It all began during the Spanish conquest. Alonso Calero, a Spanish captain, arrived looking for route into Lake Nicaragua, and a way to connect the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The discovery of this potential route between the two great oceans woke up interest in countries such as Spain, France, England and eventually, the United States. San Juan del Norte grew to become one of the most important ports in Central America, to the point where the Spanish Crown declared it freeport in 1796. This meant it was not subject to the trade restrictions other colonial harbors were. The port was frequently attacked by pirates, as it was on the way to Granada. In 1848 the city came under English control and was rechristened as Greytown In the late 19th and early 20th century continued thriving as the prospect of a canal still existed, but the construction of the Panama made Greytown fade into a distant memory.
The ruins of Greytown are located somewhere inside the Reserva Indio Maíz. The only thing left are four graveyards, where the town’s inhabitants were buried. There’s a Catholic, British, and Masonic cemetery, and a special cemetery where American castaways were interred after a nearby shipwreck. Captains, pursers, diplomats and other inhabitants of this town were buried in these graveyards, including the German Empire’s consul.
How do you get there? To get to Greytown you have two options: you fly down there from Managua in a flight on La Costeña, you take a boat from San Carlos. This is for sure a very interesting destination, and it’s a way to get to know a little bit more about Nicaragua and its fascinating history.