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Best things to do in Leon

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Where in the world: Central America  /  Nicaragua  /  Leon Department  /  Leon

Top 15 things to do in Leon

2. Museo de Arte Fundacion Ortiz-Gurdian

Observe colonial and contemporary art in a complex of five colonial-era buildings connected together at Museo de Arte Fundacion Ortiz-Gurdian. The art collection consists mostly of Latin American art, though some sculptures and paintings in the collection were created by European artists. Hire an English-speaking guide to take you through the exhibits and talk you through the pieces and the artists’ stories. The standing collection is impressive on its own, but the museum also changes out exhibits regularly.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Tours from $170 › Learn more about Museo de Arte Fundacion Ortiz-Gurdian

3. Cathedral-Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Visit Cathedral-Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the largest cathedral in Central America. A World Heritage Site, the imposing 18th-century cathedral was the first Catholic diocese in Nicaragua. Admire the grandiose building, designed in an eclectic mix of architectural styles including Baroque, Gothic, and Neoclassical. Step inside to see the luminous interior, featuring notable artworks such as a Flemish altarpiece and national artist Antonio Sarria's depiction of the stations of the cross. Some prominent nationals are laid to rest here, including poet Ruben Dario. Climb to the roof for panoramic views of the scenic city surroundings.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Tours from $100 › Learn more about Cathedral-Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

4. Volcano Boarding Private Tour

FROM $72
Cerro Negro is the only volcano in the world where you can board down a 728 meters high live volcano. It is the youngest volcano in Central America and its last eruption happened in 1999, but don't worry its activity is monitored regularly. Volcano Boarding is one of the most ultimate adventures in Nicaragua and consider for most travelers a must-do activity. Our tours are completly private.
Suggested duration: 4h
Tours from $72 › More about this tour at viator.com ›
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5. Cerro Negro Volcano

Trek up Central America's youngest volcano, Cerro Negro Volcano. Born in 1850, the volcano has erupted frequently over the decades since it first appeared, but tour groups run hikes up towards the crater during times of inactivity. The basalt cinder cone looks entirely at odds with the surrounding lush hillsides, giving the opportunity for dramatic photography. Make sure you bring lots of water on your hike up the volcano: it's hot, dry, and windy the farther you go on the 45-minute hike. The way down remains much simpler, whether you wish to walk or sled down the volcano.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Tours from $59 › Learn more about Cerro Negro Volcano

6. Playa Las Penitas

Relax at Playa Las Penitas, a tiny fishing village and beach on Nicaragua's west coast. Lounge on the clean, tawny sand, relatively untouched by development. Get fishing tips from the locals, have a relaxing picnic on the tranquil shore, or take a trip to the nearby nature reserve. The waves are perfect for learning to surf, and the beach is lined with small bars where you can linger over a refreshing drink.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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7. Museo de la Revolucion

Learn about the Sandinista Revolution at Museo de la Revolucion, located within one of the original Sandinista strongholds located in the heart of the city. Within a colonial building, the museum contains old photos and article clippings documenting the revolution, while combat war veterans often stop by to chat and share their experiences with curious visitors. Ask is you can visit the roof of the building, which provides sweeping views of Leon.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Learn more about Museo de la Revolucion

8. Leon City Walking Private Tour

FROM $41
Hear about 495 years and its evolution from colonial slavery to North American’s intervention, Sandinista revolution, Contra revolution and more...
Suggested duration: 3h
Tours from $41 › More about this tour at viator.com ›

9. Museo Ruben Dario

Visit Museo Ruben Dario, the house of Nicaraguan poet, icon, journalist, and diplomat Ruben Dario. Massive brown doors greet you and lead into the charming, lush courtyard built in typical colonial style. Info boards in Spanish tell Dario’s story, from his early days at age 12 through to his death in 1916. Enter the old colonial residence and get a glimpse into history, for every piece of rustic yet humble furniture speaks for itself. See old black and white photos, intimate writings and manuscripts, and Dario's treasured bible. The bedroom where the famous poet ended his life has been preserved in its original state.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Tours from $170 › Learn more about Museo Ruben Dario

10. Museum of Legends and Traditions (Museo de Tradiciones y Leyendas)

Walk through an eclectic passage of history at Museum of Legends and Traditions (Museo de Tradiciones y Leyendas), formerly the infamous XXI jail where many prisoners were brutally tortured between 1921 to 1979. A varied display is now featured here, from life size papier-mâché figures of Leonese history and folklore, to colorful murals shocking you with graphic depictions of the Guardia Nacional's torturing methods on their prisoners. Knowledgeable guides will talk you through the tales of the golden crocodile, La Gigantona and the chariot of death, accompanied by an eerie backdrop of papier-mâché figures and dimly lit displays. Information is written in both Spanish and English.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Tours from $41 › Learn more about Museum of Legends and Traditions (Museo de Tradiciones y Leyendas)

11. Ruins of Leon Viejo

Explore early 16th century Ruins of Leon Viejo, a site discovered by Spanish conquistador and founder of Nicaragua, Francisco Hernández de Córdoba. Córdoba found the site in 1524 and met a bloody end just two years later after being decapitated in a military coup by his lieutenant Pedrarias Dávila. The area originally had a native population of 15,000 people before being settled by the Spanish colonists, who turned it into a financial hub thanks to plenty of rich gold merchants in the city. The city migrated 30 km (18 mi) to the west after the nearby Momotambo volcano erupted in 1610. The old city was never actually destroyed, just covered by ash, and the excavation since have revealed the ruins underneath. Bring a camera to capture views of the volcano from the ruins.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Tours from $64 › Learn more about Ruins of Leon Viejo

12. Half-Day Leon City Tour

FROM $135
Leon city is a sight seen tour where you will enjoy of the plantations, way of living  architecture and the art while travelling very comfortable in our modern transportation. For more details please contact us and we will be glad to answer you.
Suggested duration: 3h 30min - 5h 30min
Tours from $135 › More about this tour at viator.com ›

13. Stand-Up Paddleboarding

Suggested duration: 4 hours
Learn more about Stand-Up Paddleboarding

14. Telica Volcano

Hike to the top of the active Telica Volcano, and marvel at bubbling magma within its huge crater. The relatively strenuous route to the top leads to rewarding panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and other nearby volcanoes. Peer into the giant crater to see the red-hot magma deep below. Head up just before sunset, sit and watch the sun go down, and enjoy the glowing magma that becomes even more impressive after dark. Pack a flashlight for your journey back down, or make sure your guide can provide one.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Tours from $77 › Learn more about Telica Volcano

15. Cerro Negro Volcano Sandbording, Nicaragua (Group of 17-25 people)

FROM $2,179
Sandboarding from Cerro Negro offers total adrenaline, sliding on ash from one of Nicaragua's most active volcanoes, a unique experience, only in Nicaragua.
Suggested duration: 12h
Tours from $2,179 › More about this tour at viator.com ›