"León" Top 5 Page for this destination León by mircaskirca

León Travel Guide: 82 reviews and 515 photos

City of Beautiful Churches & Revolutionary Murals

Set between the Pacific Ocean and a jagged range of active volcanoes, León is the second largest city in Nicaragua, after Managua, and has a colonial charm unmatched elsewhere in the country, except perhaps by Granada. While Granada might have all the beauty and style, I left my heart in León. It's very much a city with character and with a story to tell. Founded by Hernández de Córdoba in 1524 at León Viejo, 30 km from its present site, it was moved here after the devastating earthquake in 1609. It was the capital of Nicaragua for almost 300 years, until Managua took control in 1852. But the city has been at the forefront of Nicaraguan politics ever since and was a focal point during the Sandinista revolution.

Today, this historic university city of the nortwest is still thought of as the intellectual capital. Its home to countless colonial churches, each one unique in its design, museums and the largest cathedral in Central America, along with attractive historical centre with narrow cobbled streets, colonial houses and time-worn buildings, tiny parks and provocative murals. León is also the birthplace of Nicaragua's greatest hero, the poet Rubén Darío, and the centre of an exciting art scene.

Side trips from León include the ruins of León Viejo, two beautiful beaches Poneloya and Las Peñitas, Isla Juan Venado Wildlife Reserve, Telica Volcano and hiking up and sandboarding the Cerro Negro Volcano.

  • Last visit to León: Dec 2010
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (25)

Comments (7)

  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo
    Jan 17, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    great page!

  • Oct 12, 2011 at 8:39 PM

    finally a chance to visit some pages! lovely work here, very colorful and tasty looking! lol. central america is beautiful, i'd love to get back one day!

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo
    Aug 29, 2011 at 10:18 PM

    Leon is lovely! One day when I go back to Nicaragua I will defenitely visit Leon again. Looks like there are some very nice new places to stay in.

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Aug 28, 2011 at 12:13 PM

    Oh wow, what a colourful page :-) Haha, I am in the mood to start painting murals all over in my apartment :-) Or paint flowers around the entrance door. Love the cathedral and especially the view outside of the window! And of course the Museum of Traditions and Legends! And am hungry after all the cake and shrimps and ice coffee in this lovely restaurant. These hostals look gorgeous!!

  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo
    Jun 16, 2011 at 11:38 AM

    I see an ice coffee brewing. I'll be back for a pick me up when finished.

  • picek's Profile Photo
    Jun 10, 2011 at 5:15 AM

    ledena kava, pa pisani zidovi.... obeta se spet lepo branje :) lep vikend!

  • May 23, 2011 at 4:09 AM

    Lovely photos, I'll be back for the text...

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