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León & Northwestern Nicaragua

This is Nicaragua at its most passionate. The regional capital of León is – and will always be – a hotbed of intellectualism and independence. The city has nourished some of Nicaragua’s most important political and artistic moments, and it's beloved for its breathtaking art museum, hopping nightlife and spirited revolutionary air.

Just out of León, more than a dozen volcanic peaks wait to be climbed (some can be surfed). Along the still-crowdless beaches there's the best beach accommodations – and gnarliest surfing – in the country. And the virgin wetlands of the Reserva Natural Isla Juan Venado are not to be missed.

Further afield, you'll find the biggest mangrove forest in Central America, awe-inspiring beauty at Reserva Natural Volcán Cosigüina and windows into everyday Nicaraguan life in the little towns along the way.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout León & Northwestern Nicaragua.

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Introducing Nicaragua