LEON

Whether you’re looking for some cultural activities, hiking, volcano boarding or surfing, Leon has it all! Spend a few days in and out of town to explore the wonders of this Nicaraguan city. 

STAY... 

 

Tortuga Balooda

I loved my stay at this hostel, it’s small, clean and the people who work there are very helpful and hospitable. The breakfast is luxurious compared to anywhere else as you can choose between pancakes, tipico (eggs, beans and rice) and granola. The cherry on top of the cake is a very small pool to cool off during a very hot Leon day!

Where: Click here for directions

DO... 

Explore Leon's culture

Leon is a beautiful city, walking around is a cultural activity in itself so get lost, take pictures and admire the colourful houses, the markets and the people who live within it. 

The Ortíz Gurdián Foundation Art Center is a beautiful building which boast lots of art prints from famous artists around the world. 

Where: Click here for directions

Go on a free walking tour around the city and you’ll learn all about Nicaraguan’s history and the part Leon had into the social changes of a nation.

Don’t miss going up the Basilica Catedral de la Asuncion and checking the views of the city from the top. We went, just before closing time and witnessed the workers ringing the bell. It was pretty damn loud but pretty damn cool too.

Where: Click here for directions

Volcano Boarding

The main backpacking attraction without contest is Volcano boarding. This activity was supposably started by Big Foot Hostel back in the day. It’s now a popular activity among all ages. It consists of going down a mountain with a wooden board. It looks scary than it is as the board didn’t move very fast.

It’s easy to sign up, you can just do it through your accommodation or directly with Viavia or Bigfoot hostel.  

There are two tours that leave each day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. We went with the morning one as we opted for a hiking package. This included four meals, a hike to El Hoyo & an overnight stay. They include all camping equipment and backpack to carry it all. That’s only day one! On day two you’ll make your way down to the lake and chill for an hour or so before heading back to town for lunch at Viavia (included in the price of the hike).

Cost: from $39

Departs: Pick up from the hostel or Viavia

 

 

Hike up el Hoyo and swim in the lake

Walk up to an active volcano and sleep under the stars whilst eating some marshmallows. The hike to El Hoyo was pleasant and not too hardeous so I would definitely recommend doing it. After we finished our volcano boarding we were driven to the hike starting point. In a few hours, we made our way to base camp, just in time for sunset. The first hour is the most painful but after this, it’s a piece of cake! Make sure to bring plenty of water too. 


The next day you’ll wake up for sunrise and admire the magical spectre of colours on the volcano from the comfort of your own tent. After a much needed breakfast, we made our way down to the lake where we spent an hour chilling out.

 

Cost: from $80

Departs: Pick up from the hostel or Viavia

 

 

Dark history tour

This guided experience might lure you with it’s open rum bar but it’s more than just a booze tour. You’ll be taken around the caves where people were tortured and murdered and you’ll learn about the dark grim history of Nicaragua. The guide is an amazing orator and the story is brutally well told. Definitely something to add to your list if you’re looking for something a bit different to do… 

Cost: $15

Departs:  Viavia hostel

 

 

Spend a day at the beach

Las Penitas is a lovely surfer’s playa only 20 minutes drive away from Leon. It’s the perfect place if you’re looking to unwind, surf and even play some beach volleyball. The hostel Mano a Mano hosts volleyball tournaments weekly. The venue has a lovely restaurant which serves veggie dishes, ice cold beers and homemade Kombucha!

 

How to get there: You can get a taxi from town, a local bus or an organised shuttle with your hostel

 

 

EAT & DRINK... 

 

Coco Calala
This vegan hot spot serves exquisite food and, best of all, has a lovely pool and believe me, taking a splash in Leon’s hot city is a much needed luxury. 

Website

Where: Click here for directions

 


Mañana Mañana Cafe
This hipster cafe is a great stop off if you’re feeling homesick and fancy a good milk coffee and a bagel. It’s also a good address for veggies and vegans too! Their outside courtyard is the perfect place to enjoy a hot drink away from the hustle and bustle of the city. 

Website

Where: Click here for directions

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