Welcome to León
Intensely political, buzzing with energy and, at times, drop-dead gorgeous (in a crumbling, colonial kind of way), León is what Managua should be – a city of awe-inspiring churches, fabulous art collections, stunning streetscapes, cosmopolitan eateries, fiery intellectualism, and all-week, walk-everywhere, happening nightlife. Many people fall in love with Granada, but most of them leave their heart in León
Top experiences in León
Sights in LeónSee all sights
Cerro Negro Volcano Sandboarding Tour from Managua
After hotel pickup in Managua, begin your day trip with a journey approximately 1.5 hours north to Cerro Negro Volcano. Located in the Cordillera de los Maribios mountain range, Cerro Negro is one of the youngest volcanos in Central America. Its terrain consists of gravel-type volcanic debris, and it’s often referred to as the 'Black Hill.' When you reach Cerro Negro, your guide will give you a brief overview and safety instruction before leading you on a hike up the steep volcano. Although it's less than a mile to the top of Cerro Negro, the hike up is very steep and considered difficult, so be prepared for a tough but rewarding 1.5-hour climb! Feel free to bring along snacks and water to refuel on this hike. When you reach the top, at an elevation of about 1,640 feet (500 meters), take in gorgeous views of the surrounding Telica and San Cristobal volcanos. Then, strap in and enjoy a thrilling sandboard adventure down the volcano! You'll have the option to sit or stand on your board, depending on your comfort level. After your tour, you’ll have time to stop for lunch (own expense) in León before returning to Managua.
Private Cerro Negro Volcano Sandboarding Tour
The adventure starts in Managua when you are picked up at your hotel in a 4WD vehicle with the boards and adventure equipment. In one hour and a half, you travel from the capital of Managua to the beautiful and colonial city of León. The route of 90 kilometers from one department to another is filled with landscapes as volcanoes, sorghum plantations, small towns, nature; perfect for a journey. The volcano is located 25km away from the city of León.The hiking starts. Though the volcano is not that high (500 mt.), the one hour ascent can result exhausting. It is recommended to bring with you water, fresh comfortable clothing, sport shoes and sunblock. Don’t forget your camera! At the top, the rocky and grey landscape turns into a wonderful view of blues and greens; you get to see part of the volcanic chain, the craters, the fumaroles, and more. At this point of your journey, you can get time (about 30 minutes) to take some of the best photos of your life.Get your sandboarding clothing on, listen to your guide explaining how to board the volcano, and get ready to feel pure adrenaline. In case you decide not to do the sandboarding, you can descend the volcano running down, which is fun, too!
Leon Day Trip from Managua
After pickup from your Managua hotel, head north to Leon by comfortable coach. On your way, admire the beautiful surrounding landscape featuring Lake Managua (Lake Xolotlan), the Momotombo volcano and the Maribios volcanic chain. Visit the ruins of Leon Viejo, declared an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. Follow your guide on a tour of the ruins and learn how Leon is the second-oldest city in Nicaragua, established in the early 1500s. You'll see foundations of houses as well as some restored buildings.Continue into the city of Leon, founded in the early 1600s. Known for its beautiful churches and stunning streetscapes, Leon is a picturesque colonial city. With your guide, tour the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Cathedral of Leon, one of the largest churches in Central America. Admire the interior filled with magnificent works of art including marble statues. Next, head to a local restaurant for lunch (own expense) before continuing to the Art Center of the Ortiz Gurdian Foundation. Located in two restored colonial buildings, this center houses various exhibits of paintings, sculptures and contemporary art. Tour the center with your guide and learn about various Nicaraguan artists. Then, visit the Rubén Darío Museum, located in the old house famous Nicaraguan writer Rubén Darío once lived in. Ruben Darío was the poet who initiated the Spanish-American literary movement that took off at the end of the 19th century and had a lasting influence on Spanish literature and journalism. Tour the museum and see hand-written manuscripts, as well as photographs. After your tour, you'll be driven back to your Managua hotel.
5-Day Best of Nicaragua Tour: Managua, León and Granada
From the moment your 5-day Nicaragua tour beings in Managua, you’ll be immersed in Nicaragua’s historic sites and scenic splendors. During your three sightseeing tours in each city, you’ll see or visit top attractions like the Rubén Darío National Theatre and the National Museum; UNESCO World Heritage Sites like the Ruins of Leon Viejo and the Cathedral of León; and natural wonders like Masaya Volcano National Park and Lake Nicaragua. You have your choice of 3.5-star or 4-star hotels in each city. Breakfast and entrance fees are included each day, as is comfortable transportation between all destinations.Please see the Itinerary section below for details on each day of the tour.
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.
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.