Léon is one of the most popular, maybe even the most popular backpacking cities in Nicaragua. There is so much to explore in Léon. If you are an adrenaline junkie you can go sand boarding on volcanoes. If you are more into sight seeing, you can wander through the beautiful streets around the largest cathedral of Central America. And if you are more into saving wildlife, you must visit the turtle hatchery at the Surfing Turtle Lodge. Let’s add these must do’s in Léon, Nicaragua on your bucket list!
VISIT THE BEAUTIFUL CITY CENTRE OF LÉON
Léon is located on the northwest of Nicaragua close to Honduras. It is a small but beautiful town with lots of historical buildings. Léon is also the home of the largest cathedral in Central America, with its beautiful name: Cathedral-Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. There are so many churches that it can take you all day to visit them all.
You can take free tours around the town or just explore it for yourself. In the city you will find lots of beautiful street art. The main subject of these graffiti paintings are local heroes and historical stories of Léon. There are also a lot of markets with delicious food, fresh fruits and vegetables. So let’s take a stroll through the beautiful city.
FEEL THE ADRENALINE DURING VOLCANO BOARDING
If you ever came across activities in Léon and even in Nicaragua that is a must do, then you probably heard of volcano boarding. The name says it all: You are going to board down a volcano. The Cerro Negro volcano is located one hour away from Léon. Ijn Léon you can book a trip, which will take you to the volcano boarding activity. Once arrived at the Cerro Negro, you will start hiking up the volcano with a board behind your back. This climb is an easy one, but if you want you can pay someone to bring your board to the top of the volcano. Once at the top of the volcano, you can board down.
Big tip: Bring something to protect your nose and mouth, because your face will get covered in dust. This activity will give you such an adrenaline rush! It is definitely a must-do in the area of Léon.
HIKING IS ONE OF THE MUST DO'S IN LÉON, NICARAGUA
There are a lot of volcanos in the area of Léon where you can take hikes from 1-2 hours up to 10-11 hours. The most popular volcanoes are:
- Cerro Negro as mentioned above where you can also only do a hike of about 2 hours and don’t board down.
- Telica, where you can do a 8 hour hike
- Momotombo will take you about 9 hours.
- San Cristobal which is the longest and most challenging one of 11 hours
SLEEP ON A SMALL REMOTE ISLAND
Ever dreamed of living on a small island? Waking up everyday with the sound of the ocean in your ears? And jumping right in the ocean for a morning surf? Surfing Turtle Lodge is your dream destination! Located 20 minutes from Léon, visiting this lovely lodge is one of the must do’s in the area of Léon. This beachfront hostel can only be reached by a short boat ride, followed by a horse cart ride to the island.
Surfing Turtle Lodge is powered by solar panels and the grow their own food. You can bring your tent and sleep in the garden, sleep in a dorm or sleep in one of the beach front cabins. You can do a lot of activities at the lodge, such as surfing, yoga, beach volleyball and horseback riding. Surfing Turtle lodge is named after the turtle hatchery. This hatchery is completely sustained by the lodge itself and you, the guest. You can even help them release some of the baby sea turtles if you are lucky enough to come around in the period of September to February.
OTHER MUST-DO'S IN NICARAGUA
Besides Léon, there are other amazing places to visit in Nicaragua, like Granada or San Juan del Sur. Can’t decide which city you want to visit? Let’s explore them all! Blogs will follow soon.