León Travel Guide

  • Awesome day
    Awesome day
    by lilyg251
  • In front of La Asuncion School
    In front of La Asuncion School
    by lilyg251
  • Traffic Light Shots!
    Traffic Light Shots!
    by lilyg251

León Things to Do

  • Parque Ruben Dario

    Along Calle Central, between the cathedral and Ruben Dario museum, is a small plaza like park with memorials to four poets and writers famous in Leon's period of Modernisimo Literature period.

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  • Iglesia de San Juan--Interior Views

    In part because most of the structure is rebuilt on the back of the outstanding facade bell tower entrance, the interior is less impressive than some other churches. Nevertheless, stop in an take a peek.

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  • Iglesia de San Juan--Plaza Views

    The parque plaza, particularly the hedge like clipped trees lining it, is impressive. Narrow streets from Iglesia Del Calvario provide another view of the exterior of the San Juan. A plate on the church shows that France provided some funding for restoration.

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  • Ruinas de la Ermita de San Sebastian

    The ruins of a church, now sheltered for restoration, are across the street from the Museum of Traditions and Legends, and was also fenced off and closed at the time we visited. Moon guide reports that this church was built on sacred ground used by the indigenous people, in 1742. Now, it's mostly famous for having suffered terrific damage when...

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  • More from Museums of Traditions and...

    The museum is heartbreaking for its history of political prisoner torture, but it's also very interesting for explaining with mannequins some 14 local legends. Most of them have a pattern of some broken romance or abuse, where a type of woman faces tragic lost of love and sometimes seeks revenge through a curse. Ultimately, some of these are...

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  • Iglesia El Calvario--Interior Images

    The interior has gory images of Christ. Overall, if you have only time to visit one church after the Cathedral, this would be the best choice of many options. An exterior plate indicates a role of this church in the Sandinista revolution.

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  • Iglesia Del Calvario--Exterior Images

    As the name suggests, this church is located on a hill, and can be seen from the cathedral along Calle Central. Walk up the steps to the church with red ocher towers, then look back into town over the checked red and white plaza. This church has several worn pieces of art of interest on it's exterior.

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  • Calle la Españolita

    Barrio Laborio, near the old church of the same name is partly along the Calle la Españolita, reportedly one of the oldest streets in the city. Given the large number of mud brick and wattle homes in this area, this is very likely the best place to see early colonial architecture.

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  • Iglesia El Laborio

    On the southwest corner of downtown on a rise above the old colonial neighborhood, known as Barrio Laborio, is the fully restored Iglesia El Laborio, which Moon guide reports is one of the oldest in the city. The simple architecture and setting of this church is stunning, but I liked the see through nature of the doorways on the anterior side of...

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León Hotels

  • Hotel Los Balcones De Leon

    Esquina de los Bancos 1C al Este, Leon, 00000, Nicaragua

    Satisfaction: Average

    Good for: Business

    Hotel Class 2.5 out of 5 stars

León Restaurants

  • French and Mexican Food in Leon

    This place featured French crepes, but they weren't available at the time we visited. So, I opted for the Mexican style soft corn torilla tacos, while my wife had chicken. This is a popular place in central Leon, 2 blocks north of the Parque Los Poetas. I believe on the corner of Ave 1 and Calle 1, but wander around area where there's a lot of...

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  • Nica Tamales Near the Cathedral

    This restaurant was recommended by the hotel, and indeed when we arrived, the place was crowded with tourists. It's located right within view of the cathedral, which at the time we visited was surrounded by fencing as the plaza was being repaved. There is a wall with the famous writers of Leon, including at the top Ruben Dario. Freshly made...

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  • Snacks, Cakes and Coffee in a Lovely...

    Cafetería Il Capriccio is situated in a beautifully renovated old colonial house, two blocks north from Parque Central. It was conveniently located just steps from Hostel Iguana where I was staying, so I passed by quite often. I liked the bright blue colour of its façade and inside also looked quite nice. But somehow, I was never there at the right...

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  • Bakery and Fine Dining in a Green Patio

    Except for a vegetarian restaurant, I did not try more restaurants in Leon because I found that Terraza Mediterraneo covered all that I needed. I had a very good fresh fruit juice after my arrival in Leon and since then came back almost every day, either for dinner or just a snack and refreshing drink. Terraza Mediterraneo is a colourful, relaxing...

