Lake Nicaragua is also known as Mar Dulce (Sweet Sea), Lake Cocibolca, and Lake Granada and is the largest Lake in Nicaragua. At 3,089 square miles in size, it is also the largest body of freshwater in Central America. That makes it about 70% larger than the Great Salt Lake in Utah, but less than half the size of Lake Ontario. The lake also contains hundreds of islands, many of which were produced by various Nicaragua Volcanoes, including Zapatera Island, Ometepe Island, and the Solentiname Archipelago. Zapatera Archipelago National Park is a must see for any tourist and is a short boat ride from the city of Granada.
The city of Granada is built along the shore of Lake Nicaragua and consequentially, the lake is often referred to as Lake Granada in and around the city of Granada. The city of Granada is a great place to catch a boat to explore the lake or to take you to the various islands to visit or to stay in one of the hotels on the larger islands.
The storms on the lake can be quite intense and even on clear days the winds can create some large waves not typical on lakes. So, check the weather forecast carefully.
The San Juan River connects Lake Nicaragua to the Caribbean Sea and winds its way along the border with Costa Rica. The San Juan River has often been proposed as a major segment of the Nicaragua Canal.
Unlike Lake Managua, Lake Nicaragua is generally clean and has an abundance of natural wildlife perfect for fishing, water sports, or just exploring. Lake Nicragua is also almost 10 times the size of Lake Managua, so there are a lot more islands and shoreline to explore.
Lake Nicaragua spans 5 different Nicaragua Departments: