22 Brilliant Things To Do In Leon (Nicaragua) In 2024

Cazzy Magennis
Written By:
Cazzy Magennis
Last Updated:
February 13, 2024
León is one of the best places to visit in Nicaragua! Here are the best things to do in León and some other helpful information including where to stay!
Leon Nicaragua

León, Nicaragua is one of my favourite places!

It's the second largest city in the country, and is full of personality, charm, and wonderful people.

Whether you're looking to learn about the revolution or visit the largest cathedral in Central America, there's something for everyone!

León is usually either the first or last stop on a backpacking Nicaragua itinerary, due to its location. Whichever way you decide to visit, just make sure you spend plenty of time here! 

If you want to find out more about the great things to do in León (Nicaragua), then keep reading!

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How to get to León

Getting to León is super easy, and there are a variety of ways to get there. The cheapest option is to get the bus.

Bus: So, if you’re coming from the Costa Rica direction, you can catch a bus with Tica Bus, which is one of the most well known bus companies in the region. They offer buses up and down Central America, so it's likely you've already heard of them.

It’s convenient because you can book online!

If you're coming from the Guatemala / El Salvador direction, you can also get the Tica Bus, or a shuttle. The Tica bus stops in León, as does the shuttle.

Flying: Managua airport is the closest airport to León and you can get direct flights there from Costa Rica, El Salvador and Guatemala, (probably Honduras too), but I warn you, they aren’t cheap.

I’m talking around £300, but you can of course check SkyScanner in case the price goes down (or you’re happy to pay that!)

Car: Some people decide to rent a car for their time in Nicaragua. They conditions are decent on the highways and generic roads, so it’s not a bad way to get around!

READ: Complete guide to getting around Nicaragua

Getting around León

Nicaragua doesn't have Uber, or ride sharing apps (actually, there is one in Managua the capital), so that means you’ll be using bikes, legs and taxis to get around León.

Thankfully most of the sights in León are within walking distance, and if you’re heading somewhere outside of León, you’ll most likely be on a tour that will have your transport provided.

They use little bikes with seats...like a rickshaw type of device, and they’re very cheap to use and get around.

(Tip) If you're getting the Tica bus to León, the point where they drop you off is about 10 minutes outside the tourist area, and a rickshaw will cost you around $3 for 2 people.

Taxis will try to rip you off, so negotiate hard.

Read Also: Where To Stay In León
leoon nicaragua

Where to stay in León

León has lots of choice when it comes to hotels and hostels. Below I’ve listed my top 4 hotels in León based on quality and location!

The list also includes where we stayed, which was excellent!

  1. Via Via: We stayed here and it’s probably the most buzzing place in the area. Great rooms, food, drinks and staff and it’s cheap!
  2. Hotel El Convento: A more luxury option and perfect for couples or families. Good location, beautiful rooms, swimming pool and breakfast.
  3. Poco A Poco Hostel: This one is great for backpackers! Great building, great vibe, good place to meet other people and aircon in the dorms.
  4. Hostal Casa Abierta: A gorgeous place, with a swimming pool, patio area, restaurant, and garden. There's also a bar.
You can find a full rundown of the best hotels in León here.
buildings in leon

22 Top Things To Do In León, Nicaragua

Okay, so now for the good part, the top things to do in León, Nicaragua. This is based on the things that Bradley and I did and a few things that friends of ours did, as unfortunately we missed out on a couple of the attractions.

1. Street Art of the Revolution

street art in Leon
Source: Osopolar via Wikipedia

León is home to the revolution that has shaped Nicaragua into what we know it as today, so it’s very significant. You can experience a little of this by checking out the famous street art of the revolution. 

As you wander through the city you'll get to see art depicting the repression of the 1950s and the period of unrest that came after the assassination of the president in 1956! 

This continued until 1979 when the country was finally liberated. 

Marveling at León’s street art is one of the most iconic things to do in the city, and isn't something you want to miss.

2. Take a Free Walking Tour and explore the town

city walking tour leon

A great way to learn about the revolution of Nicaragua and see some of the great sights is to take a free walking tour (also a good option if you're on a tight budget). 

Some tour guides will be multilingual, others won't be so just keep this in mind when you book.

If you don’t speak Spanish, you can also take a walking tour organized by a tour company too! 

We highly recommend joining this private walking tour around León, where you will get a fully customisable experience with your own English-speaking Guide. You’ll also have admissions to the church and other sites included too.

Walking tours provide a good chance to ask all the questions you’ve been wondering about León and Nicaragua in general.

