The city of Leon, in Northern Nicaragua is a cultural center, university town and the second 'colonial' city in Nicaragua after Granada.

It is home to the largest cathedral in Central America, churches galore, art collections and historic sites.

The bullet holes that can still be seen on buildings throughout the town- from the 1979 revolution - and its many murals and statues bear testimony to its pro-Sandinista history.

Only a 30 minute bus ride from the heat of Leon is the Pacific beach of Las Penitas.

Buy a beachfront home only 30 minutes drive from Leon [Find out more...]






El Bodegon

This new Cuban restaurant downtown is the trendy place to eat in Leon.  Lovely courtyard.  

Location: Parque de Los Poetas 275 Metros Al Norte | (Contiguo a Pizza Antonini) 


El Sesteo

Popular restaurant in front of the cathedral. Good churrasco.

Location: Main Avenue, Main Street. Next to city hall. 




Good vegetarian food, quite a rarity in Nicaragua.

Location: 2nd street south. North side of El Laborio Church. 




Charlie's Bar BBQ (Texas style)

Great BBQ chicken with good home made sauce and generous servings.

Location: By pass. 200 mt north from the Central Bank. 


El Lobito Bar

Great grill restaurant in Subtavia with live music some nights.

Location: 4 blocks west, half block south, 1 and a half blocks west from Laboria Church.



El Mediterraneon

Italian restaurant. pizzas, pasta and pastries. Decent wine list.             

Location: Near Ruben Dario Park. Address: 2½ blocks north from Ruben Dario Park.



Manhattan Bar & Restaurant

Their Facebook page says they ´serve Sushi, Tapas & Kickass Cocktails´ We agree!!

Location: Opposite La Perla Hotel on the corner.


Los Pescaditos

In the Sutiava area, the best  seafood in Leon.

Location: From Sutiava church, one block south and ½ block west.



Great seafood, right on the beach in Las Penitas a 30 minute drive from Leon.




The main luxury hotels in Leon are La Perla and El Convento.

The best budget hotels are La Posada del Doctor and Lazybones.

Contact  info@nicaraguavacationpackages.com  for hotel recommendations and reservatrions.


Leon has a wealth of churches and cathedrals, a roof top tour is a great way to see the city.

If the heat of Leon is getting to you take a bus to Las Penitas .

Volcano boarding tours at nearby  Cerro Negro volcano are easily avail  able in Leon. 

Here are some of the most popular attractions in or close to Leon:



León's most famous building was constructed over a 100 year period from 1747. The largest cathedral in Central America is also home to local poet Rubén Darío's tomb.

Other notable churches and cathedrals in Leon are; Iglesia El Calvario, an 18th century mix of styles and the mustard Iglesia de La Recolección.


This gallery located in two colonial buildings on opposite sides of the street,  boasts an impressive collection. From European masters (Chagall, Picasso) to a stunning assembly of Latin American art, including Pre-Columbian ceramics and contemporary Nicaraguan painting.

Latin American masters - Diego Rivera, Rufino Tamayo, Fernando Botero, Roberto Matta and more - that define the collection. One of the best modern art galleries in all of Central America




Close to the town center is this museum, photo gallery run by mothers of Sandanista veterans.




The small town of La Paz Centro is your gateway to the ruins of Spain’s first settlement in Nicaragua, found in Puerto Momotombo.

This well-developed historical site is an easy and worthy day trip from León. Francisco Hernández de Córdoba- the local currency is named after him- founded the first city of León in 1524.

Dávila had Hernández de Córdoba decapitated in the town square two years later. In 1610, Volcán Momotombo erupted, burying the town under ash. 

León Viejo is now a World Heritage Site.

The site is open seven days a week, with local  tour guides from 8 a.m.–5 p.m.


Catch a bus from León, 8 a.m. or 11 a.m. connection in La Paz Centro; last return bus from the ruins is 3 p.m.