"León" Top 5 Page for this destination León by mircaskirca
León Travel Guide: 78 reviews and 502 photos
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.
Roughly 20 km west of León on the Pacific coast are the beaches of Poneloya and Las Peñitas. While Poneloya has long... more travel advice
Occupying two facing buildings, Centro de Arte Fundación Ortiz Guardián is probably the finest contemporary art museum... more travel advice
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