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Leon

The second-oldest Nicaraguan town, Leon was the capital of Nicaragua until 1857 and is today considered its intellectual capital due to its large university-student population. Monuments like the Monument to the Martyrs of the Revolution indicate the liberal-leaning political opinions of the city, which is still a Sandinista stronghold. Other colorful murals and pro-Sandanista graffiti further illustrate this point. Mariachi bands and marimba players are a staple to the city and constantly stroll the streets.

 

One fun way to explore this quaint colonial city is ‘topless bus’ night tour for around $0.25 USD.

 

Some highlights in Leon not to miss:

 

The cathedral, the Basílica de la Asunción, across from the Monument to the Martyrs of the Revolution, is the largest in Central America. Inside, find the tomb of Rubén Darío, a 19th-Century Nicaraguan poet, at the foot of one of the 12 apostle’s statues.

 

Leon features over a dozen of some of the finest colonial churches in Nicaragua.

 

Visit Rubén Darío’s house, now a museum, with its collection of personal photographs, portraits and a library of books and poetry in Spanish, English and French.

 

The Centro Popular de la Cultura is the only place to see live folk concerts in Leon and always has rotating exhibits and events.

Neighborhoods in Leon: Barrio Guadalupe, Barrio Sutiava, Poneloya,

Other places nearby Leon: El Transito, Jiquilillo, San Jacinto, Chichigalpa, Naragote, La Paz Centro, Chinandega, Corinto, Las Penitas and El Viejo.







12 Oct 2009

Leon for History Buffs

Catedral de Leon

122461This massive edifice is Central America's biggest cathedral, and one of the highlights of a visit to Leon. From the outside it appears as just another large church, but the towering marble columns of ...
Historical Building
Leon, Nicaragua

Iglesia Calvario

With its colorful, sculptured facade and immaculately painted interior, this church is second only to Leon's cathedral in terms of beauty and should not be missed. Unfortunately, like many of Leon's ...
Historical Building
Leon, Nicaragua

Iglesia San Juan Bautista de Subtiava

In many ways, this is a typical Central American cathedral. It's spacious, elegant, beautifully designed, and badly in need of restoration. The wooden altar-piece is probably the church's most ...
Historical Building
Barrio Sutiava, Leon, Nicaragua

Iglesia de la Merced

The beautiful, traditional wood paneling of this sweeping church almost suggests a European style, but the massive icons betray its Latinness. Worth checking out for its intricately carved altar, as ...
Historical Building
Leon, Nicaragua

Church Tour

104592Starting at the central park view the biggest Cathedral in Central America then climb its roof for good views of the city. From the northern corner head five blocks east to the Iglesia de El ...
Historical Building
Leon, Nicaragua

Tomb of Ruben Dario

Inside the Catedral de Leon and just to the right of the altar, look for a life-sized statue of a depressed-looking lion. Here, at the base of a massive column, lies Ruben Dario, Leon's favorite son. ...
Historical Building
Leon, Nicaragua

Iglesia de la Recolección

122465Yet another beautiful church, Iglesia de la Recolección is worth a look if you're still hungry for more religious imagery after seeing the Cathedral and Iglesia Calvario. The church was subject to ...
Historical Building
Leon, Nicaragua

Iglesia San Juan de Dios

122464The façade of Iglesia San Juan de Dios, which overlooks a park of the same name, is a mottled grey and not exactly what you would call pretty. The exterior, reconstructed by Mons. Santiago Abarca in ...
Historical Building
Leon, Nicaragua

El Tamarindon

This ancient tamarind tree, located in the winding sidestreets of Barrio Subtiava, is said to be over 600 years old. Its most famous moment came in the late 18th century, when Chief Adiact, leader of ...
Historical Building
Barrio Sutiava, Leon, Nicaragua

El Fortín de Acosasco

El Fortin, a striking symbol of the Sandinista’s triumph over Somoza and his national guard, sits on a hill by the city’s former garbage dump, where the city’s poorest used to scrabble for ...
Historical Building
Leon, Nicaragua

Old Train Station

León’s Old Train Station is still intact, but is difficult to locate since all but the roofline has been obscured by the ever expanding Mercado Santo Barsesna (open 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily). The ...
Historical Building
Leon, Nicaragua

Hotels in Leon

Bigfoot Hostel

104588Bigfoot Hostel is a new place, run by enthusiastic and ultra-friendly Aussie, Darryn and his local staff. The hostel is a treat to stay at. A popular bar in front leads to large dorm rooms. The rooms ...
Hotel
Leon, Nicaragua

Via Via

104589This has been a popular hostel for a long time. There is a very lively bar/cafe out front, so lively it shakes the front dorm at times, which leads through to a grassy rear courtyard with hammocks ...
Hotel
Leon, Nicaragua