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  • Excellent Veggie Dishes from Around the...

    CocinArte is a wonderful vegetarian restaurant and café situated in a 300-years old colonial house in El Laborio neighbourhood, a few blocks south-west from Parque Central. On the left side of the entrance is a romantic balcony with a small table. The reading and lounging space boasts a beautiful wooden table with daily newspapers and oversized...

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  • Cafetin Pan y Paz

    My first morning in León I walked around very early to find a place where I could have breakfast. It was Sunday and every place I passed was closed. I was very lucky to pass Pan y Paz just as they opened at 7.00am. It smelled wonderful from the bakery and I went in and ordered two croissants and a coffee, and then sat down at one of the tables. The...

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León Nightlife

See all 2 Nightlife in León
  • Out and about nightlife in Leon,...

    This place never lets me down the live karaoke, the drink prices even though most of the bars always have a lot drink specials. I always seem to enjoy a nice live karaoke when I'm miles away from home. The laughter, the vibrant lights, the people, the commodity is awesome and I always enjoy my self in the nightlife in Leon, Nicaragua. Its a pretty...

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  • Lighted Buildings and Dark Alleys

    Leon is not particularly dangerous even at night, so go ahead and walk around a bit. Most of the city is dimly lit, but occasionally there are lighted buildings. Be careful of fast traffic in the narrow streets.

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  • León Hotels

    1 Hotels in León

León Transportation

  • Leon to/from Granada

    Don't get fooled into believing the bus trip from Granada to Leon via Managua is difficult or dangerous. There are regular buses leaving both Leon and Granada destine for Managua. Since there are multiple stations in Managua, make sure the bus conductor knows of your plans. Usless you can't stand being crowded in a minivan for a couple hours trip,...

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  • From León to Las Peñitas

    Buses to the beaches of Poneloya and Las Peñitas leave from Subtiava Market in the western part of the city. Fortunately, I was staying in the vicinity so I could easily walk there. Otherwise, you can take a bus, taxi or walk, it's about 1,5 km from Parque Central. The Poneloya/Las Peñitas buses leave every 45 minutes, from 4:30am to 6pm. You might...

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  • From Granada to León

    There is no direct bus from Granada to León. You have to change it in Managua. Minibuses and large vans make the trip from Granada to Managua for 20 córdobas (December 2010). They leave Granada every 20 minutes starting at 6:30am. The trip lasts about an hour. Buses leave Ganada from Calle Vega, one block south of the Parque Central, and arrive at...

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León Shopping

  • atufft's Profile Photo

    by atufft Written Feb 11, 2013

    Local crafts, as well as massive amounts of cheap Chinese imports, are sold by vendors inside the Central Market. Not so impressive from streetside, so what makes Leon's market interesting is the inside courtyard setting and mahogany ceilings for many of the vendors. This market with within a block of the cathedral. Back on the street, take in a great view of Iglesia Del Calvario along Calle Central.

    Central Market, Leon Central Market, Leon Streetside, Central Market, Leon Central Market, Leon Calle Central, Leon
    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Arts and Culture
    • Architecture

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León Local Customs

  • Rubén Darío - Great Poet and Leon's...

    Rubén Darío was a leading modernist poet, renowned for his innovations in Spanish poetry. He was born as Felix Rubén Garcia Sarmiento on 18 January 1867 in a little town named Metapa and then spent his childhood in León. The genius in Rubén started to show at the age of three and by his 12th birthday he was writing poetry that was brilliant enough...

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  • León's Colourful Murals

    León has always been a hotbed of liberal thinking, and it is, unlikely any other city in Nicaragua, visibly Sandinista. The city was ther centerpiece of the bloody battles for power and it was there that Somoza was assassinated. During the long struggle toward a period of revolución, the people – artists, poets, soldiers - risked their lives to...

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  • Don't Forget Insurance

    If your current health insurance doesn't cover you while your abroad, you should consider getting international travel insurance just in case something should go wrong.

León Warnings and Dangers

  • Honduras/Nicaragua border crossing

    If you are travelling from Honduras to Nicaragua be very careful at the border crossing. This was the worst that I have seen. When the bus got to the border it was stormed by a mob that was yelling and shouting. I was the only white person on the bus. All this commotion was over me. There was about 50 of them. Some of them climbed on the roof and...

