Welcome to León & Northwestern Nicaragua

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 unique windows into everyday Nicaraguan life in the little towns along the way.

Top experiences in León & Northwestern Nicaragua

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León & Northwestern Nicaragua activities

$51 Outdoor Activities

Cerro Negro and Volcano Sand Boarding from León

Your tour will start at 8:30am with a pickup from your hotel in León. Drive for half an hour until you arrive at Cerro Negro base. Visit the interpretation center and view the models of Cerro Negro volcano and surrounding area.At 9:30am, start the trek to the volcano. It is easy and it takes approximately 1-hour. Once up, receive an explaination you how to use your board. Take a few moments to enjoy the great landscape then get ready to feel pure adrenaline. Remember, going down takes less than a minute.Be transported back back to León at approximately midday.

$32 Tours & Sightseeing

Small-Group Walking Tour of León

Explore the history of one of Nicaragua's oldest and most influential cities by foot. Begin this one-of-a-kind tour of León with a visit to revolutionary murals, a baroque and neoclassical church and an art museum that presents works by internationally-renowned artists. Next, immerse yourself in the local culture and daily town dynamics at the Central Market and view beautiful colonial buildings like Nicaragua's first university. The next stop on your scenic tour is a visit to the historic Cathedral of León, which offers amazing views of the city and the Maribios volcanic chain from the roof of Central America's largest cathedral. Finally, make your way to the well-known CocinArte restaurant where you will relax with soft music and enjoy a refreshing beverage to end your tour.

$58 Outdoor Activities

Cerro Negro Hiking and Sand Boarding from León

You will be picked up from your hotel or a designated pickup area in León and transferred to the Cerra Negro volcano. Formed in 1850, it is the youngest volcano in Central America and has had an eruptive history with the latest eruption in 1999.Once at the base of the volcano, there will be a hike to the top. This ascent is rough due to loose rocks, a steep inclination and heavy boards. During the climb, there will be stops for information about the history of the volcano and its features such as the craters and lava fields.Upon arrival near the top, you will receive a short technical briefing from your experienced bilingual guide. From there, you will head to the steeper outer rim for the real point of descent where you will have a chance to do a test run inside the crater. After some final orientations you will then board all the way down to the base of Cerra Negro in the ride of your life.

$32.50 Day Trips & Excursions

León City tour and Mud pools of San Jacinto

Guided visit through the colonial center city of Leon. The meeting point is in the office of El Perezoso agency at 9:00 AM. Visit to the most important museums of the city. Climb to the roof of the cathedral to have a panoramic view of Leon from the top. The tour last 3 hours and it end up by noon. After this tour you will go and visit the mud pools of San Jacinto and discover more about the natural force of the volcanoes in Nicaragua. This guided tour is offered in English, Spanish and Italian. There is not a minimun age to participate, but participants younger than 16 years old must be accompanied by an adult.

$45 Day Trips & Excursions

Juan Venado Island Nature Reserve

Departure from Leon city at 8:00 AM, arriving to Juan Venado Island reserve entrance by Las Peñitas beach at 8:30 AM. You will visit the mangroves area by motor boat with a local guide who will show you the local flora and fauna. The tour inside the reserve lasts between 3 or 4 hours, and during sea turtle nesting season you could also visit a sea turtle nursery. In addition to being in touch with nature, you will have the opportunity to take a dip in the ocean during this tour. Return to Leon city at 12:30 PM.RecommendedUse sunscreen and repellent. Bring a cap or hat, and extra clothes. Don’t forget your swimsuit.

$75 Day Trips & Excursions

Somoto Canyon from León

A walk, a small boat and tire in the waters within the Somoto Canyon, is the adventure proposal that awaits you here. Departure time from Leon at 7:00 AM and arrival to the canyon around 10:00 AM. The travel begins with a short walk through the first stretch of the river until a boat that will take you to the “gates” of the canyon.To advance to the inner part of the canyon is necessary to do so with the help of the guides on inflated truck tires, as a float, which is a real experience. You can enjoy a refreshing dip in one of the natural pools of water and listen to the legends and adventures in the canyon, told by local guides.You will admire the stunning beauty of this place and enjoy a unique experience. The tour lasts a full day.Note: There is no minimum age for participants, but younger than 16 years old must be accompanied by an adult.RecommendedBring comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen, swimwear, extra clothes and food.

León & Northwestern Nicaragua in detail