Central America Group Travel

5 Exciting Ways to Spend Time in León, Nicaragua 

The colourful city of León is located in western Nicaragua and has long been at the heart of the country’s political and cultural life.

Founded in 1524, albeit not at its current location, León has been home to some of Nicaragua’s most well known poets and at the centre of Nicaragua’s revolutionary history. Couple this with a striking array of historical buildings and it’s not surprising that León is a popular place to stop for visitors to Nicaragua.

I visited León as part of a group trip through Central America and my time there was short but sweet! Here are 5 exciting ways to spend your time in León….remember to take water, apply sunscreen and wear comfortable shoes!

Go Volcano boarding!  

Who doesn’t want to hike up Cerro Negro and hurtle down the other side on a plywood board! An adrenaline rush for sure, this is one of the most popular activities to do from León. There are a number of options available to you but I can recommend Vamos Travel. For more details, read my blog post Volcano Boarding – What you Need to Know for a Thrilling Ride.

Volcano boarding is one of the most exciting things to do in León

Climb to the Top of the Cathedral

The Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary is the largest cathedral in Central America. Although construction of the current cathedral began in 1747 and finished in 1814, it wasn’t until 1860 that the cathedral was finally consecrated. It has 34 domes which provide ventilation and light and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The cathedral is located in the León’s central plaza… can’t miss it! Whilst the interior is very impressive, the views from the roof are amazing. There’s a charge of USD3 to climb up and you do need to take your shoes off before walking out onto the roof.

Tickets are available from an office at the back of the cathedral.

Walk the Historic Streets

Getting out and about either with a guide or on your own (with a guidebook!) is always a great way to get your bearings and learn about a city. The streets of León are teeming with people, bright colours and history yet it’s a very walkable city. Check out this free walking tour option with Guruwalk, the company I used in Antigua or this option with Vamos Travel who I went volcano boarding with.

Check Out the Street Art

As you wander around León, you will notice quite a bit of street art. Brightly painted murals and flags commemorating Nicaragua’s revolutionary past not only add further vibrancy to the city, but also illustrate the importance and esteem in which the past is held in León. In particular, the city’s affinity with the left wing revolution and Sandinista movement is richly portrayed.

Count the Churches!

León is home to many beautiful, historical churches. Look out for Iglesia de la Recolección, the bright yellow church which was built in 1786, the El Cavario church, believed to have been built on the first half of the 18th century and La Merced church, built around 1762. All very different but equally ornate.

Whether you are visiting León for a short time or a long time, you will have a great time! There are many exciting ways to spend your time in León, a vibrant, colourful corner of Nicaragua.

Is León on your bucket list? Have you already been? Let me know in the comments.

Disclaimer: Visitor information was correct at the time of writing but do check before visiting.



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