One of the BEST options is the 'Original Free Walking Tour' which attracts tourists from all over the world. The tour leader speaks very good English and is great at showing you León’s hidden gems. 

3. Visit the largest Cathedral in Central America

leon cathederal

The largest cathedral in Central America is located here in León, and is simply stunning with its pure white facade! 

Known as the Cathedral of León, its full name is the Cathedral-Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (which is quite a mouthful to say the least).

You can actually climb to the top and see the surroundings for just $2 - making it easily one of the best things to do in León.

If you want to get some cool pics, you can get them here as it’s not usually busy. 

Inside of the cathedral is also beautiful, so be sure to take extra time to walk through.

After you’ve visited the cathedral, dine at the restaurant in the plaza which offers great food and drinks (and nice cheap wine!)

The Cathedral of León is situated in the heart of the Central Plaza, and is a wonderful reference point to use when exploring the rest of the city.

Opening hours of the cathedral are from 8:00am until 12:00pm, as well as from 2:30pm until 5:00pm. It’s also open every day of the week too, which is convenient for those awesome plaza views on top.

leon cathederal roof

4. Telica Sunset Volcano Hike

Telica Volcano

Another day, another volcano! Nicaragua has lots of wonderful volcanoes, and this is another popular choice.

Telica Volcano is by far one of the best, and visiting this stratovolcano when in Nicaragua is a must.

You can do this sunset hike in one day, where you leave at 3:00pm and return at 8:00pm, or you can camp overnight. I think camping is more exciting!

It's a steep 1 hour climb to the top, and then you'll stop for lunch before checking for lava (it’s only visible if it’s clear). At a height of 1,000m (3,481 feet) - it's quite the challenge though!

Then you will be greeted with a stunning sunset followed by a jet black sky with thousands of twinkling stars!

After some dinner and marshmallow roasting, it's time to sleep.

You will wake up at around 5:00am to catch the sunrise and again it's a memorable experience, unlike anything you will have seen before with the various volcanoes peaking up in front of you.

You'll probably smell a lot of sulfur too (which smells like eggs), since it’s active.

It’s also important to do this hike with a guide, since it's a pretty active volcano. They monitor it and will know if it’s going to start spurting rocks out or not (oh yeah, she does that instead of lava!)

Just a quick note-- this hike can be done in combination with the sand boarding at Cerro Negro, where you’ll be camping!

If you're looking to add this experience to your itinerary then take a look at this fantastic Telica Sunset Tour! It includes your entrance fees, transport to and from the volcano, as well as your own knowledgeable guide.

5. Dine at El Mirador

I’ve included this below too in the party section, but it deserves its own place on this list of things to do in León. 

The El Mirador Restaurant & Bar offers a viewpoint and is a great spot to come and eat during sunset. 

The food is also cheap and delicious, where I had a burger and a sharing platter. The cocktail, wine and beer are all budget-friendly too and great! 

They play loud music and it’s always busy (which is a good sign!). It’s open later than usual too, which is rare for some restaurants in the area. 

It’s a great place to go with friends for a few drinks, or with your partner for a sunset dinner and to play some cards.  

The El Mirador Restaurant and Bar is located just a block north of the Cathedral of León, and is open from 12:00pm until 12:00am all days of the week (as well as until 2:00am on Friday and Saturday).

6. Head to the Beach

cerro negro volcano

If you fancy escaping the streets of León, then you can easily head to the coast in just 30 minutes.

There are various spots up and down the Nicaraguan Pacific that have lots of great restaurants, places to relax, and places to surf if you wish!

Lots of tour companies offer day trips and shuttles to and from the beach, but the chicken buses are also decent (safe too - at least for me) and a cheap way to get around.

The closest beaches to the city include Las Peñitas and Poneloya; both of them are beautiful and offer the perfect opportunity for some down time.

It’s easy to head here in the morning and chill by the sea, dine at the restaurants and have a few cocktails.

There is a variety of great accommodation down there too if you decide you want to spend the night.

If you prefer having everything organized for you, then consider heading on this full-day tour from León. Here you’ll visit Las Peñitas and also have plenty of time to kayak around the surrounding mangrove forests.

7. Party, Party, Party!

Beer pong

León isn't party central, but there are a lot of great bars to have a few too many drinks, and do a little dance.

  • Via Via is the place to be on a Friday as they play live music and serve cheap drinks and good food (I can vouch for great wine)
  • El Mirador: This is one of the best places to eat in León too btw. Great food at great prices and it’s filled with uni students just wanting to have a good time!
  • Bigfoot Hostel: If you’ve been speaking to any backpackers who have been to León before, then you’ll probably have heard of this hostel. Its reputation is well-known. They do lots of party drinking games like beer pong, and some form of lava shot challenge (good luck!). It's a good place to meet other backpackers too (unfortunately not my scene anymore!).

