Leon is one of the most fascinating destinations located in the northwestern region of Nicaragua. This captivating area of the country boasts to have an important part of the splendid belt of fire comprising of some old extinct volcanoes and also some active ones, including “Cerro Negro”, the youngest cinder cone in Central America, and “Telica”, an interesting reddish top crater volcano.
Also the non crowded beaches of the region of Leon are a great opportunity for enjoying the relaxing ambiance of the Pacific Ocean, tasting delicious local seafood or just be captivated by stunning sunsets. The country side of this region could not be more eye-catching with intensive rural activities on key agricultural products of the area such as peanuts, sugar cane, bananas, cashews, plantains, and cassavas as well as cattle ranches.
Moreover the strong Spanish influence on this region can be appreciated on the magnificent colonial and baroque churches in the city of Leon, including the recently designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Cathedral of Leon. Leon is full of narrow streets, courtyard colonial houses, and historical monuments. As well a meaningful part of the Somoza dynasty and the intensive revolutionary history lived in the 1980’s have been recorded in museums and murals throughout the city. Leon is also known for passionate manifestations rooted in inherited traditions such as “Easter” where thousands of catholics crowd the streets in bustling processions or “La Griteria”, a lively celebration to honor the “Virgin Mary”.
The region of Leon also offers the superb opportunity to visit “Leon Viejo” which at one time was the first capital of Nicaragua and declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site in 2000. Of course we cannot forget the traditional appetizing “quesillos”, a homemade tortilla with cheese, cream and boiled onions, can be enjoyed either in the small villages of “La Paz Centro” or “Nagarote”.
Another fascinating feature of the region of Leon is the natural reserve “Isla Juan Venado”, an eco-system of dry tropical forest and mangroves, providing a vital shelter for crocodiles, sea turtles, crabs, crustaceans, fish, and other unique species of animals.
Definitely Leon is a great destination full of adventure, rich colonial history, fantastic volcanoes, vibrant modern history, unique flavored cuisine and above all warm people!
Colonial History • Traditions & Legends • Religious Events • Arts and Paintings • Food • Volcano Boarding
After moving from the first Leon, now referred to as “Leon Viejo”, the actual city of Leon was established and founded in 1610 near the Indian community of Sutiava.
Certainly Leon Viejo is a must visit in Nicaragua due to its rich historical past. Leon Viejo was founded by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Hernandez de Cordoba.
This interesting phenomenon of nature where many small fumaroles eventually turned into big boiling mud holes is known locally as “Los Hervideros de San Jacinto”.
This fascinating active volcanic chain lines the Pacific basin, stretching 70 kilometers from the northwest to the southeast. Each volcano has unique features and characteristics that make them special.
Both peaceful beaches are situated along the shores of the Pacific Ocean in the region of Leon. Poneloya and Las Peñitas are easily reached from the university town of Leon in less than half hour.
Located in the department Leon and close to the beach towns of Las Peñitas and Poneloya is Juan Venado Natural Reserve.
These two little towns are located in the Department of Leon. Nagarote is the former settlement of the indigenous community of “Nagrando”, a group part of the Chorotegas tribes.