Overview

León has spirit and is a fascinating place to wander and absorb Nicaragua’s colonial and revolutionary history. Like Granada, the core of Nicaragua’s second city and intellectual capital is brimful with red-tiled colonial-style buildings but, unlike its peaceful rival, effervesces with artistic and political energy. A city with a strong religious tradition, it hosts a dozen crumbly churches juxtaposed with murals depicting events from the 1979 revolution. The city’s university and student scene lends it a youthful feel.

50km beyond the city are the sedate World Heritage ruins of León Viejo, the original site for León, and Nicaragua’s capital until an earthquake hit in 1609. Meanwhile, thrill-seekers can tackle the stark slopes of Cerro Negro volcano, with the option to ‘ash-board’ back down.

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Cotinga: Off the beaten track Nicaragua

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Self-drive Nicaragua: Adventures by road

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Signature Nicaragua: Fire, water and revolution

13 days from £2,850pp

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Where to go when - our guide to Leon

Leon Nicaragua

The weather in Leon is wide and varied

Nicaragua’s second city is characterised by it’s red-tiled colonial-style buildings and it’s artistic and political energy and is mainly frequented by locals and students of the university. Awash in revolutionary history, the people are extremely friendly and a lively nightlife scene.

View our Leon weather guide

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Meet our team

Real Latin american experts

  • Paul Winrow Giffin
    Paul Winrow-Giffin - Travel Expert

    After graduating in Computer Science, Paul spent seven months travelling from Colombia to Argentina and came home hooked on Latin America.

  • Alex
    Alex Walker - Travel Expert

    A globetrotter since her childhood, Alex spent a year studying abroad in Guadalajara and has returned to Latin America countless times since then.

  • Hannah
    Hannah Waterhouse - Travel Expert

    Hannah had an early introduction to Latin America when her family moved to Ecuador and she returned to study in Buenos Aires for a year before backpacking across the continent.

  • Maggie
    Maggie Wilson - Travel Expert

    Maggie visited Latin America on her first backpacking trip when she was 19. Since then, she has taken every opportunity to travel, and has managed to explore a lot of the region in subsequent trips.

  • Heloise
    Heloise Buxton - Travel Expert

    Heloise started her Latin American journey as an exchange student in Santiago, Chile. With extended summer holidays this was the perfect opportunity to backpack through Bolivia, Peru, Argentina and Brazil.

  • Kathryn
    Kathryn Rhodes - Travel Expert

    Kathryn backpacked across Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru before joining us. She has a degree in Philosophy and French and is a keen netball player.

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