Buy a Private Island in This Special Part of Nicaragua — Before Everyone Else Does
Twenty thousand years ago, the Islands of Granada in Lake Nicaragua were formed from eruptions from the visible Mombacho Volcano. Lake Nicaragua is comprised of 365 of these verdant and lush islands: one for each day of the year. You can buy an island for an average of $100,000 to $500,000 USD, depending on if the island is undeveloped or already has a house on island. The main city near these islands — Granada, Nicaragua, is mainland America's first colonial city, settled by the Spaniards in 1524.
Boat Ride From Marina
A boat ride from the Granada Marina offers the opportunity to arrive on your own private island in style, surrounded by the peaceful ripples of the lake (many of these islands are a five- to 20-minute boat ride away from the marina). The islands that are currently inhabited include Nicaraguan locals who have lived on the lake for generations, as well as wealthy families from Nicaragua, like the Chamorro family, who owns a supermarket distribution company, and the Pellas family, who owns the most popular Nicaraguan rum, Flor de Caa.
Why move to Lake Nicaragua? Well, there are many fun highlights to owning your own private island. You are surrounded by water for whenever you want to take a dip for recreational swimming, as well as kayaking and inexpensive 45-minute boat trips around the lake. You can take a boat over to a small fortress on San Pablo Island, which was erected to protect against pirates coming from Rio San Juan in the southern part of Nicaragua. The fortress comes with a view of Granada and the cathedral, and local families visit the fort often to picnic and swim.
For animal-lovers, a place of interest in Lake Nicaragua is the small Monkey Island, home to three spider monkeys that local conservationists oversee. If you get close enough to the island, the monkeys will gift you with playful antics and stare back at you with equal curiosity.
Birdwatching is also plentiful around the lake, and frequent sightings include herons, red-winged blackbirds, doves, kingfishers, and a bird that is endemic to Nicaragua and northern Costa Rica, the Nicaraguan grackle. You will also often spot local crabbers in the shallow grasses near the marina, as well as fisherman all over the lake fishing for tilapia, guapote (an ugly but tasty fish that is usually fried, endemic to the lake), masamiche, palmeta, barsino, and plateada. They fish in the exclusive attaraya net-throwing style and sell their bounty to local markets. Nearby cities aside from Granada include Managua and Leon, where private island buyers can take advantage of a mixture of island living with city visits.
Buy a Private Island
There are a few local real estate agencies that can help facilitate a purchase on Lake Nicaragua, based in the city of Granada. For example, Casa Granada Properties offers a few private islands for sale, from an average of $100K to $500K.
The dual Icacal Islands that neighbor one another are on sale for $225,000, offering raw land with lush vegetation. The islands reach 65 feet in height and span 9,186 square feet. The one and half-acre El Manguito Island is on sale for $180,000 and has a one-bedroom property already built on island, which features a small pool and an outdoor terrace. Another real estate agency, Discover Real Estate, offers island land for sale or an island with a home on it, as well as groups of islands for purchase within Lake Nicaragua, ranging from $100K for land to $1.1M for the bulk island purchase.
Not ready to make the leap to buy? No problem: it makes sense to try out lake living on a private island, and Booking.com offers a few private properties that you can book in Lake Nicaragua. For example, Mercy Island has a beautiful terrace and garden and sleeps seven people, while Casa Zopango at Zopango Island has 7,000 square meters of vegetation, with ample birdwatching opportunities.