Hotel El Convento

108768This classy hotel is located in the former San Francisco convent, the oldest in Leon. There are two on-site restaurants: one offering international and national cuisine, the other is a cafeteria. ...
Hotel
Leon, Nicaragua

Hotel La Perla

Who would have expected a place of such opulence in the heart of Sandinista territory? From the Italian marble staircases to the canopied showers, everything about La Perla screams luxury. The ...
Hotel
Leon, Nicaragua

Posada Dona Blanca

One of several bed and breakfasts in the area that offers television, hot water, and air conditioning. Other places have a nicer atmosphere, but Dona Blanca's offers free wifi. Their suites, at the ...
Hotel
Leon, Nicaragua

Hotel Casa Leonesa

Casa Leonesa is located in an old, but well-maintained building. Of the three bed and breakfasts in the area, Leonesa probably has the best atmosphere. Their suites in particular are large, ...
Hotel
Leon, Nicaragua

Hotel Enrique 3

Set around a pleasant, quiet courtyard, Enrique 3 offers clean rooms with air conditioning, TVs, hot water and big comfortable beds. Enrique 3 is a new, and reasonably clean, bed and breakfast place. ...
Hotel
Leon, Nicaragua

El Sueño de Meme

El Sueño de Meme specializes in long-term stays and offers discounts for those committing to extended periods of time. All of their rooms are private with private bathrooms, TVs and either a fan or ...
Hotel
Leon, Nicaragua

Parador Oviedo

If cutting costs is your goal than Parador Oviedo is the place for you. Conveniently located just a few blocks outside of León’s city center this hostel has few amenities aside from a common ...
Hotel
Leon, Nicaragua

Lazy Bones

Lazy Bones in León is a classy, modern hostel offering dorm beds and private rooms with and without on-suite bathrooms. It is a great value, especially for the dorm rooms. The hostel as a whole is ...
Hotel
Leon, Nicaragua

Things to See and Do in Leon

Volcán Cerro Negro

122690At a mere 150 years old, Cerro Negro is the youngest volcano in Central America. It's also one of the most popular climbs – travelers never forget their first sight of it's cinder-black cone ...
Climbing
Leon, Nicaragua

Catedral de Leon

122461This massive edifice is Central America's biggest cathedral, and one of the highlights of a visit to Leon. From the outside it appears as just another large church, but the towering marble columns of ...
Historical Building
Leon, Nicaragua

Volcanoes

122685Nicaragua is famous for its volcanoes, and León is an excellent base from which to explore some of the best. Of course, Nicaragua's small size means the same volcanoes are accessible from just about ...
Other Activity
Leon, Nicaragua

Iglesia San Juan Bautista de Subtiava

In many ways, this is a typical Central American cathedral. It's spacious, elegant, beautifully designed, and badly in need of restoration. The wooden altar-piece is probably the church's most ...
Historical Building
Barrio Sutiava, Leon, Nicaragua

Iglesia Calvario

With its colorful, sculptured facade and immaculately painted interior, this church is second only to Leon's cathedral in terms of beauty and should not be missed. Unfortunately, like many of Leon's ...
Historical Building
Leon, Nicaragua

Volcano Boarding

104591One of the best ways to see Volcán Cerro Negro is by going down the volcano's side on a board. While there are other tours, the Bigfoot Hostel version starts in the late afternoon; you head out to ...
Adventure Tour
Leon, Nicaragua

Ruinas Veracruz

Another casualty of the 1979 bombardment, these are probably the most impressive, intact ruins in Leon. The most likely reason for this is that they have been fenced-off, preventing people from ...
Ruin
Barrio Sutiava, Leon, Nicaragua

León Viejo

A visit to the ruins of Nicaragua’s first capital, León Viejo, is a trip in time—back to the early years of the Spanish conquest when beheadings, slavery and native uprisings were common. ...
Monument
Leon, Nicaragua

Iglesia de la Merced

The beautiful, traditional wood paneling of this sweeping church almost suggests a European style, but the massive icons betray its Latinness. Worth checking out for its intricately carved altar, as ...
Historical Building
Leon, Nicaragua

Church Tour

104592Starting at the central park view the biggest Cathedral in Central America then climb its roof for good views of the city. From the northern corner head five blocks east to the Iglesia de El ...
Historical Building
Leon, Nicaragua

Volcán Momotombo

Leon is one of several cities from which tours can be booked to Volcan Momotombo (Managua is closer to the actual volcano). Tierra Tours in one of a few operators in the city that books day-trips ...
Climbing
Leon, Nicaragua
Mapa
View Leon Map




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