The city of León is one of the oldest and best-preserved colonial cities in Central America. In terms of beauty and number of gorgeous Spanish colonial buildings, it definitely can compete with the beautiful restored colonial city Granada. León is located in the northwest of Nicaragua.

It is the second largest city in the country and has about 200.000 inhabitants. The skyline on the northeast side of the city consists of an impressive row of volcanoes, some of which you can hike up to the crater. The pristine beaches of the Pacific coast are just 20 km away.

Leon - vulkaan2

León is a young and vibrant city. It’s the intellectual center of the country; the first university of the country was founded here in 1813. Currently, the city has three universities, which means that there are many students living in León. Therefore there is a wide range of high quality restaurants, cafes and bars.

Culturally Leon has a lot to offer. The beautiful theater José de la Cruz Mena, built in 1885 and designated in 2007 as an UNESCO World Heritage, is one of the most important cultural sites. Another cultural hotspot is Casa de Cultura, the center for artistic expression of art and culture in the form of dance, painting, visual arts, film, lectures and courses. The Rubén Darío museum is housed in a beautiful colonial building where the famous poet Ruben Dario spent his childhood. The museum Arte Fundacion Ortiz – Guardian offers one of the richest art collections of Central America.


leon - cathedraal

The architecture of León is splendid. Besides the beautiful colonial buidings in the historic city, there is the impressive colonial baroque Cathedral in the central square of Leon. It’s the largest Cathedral in Central America. In addition, there are twelve other beautifully decorated  churches in the city that are worth visiting. The oldest church is part of the San Francisco convent which was founded in 1639.


Tourism in Leon has grown considerably in recent years. Due to the fact that the city offers many tourist attractions with rich culture, history, architecture and nightlife, the number of overnight stays has grown enormously in recent years. The municipality aims to boost tourism even further in the next few years. It focuses mainly on the middle class segment. This meansthat León wants to attract tourists who are able to spend more money and stay for a longer period.

Leon - straatbeeld met gekleurde huizen

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