Leon is another colonial city in Nicaragua on the the well worn backpacker/gringo trail.
Most people I had met that had traveled through Nicaragua loved León so I was keen to see what the fuss was about.
Although a bit unsure about the trip from Managua airport to León, I struck some luck and met a Spanish couple who had been living in León. This ensured a smooth journey and lots of handy info about my latest destination.
The afternoon I arrived I did a scout of the city, checking out the Central Park area and surrounding calles and avenidas. Right away I could understand people’s enthusiasm about the city. It really does have a lovely charm, is easy to navigate and I felt very safe walking the streets at dusk.
The colonial buildings, especially the churches, are gorgeous and the streets lively. I was pretty excited to find a supermarket which was pretty similar to the ones at home, with a few items I hadn’t been able to find so far (hello bobby pins!).
My first full day began with what initially brought me to León: volcano boarding! Read about that here.
I spent the afternoon walking through another part of town and went past some street stalls selling food. I didn’t know what most of it was, but asked the right questions and ended up with a potato something and cheese something. I sat by a church to eat this and listened to the service in Spanish. I love the sound of the language.
Of course the following morning I was up with the sun (story if my life here). I went for a short run through town and then did a HiiT workout back at the hostel. It was then time to head off for a mini beach break. See my post about my little trip to Poneloya.
Back in León after the beach, I had 1.5 days to spend before leaving the city (and the country).
I checked out the famous Cathedral de La Asunción. It is absolutely stunning! The white domes made it feel like I was in the clouds. As I arrived, a thunderstorm started. The clouds were dark & lightening struck nearby. It made for a gorgeous scene. The views of the string of the volcanos nearby was also beautiful.
Having seen and done all I had planned, I spent rest of my time getting a massage, by the pool of a hotel (where Dante and I had a very fuzzy video call) and looking around yet another little pocket of the city I was yet to explore.
Some of my tips if you’re visiting the city of León:
- Volcano boarding is a MUST! It’s lots of fun and you can’t do it anywhere else in the world
- Eating is quite cheap here. It’s more affordable to eat at the local comedors than buying supplies at the supermarket
- If you have a few hours, cool off at one of the hotels that offer their pool to outside guests. It’s usually only a couple of dollars & well worth escaping the heat
- If you’re game, give the market and street food a go. It’s kinda oily but also interesting to try for a snack. Crazy cheap too!
- Eat fruit! Stalls with fresh fruit and veg are all around the city. The fruit is delicious and great for a cheap and healthy snack
León was my last stop in Nicaragua. Now I’m off to Guatemala!
See you there, Mel 🙂