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10 Essential things to see in León, Nicaragua

The city of Leon has witnessed rebellions and the muse of great poets. It is an essential stop on any trip knowing Nicaragua.

Nicaragua is a culturally very rich city. For many years it was the residence of some of the best-known poets and artists in the country.

In this post I talk about the 10 essential places to see in Leon, Nicaragua. I also add some great accommodation options for you.


1. The Basilica of Leon Nicaragua

The Cathedral of León, also known as the Basilica-Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is a mandatory stop to make in León. It is the largest cathedral in all of Central America and one of the oldest. It dates from the beginning of the 19th century and has an electic style. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its structure has endured over time enduring wars, eruptions and earthquakes.

The interior is simple, very colonial in style. In it you will find the tombs of some of the most famous poets in the country such as Rubén Darío.

Qué ver en León, Nicaragua

2. The House-Museum of the Poet Rubén Dario

Rubén Dario lived for several years of his childhood in the city of León. The house where he lived has been converted into a house museum. The original furniture is still preserved and photographs and manuscripts of the poet are also on display.

Admission is free and the museum is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and from 2:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. On Sundays it is only open in the morning until 12:00.

3. Visit Old León, the original city

Today you can still visit the old León. "The original city" founded in the year 1524. They really are ruins that were left after the eruption of the Momotombo volcano and the earthquakes experienced over the years in the area. The original city is located about 40 km from the current city. His transfer was made to a "safer" area with fewer earthquakes.

After being abandoned for many years and thanks to the work of some archaeologists, the city was opened to the public and today you can visit it for €5. From La Paz Centro there are daily buses that will leave you there in 10 minutes, or you can also take a taxi.

4. Visit the Museum of the Revolution in León Nicaragua

In this museum you will find the story of the Revolution told by the Sandinistas themselves through newspaper clippings and photographs. Admission is free, but a donation is expected. The museum is open every day from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

5. The Museum of Legends and Traditions of León

This curious museum collects many curiosities and legends of these stories that the guide will tell you in detail. You will also discover during the tour the history of the building, which used to be a prison and torture place in the past.

Admission with a guided tour costs 50 córdobas and the museum is open every day from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

6. Cerro Negro de León volcano, an essential place to see in Nicaragua

This small volcano, only 725 meters high, is one of the youngest in the world. You can walk up and from the top you can see the entire volcanic chain that goes from the Telica volcano to San Cristóbal.

The climb is somewhat heavy. It will take about an hour and the heat and humidity do not help. But I guarantee you that it is worth going up. The views are amazing and then you can slide down the hillside. There are even excursions that include sandboarding on Cerro Negro.

The entrance price is €5 and there are no buses from the city, so you will have to go by taxi or private vehicle.

Qué ver en León, Nicaragua

7. The Telica Rota Volcanic Complex Nature Reserve

The Telica - Rota Volcanic Complex is located between the Municipalities of Telica and Quezalguaque and has an extension of almost 10 thousand hectares. Telica is one of the 6 most active volcanoes in Nicaragua with frequent eruptions with a height at its upper end of just over a kilometer (1,061 m). The Rota volcano (832 masl) forms a volcanic massif whose center is located about 8 kilometers southwest of Malpaisillo. The Cerro Amapola (646 masl) and others are part of the volcanic complex.

This nature reserve is perfect for contemplating the natural environment of the area. It is located half an hour from León and is an essential place to visit.

8. The beaches of León, Nicaragua

In León there are two beaches; Peñitas and Poneloya Beach. Crossing the Telica river and at the end of Poneloya there is another beach called Los Brasiles that is characterized by its virgin state and is usually always very calm. The first two that I have named you have bars and small shops. There are several services and water activities.

Qué ver en León, Nicaragua

9. Visit Chinandega

The neighboring city of León, Chinandega, is little known among foreign travelers. It is a small city without "any" cultural interest. However, it has a nice center, with a striking cathedral in yellow. It is only 50 minutes from León and is a quick visit of a couple of hours. If you have some time, don't miss it.

10. Lake Xolotlán

If you are planning to visit the city of Managua, you will visit Lake Xolotlán from there. However, if you do not plan to include Managua on your route through Nicaragua, you can visit the lake from León. I recommend you get to Puerto Momotombo, on the shores of the lake you can enjoy incredible views of the lake and the Momotombo volcanic complex.

Qué ver en León, Nicaragua


In León you have several accommodation options. From pensions to 4-star hotels. Some great accommodation options in León are:



I hope you enjoy your trip to Nicaragua a lot and that this article has been useful to you. You can continue reading many more related articles on the blog.

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A hug and see you soon!


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