated because these properties were then sold to wealthy Nicaraguans and foreigners. Thus, the fishermen giving us the tours are threatened in their existence because of injustices from the past.
- you can book tours at your hotel, or near the Parque Central
- On the way towards the lake, people will approach you as well. Be careful with your valuables though
- Two hours is enough to see the islands, though longer tours are available
- There are also dining and sleeping accommodations available
- The wildlife in Las Isletas is threatened by the decades-old discussions about a canal through Lake Nicaragua. This canal would, like the Panama Canal, connect the Pacific to the Caribbean. It would though also turn the sweet waters of Lake Nicaragua into salt. A Chinese company bought the rights to execute this mammoth project, but it is unclear whether they manage to finance it