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  • EXCHANGING TRAVEL CHEQUES

    I could call this exchanging travel cheques in Nicaragua part II as I have written about it in Granada page already. I needed money in León too and went to the bank and was clever enough to ask the guard if they exchanged them. In the first bank the answer was no and the guard told me where I should go. I had learnt my lesson and walked to the side...

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  • BE CAREFUL

    I copied this from my El Fortín tip as it can be taken as a warning as well. When we arrived in León the teacher said that it would be 50 codobas. I told her that we agreed it would be 5 cordobas. My Spanish is not perfect but I am 100% sure that she said 5 cordobas earlier. 50 cordobas is not much money for me and I paid it, but it left me with a...

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León Tourist Traps

  • by acdahlc Written Aug 12, 2007

    This supposes to be one of the more ore less dinidng option in Las Penitas ( Poneloya) Leon Nicaragua. If you wnat to wait 3 hours for a fish filet, ( badly cooked) and wanna deal with un friendly anti american staff go ahead;but believe us it`s not wotrh it to be insulted and threatened by their staff.

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León Off The Beaten Path

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    by mircaskirca Updated Aug 28, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Roughly 20 km west of León on the Pacific coast are the beaches of Poneloya and Las Peñitas. While Poneloya has long been popular with wealthy Nicaraguans who have luxury beachfront villas here, the nearby Las Peñitas is a wide sandy beach stretching for about 4 km, fronted by small hotels, bars and restaurants, and with a small fishing village behind. Here people are living their traditional life as fishermen and the environment is quiet and nice. There are not many tourists yet who have found this quiet and nice place to spend their holidays. You have long empty beach to walk and swim, go horseback riding along the beach, and if you like, the local fishermen will take you out fishing for a reasonable price. There’s also excellent surfing, with smallish regular waves that are perfect for beginners. Several places along the beach rent surfboards and offer lessons.
    Close to the estuary in Las Peñitas is Reserva Natural Isla Juan Venado, a mangrove that provides habitat for hundreds of species of migratory birds, as well as crocodiles and other wetland creatures, and is also an important nesting beach for sea turtles. You can arrange a trip to Isla Juan Venado with most hotels or with one of the many boatmen in Las Peñitas.
    During weekends and holidays, locals from the surrounding cities come to have picnic on the beach, play volleyball and swim in the ocean or inside the shallow bay next to the Nature Reserve. I spent Christmas day here, and boy, it got so crowded! It seemed like everybody headed for the beach that day to escape from the heat of the city. Then I returned another day during the week and could not believe it was the same place. It was quiet and peaceful, and I really enjoyed the atmosphere.

    Related to:
    • Sailing and Boating
    • Beaches
    • Hiking and Walking

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Explore Deeper into León
La Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco
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Iglesia Nuestra Señora de la Merced
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Iglesia de Recoleccion
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Museum of Traditions and Legends
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Ruben Dario Museum
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1959 Student Protest Mural
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Iglesia de San Juan--exterior views
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Basilica Cathedral of Leon, Plaza and Street Views
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Basilica Cathedral de Leon--Interior Views
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Basilica Cathedral de Leon--Exterior Views
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Teatro Municipal José de la Cruz Mena
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El Mercadito Subtiava
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Ruinas de la Ermita de San Sebastián
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Casa de Cultura
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Centro de Arte Fundación Ortiz Guardián
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Parque de los Poetas
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Museo de la Revolución
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Museo de Tradiciones y Leyendas
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Iglesia de San Nicolás de Laborío
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Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco
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Studying Spanish in a Safe City
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Iglesia La Recolección
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Iglesia de San Juan
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Basílica de la Asunción
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Iglesia El Calvario
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Viejo Leon
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Iglesia de La Recoleccón
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To León from Pochomil
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El Calvario
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From León to Las Peñitas
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From León to Managua
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Volcán Telica
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DINNER AND BREAKFAST AT
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EL FORTÍN
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La Iglesia de la Recoleccion
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MARTYRS AND HEROES IN MURALS
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NICARAGUA'S HISTORY IN THE MURALS
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CATHEDRAL
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AMAZING street food
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