After a few hours of getting loaded up on beers and tequila, you can then head to Mijunas Bar which is one of the best in town, which is open every day from 12:00pm until 2:00am.

8. Visit the Contemporary Art Museum

León is a city famed for its poets and artists, so it makes perfect sense to visit the Museum of Contemporary Art (or the Museo de Arte Fundación Ortiz-Gurdián as it's known locally).

Plus, it’s a way to hide from the searing heat (León is the second hottest city in Nicaragua), and it’s only $2 so won’t break the bank.

This museum houses artwork from a variety of eras including Baroque, Contemporary and the Renaissance so there's a lot to see.

There are four houses in total here, and each one was built between the 18th and 19th century. Today however, they're used to house the museum's impressive collection.

If you've only got a limited amount of time in León then I'd still recommend popping in here!

The Museum of Contemporary Art is located just two blocks west of the Parque Central, and is open from 10:00am until 6:00pm, Tuesday through to Sunday.

9. Take a Nicaraguan Cooking Class

Nicaraguan Cuisine

Nicaraguan cuisine is very BBQ, rice and bean based, but it’s got lots of flavor. And why not learn a new skill and new cuisine whilst in León?

You can then cook for your family and friends back home and recreate your favorite dishes when you’re missing Nicaragua (which you will!)

There are plenty of cooking classes to choose from in the city so just make sure you shop around and look for the best deal.

You'll find that many tour operators in León also offer this experience, although they may charge more than a local business. One of the very best cooking classes is provided by Vamos Travel.

Either way, this is one of the top things to do in León and isn't an activity you should miss!

Feeling lazy and would rather focus more on the eating part rather than cooking? Then this street food tour will be perfect for you, where you will try all kinds of Nicaraguan delights!

10. Visit The Museum of the Revolution

After you’ve checked out the murals and street art of the Revolution, you can find out more from the locals who experienced this turbulent time.

It’s $2 to enter the Museum of the Revolution so won't break the bank and you'll be given lots of fascinating information.

This museum will take you on a journey of the revolution's most important figures, and you'll get to learn about how the people fought for their country.

With books, memorabilia, and photographs, you'll get to see a firsthand account of the revolution and how it affected the local people.

This is one of the most important things to do in León!  

The Museum of the Revolution is located right on the Parque Central (on the west wing), and is open from 9:00am until 5:00pm, Monday through to Saturday.

11. Volcano Boarding down Cerro Negro

voolcano boarding in leon
At the bottom! Look at the ash!

Seriously the BEST thing to do in León, Nicaragua. How many people can say they have “surfed” down a volcano!? No, not many, and you can be one of them. Here is all you need to know:

  • Book through a tour agency, we used Nica Time as they were cheapest at $21 (plus park entrance fee) and it included video footage and photos of us boarding, and a drink at a bar afterwards! Plus the tour guide is amazing and informative.
  • You head to the park in the morning, and you begin to climb. It takes about 1 hour because the Cerro Negro Volcano is REALLY steep.
  • You have to carry your own board up, and this is harder than it sounds (especially with the strong winds at the top).
  • You can get help carrying your board by a local guy for about $4. I ended up paying this half way up because I am not ashamed to say I was struggling in the heat and with my blood sugar!
  • Most tours simply ascend and descend, but our tour guide did something extra and took us into the crater which was awesome because we got to see the steam coming out, feel how hot it was and learn more about the volcano!
  • Cerro Negro is an active volcano and it’s the second youngest volcano in the world.
  • It’s EXTREMELY windy once you reach the top, so be careful!
  • It’s safe, and it looks much worse (steep wise) than it is.
  • You change into the right clothes, you get gloves, goggles and you should bring an extra t-shirt or headscarf to cover your face as ash hits up.
  • You can control the speed, and stop it mid-way (don’t panic).
  • You dig your feet into the ground and lean forward to go slow, and lean back to go fast. If you want to hit 70 mph, then put your feet up, but do NOT put them back down.
  • It’s so much fun and when you’re doing it, you’ll be thinking to yourself “Am I actually sliding down an active volcano?” yes you are.
  • Don’t forget to pose for your action photo!
  • You can wear a GoPro (or different action camera) too for even more fun.
  • There are only 2 places in the world you can volcano board: Nicaragua and Chile!

So, definitely do volcano boarding! It’s one of the best things to do in León and you’d be silly not too.

