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World's Most Underrated Cities

Granada, Nicaragua

Dennis Cox / Alamy

Granada, Nicaragua

This colorful colonial city near Lake Nicaragua was founded in 1524 by conquistador Francisco Hernández de Córdoba in honor of his Spanish birthplace, making it the oldest city in Central America. Its buildings are awash mostly in pale yellows and greens and are topped with orange clay roof tiles. Granada’s distinctive canary-hued cathedral, constructed in 1583, rebuilt in 1880, and still the city’s most prominent landmark, is Neoclassical in design. Also postcard-perfect is the distinctive periwinkle facade of San Francisco Convent and Church. Stay in a Spanish-colonial mood at La Gran Francia, a romantic, 21-room hotel in the heart of town.

Don’t Miss: Visit on a Friday night, known as Noche de Serenatas, when bands of troubadours and mariachis fill the streets with song.

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