Most addresses in Granada are given with the traditional - and to outsiders, potentially confusing - system of landmarks and directions, rather than street names and numbers. It’s kind of a code that takes a bit of practice, but is definitely part of the city’s charm! (And remember that Volcán Mombacho always lies to the south of Granada, so if you get lost you can use the volcano to orient yourself!)
Here’s how it works:
- “c.” means “block” (“cuadra”): 1½ c. means 1½ blocks. “mts” means meters (75 mts means 75 meters).
- "Al lago" means towards the lake (which lies east of the city center).
- “Oeste” means towards the west (away from the lake).
- “Sur” means towards the south (which is also towards Volcán Mombacho).
- “Norte” means towards the north (away from Volcán Mombacho).
- Frente a” means “across the street from.” “Contiguo a” means “next door to.” “Costado” means “the side” (so, for example, “Costado Sur” means the south side of something). "De" means "from.
- Corner locations are indicated by intersecting street names: e.g. “Calle Altravesada/Calle La Libertad.”
So…a few examples…
- “Calle La Calzada, de Parque Central 2 c. al Lago” means: “On Calle La Calzada, two blocks towards the lake from the Parque Central.”
- “Calle Estrada, de Iglesia La Merced 1 c. Sur y 75 mts al Lago” means: “On Calle Estrada, from the La Merced Church, 1 block south and then 75 meters towards the lake.”
- “Parque Central, Costado Oeste” means: “the west side of Parque Central.”
That’s it! If you have any trouble, just read or show the directions to any Granada resident. They’ll understand exactly where you’re going, and will happily direct you!
Written by Katarine Stevens.