Leon

Travel Guide

Learn to surf, see turtles at coastal resorts and find out about the country’s complex past as you discover this fascinating Nicaraguan city.

With cultural highlights that rival Nicaragua’s capital, León is a vibrant and bustling city that attracts visitors with its blend of historic architecture, local culture and pristine beaches. León’s center is home to an impressive cathedral and intriguing museums. Head outside the city to experience the country’s picturesque coastline and surf resorts.

Visit the Cathedral of León, among the largest churches in Central America, to climb to its roof terrace. Stroll barefoot among its domes and sculptures as you enjoy the spectacular view of the city and the volcanoes in the distance. See the San Juan Bautista de Subtiava Church, which is among the oldest churches in the city and serves the local indigenous community. Peruse acclaimed works of art in the Centro de Arte Fundación Ortiz Gurdián.

The complex history of León can be discovered in its winding city streets. Look for the buildings that retain bullet holes and other evidence of the battles of the late 20th century between President Somoza and his Sandinista rivals. Traditionally liberal, the city fought for years with the conservatives of Managua in an attempt to become the capital of the country.

A little to the west of León is the Pacific Coast and its spectacular sandy beaches. Relax on Las Peñitas Beach until dusk to see the red sun disappear over the horizon. Take part in a game of beach soccer or volleyball with locals or enjoy clambering over the beach’s large rocks.

Further south along the coast is the surfing haven of Puerto Sandino. Stay at one of the lodgings and spend a few days learning to surf.

Expect high temperatures year-round in most parts of the country. December has slightly cooler temperatures, while April is the hottest month. See nesting turtles in the natural reserves of the coast in October and November, a popular time to visit.

León is located just inland of Nicaragua’s northwest coast. Arrive in the country by flying to Managua International Airport and then drive some 60 miles (100 kilometers) to reach León. Local buses operate throughout the country offering an authentic but slow way of traversing the region.

Hostal Guardabarranco No 1
Hostal Guardabarranco No 1
1.5 out of 5
The price is AU$22 per night from 20 Jan. to 21 Jan.
Situated in Leon, this hostel is within a 10-minute walk of Recoleccion Church, Cathedral of Leon and La Perla Casino. Los Heroes y Martires Mausoleum and León ...
Hostal Guardabarranco No 1
Hotel La Perla
Hotel La Perla
3.5 out of 5
From La Merced Church, 1½ Blocks North, Leon
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is AU$163 per night from 24 Jan. to 25 Jan.
Situated in Leon, this bed & breakfast is within a 5-minute walk of La Perla Casino, León Central Park and Recoleccion Church. Los Heroes y Martires Mausoleum ...
4/5 Very Good! (56 reviews)
"Great staff and great location. Definitely a splurge for Leon but worth every cordoba. Gracias!"

Reviewed on 4 Jan. 2022

Hotel La Perla
Nayal Lodge
Nayal Lodge
2.5 out of 5
De la Policia 300mts. al Este, Leon, León
The price is AU$108 per night from 23 Jan. to 24 Jan.
Situated by the ocean, this hotel is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Las Penitas Beach and within 12 miles (20 km) of Adiact Museum and San Juan Bautista de Subtiava Church. ...
4.9/5 Exceptional! (25 reviews)
A perfect and charming getaway!
"We just arrived home from a several day stay at the Nayal Lodge are ready to go back! The owners and staff were incredibly friendly and more than accommodating with our young toddler. The food is superb and the pool is very relaxing. The grounds are beautiful and lush with greenery with several fruit ..."

Reviewed on 10 Apr. 2021

Nayal Lodge
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Allison's Place - Leon
Allison's Place - Leon
Calle Principal Colonia Universidad, Leon, Leon Department
The price is AU$125 per night from 20 Jan. to 21 Jan.
Situated in Leon, this holiday home is steps away from Los Heroes y Martires Mausoleum, Cathedral of Leon and León Central Park. Ruben Dario Park and La Perla ...
Allison's Place - Leon
Salt Escapes Nicaragua - Bella Casas
Salt Escapes Nicaragua - Bella Casas
3 out of 5
Unmarked road, Leon, León Department
The price is AU$130 per night from 20 Jan. to 21 Jan.
Situated in Leon, this holiday home is within a 15-minute walk of Leyendas y Tradiciones Museum, Cathedral of Leon and Los Heroes y Martires Mausoleum. León ...
4/5 Very Good! (1 review)
Un tesoro de playa
"¡Tuvimos la playa entera para disfrutarla nosotros dos!"

Reviewed on 22 Apr. 2020

Salt Escapes Nicaragua - Bella Casas
Beatiful Beach Front House 7 Bed , 6 Baths & Pool
Beatiful Beach Front House 7 Bed , 6 Baths & Pool
De la Policia 250 mts al Sur,, carretera a las Peñitas, Leon, Leon Department
This Leon chalet is on the beach, 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Las Penitas Beach, and within 12 mi (20 km) of Ruben Dario Park and León Central Park. Adiact Museum and ...
5/5 Exceptional! (2 reviews)
Family favorite!
"This is our second time staying and it has become a family favorite. The property is spacious and well designed and the owner is pleasant to work with. The caretakers on-site are a wonderful family who do their job very well and make the stay even more enjoyable!"

Reviewed on 8 Mar. 2020

Beatiful Beach Front House 7 Bed , 6 Baths & Pool
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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