Nicaragua’s second city and intellectual capital is brimful with red-tiled colonial-style buildings and effervesces with artistic and political energy.
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.
From expertly designed Private Journeys to trail-blazing Group Tours, browse our range of carefully crafted holidays.
Group - Discovery
Panama / Costa Rica / Nicaragua / El Salvador / Honduras / Guatemala
Alcion: Central America Discovery
22 days from £3,061pp
Group - Discovery
Cotinga: Off the beaten track Nicaragua
18 days from £2,886pp
Self-drive Nicaragua: Adventures by road
11 days from £1,550pp
Signature Nicaragua: Fire, water and revolution
10 days from £2,210pp
Where to go when - our guide to Leon
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
Your edit for Latin American inspiration
Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.View Extraordinary Inspiration
Real Latin America Experts
Lina Fuller - Travel Expert
Lina's passion for the continent where she was born really took off when she moved to Córdoba (Argentina) to study, spending the holidays travelling between Argentina and her native Colombia.
Chris Rendell-Dunn - Travel Expert
Anglo-Peruvian Chris grew up in Lima and spent much of his adult life in between London and Cusco as a tour leader, before settling permanently in our London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours sales team.
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.
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.
Hannah Donaldson - Travel Expert
Having spent part of her childhood in Colombia and worked in Brazil and Costa Rica, Hannah's ties to Latin America run deep. Hannah is a much valued Travel Expert in our Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tours sales team.
Carrie Gallagher - Travel Expert
A former JLA tour leader, Carrie brings a wealth of on-the-ground experience to our London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours department.