PS, you will be finding volcano ash in your hair, body, clothes, everything for days, no matter how much you wash! Haha

You can book a volcano boarding tour online here, which includes all transportation, board rental as well as English-speaking guide to teach you how to ride (really important this part).

Another option is to go with BigFoot Hostel, who are one of the most renowned providers of this tour. Definitely the best option for the party animals out there, since you will then have an all-inclusive bar within your bus on the ride back to León!

You can book a volcano boarding tour online here.
entrance to the volcano nationl park

12. Climb the highest Volcano in Nicaragua

volcano trekking leon

Okay, last volcano thing, but I can’t help it, Nicaragua has a lot of volcanoes!

León is home to the highest volcano in the country - San Cristóbal

Coming in at a height of 1,745 m (5,725 ft), it’s a steep climb and one you should probably have a basic fitness level for.

It takes about 4 hours to hike up and you’ll be greeted with stunning views. It’s also an active volcano, so expect smelly sulfur again!

You can check out the full hiking trail up San Cristóbal here.

We didn’t hike this volcano, because well, I had no desire to and I’ve pretty much completed my volcano bucket list: climbing volcano for sunrise, seeing a crater lake, climbing volcano for volcano boarding, seeing magma. I’m all good!

It’s about $60 for the tour, and you’ll find several tour operators throughout León who offer the experience.

The San Cristóbal Volcano is located some 57 km north of León, which takes around an hour and a half to get to.

13. Explore the Local Markets

Mercado Central in Leon

Although there are endless things to do in León, sometimes it's a good idea to just take a step back and simply wander around.

You can do this by exploring the local markets as there are plenty of them!

However, the most popular market to visit is Mercado Central which has been recently renovated. You'll find it just across the street from the cathedral so it's easy to spot.

This market is the perfect place to grab fresh produce including fruit and vegetables, although you'll find plenty of other tasty treats too.

During your time exploring the market I'd recommend grabbing a coconut water to cool down, and then head to the sweet vendors. Trust me - you won't regret it!

The Mercado Central is located a block east of the Parque Principal, and is open from 6:00am until 6:00pm all days of the week.

14. Head to the Flor De Cana Rum Factory

rum barrels

If you've got some spare time in León and you're a fan of rum, then I've got the perfect activity for you!

The Flor de Caña Rum Factory is located just before the city of Chinandega, and tours run straight from León.

Nicaragua as a whole is known for its rum, but this factory offers something special.

The rum here is sustainably produced and is distilled using 100% renewable energy. So not only will you be drinking delicious rum, but you won't be harming the planet either - what a combination! 

You can head here independently, or with this all-inclusive tour which includes all transport, your own private guide as well as a bonus visit to the Chorotega-Nicarao Museum.

This is one of the more unique things to do in Nicaragua so I'd definitely recommend including it in your itinerary (and grabbing a few bottles too which make for great souvenirs).

The Flor de Caña Museum is located in the town of Chichigalpa, which is around 31 km north of León (takes roughly 45 minutes by driving).

It’s open just on Saturday and Sunday, from 9:00am until 2:00pm.

15. Learn how to Salsa

dance lesson

If you're a keen dancer or just looking for a bit of fun, then I recommend learning how to salsa!

Although it can be difficult to learn, you'll find plenty of classes and dance schools throughout the city.

One of the BEST options is Leoncitos De La Salsa as they offer private salsa classes where you'll be taught the skills needed to enjoy a good salsa dance.

The teachers are all authorized and offer an enjoyable teaching environment where you can truly let loose! 

You can pre-book your lesson here, where you’ll have a private class learning the ropes of Cuban salsa. You’ll also have hotel pick-up and drop-off too which is extra convenient!

Whether you're a complete beginner or you have experience salsa dancing, this dance school offers lessons for every level.

If you’re already in León then you can pop in for a chat too. They are located on 4ra Calle SO, which is just three blocks south of the Parque Central. 

16. Explore Somoto Canyon

Somoto Canyon Nicaragua

One of the lesser heard trips that you can take from León, Somoto Canyon is a breathtaking natural park full of rivers and narrow cliffs. 

Here you can either go swimming or kayaking along these gentle rapids, as well as go hiking deeper into the region. 

We personally think that it’s a great way to change things up when in León, and once here you can really relax from all of that city exploring and volcano hiking! 

It’s definitely possible to visit Somoto Canyon independently, however you’ll need to take buses which can take around 5 hours. 

We instead suggest joining this day tour to Somoto Canyon, where you’ll get plenty of time to enjoy all of these scenic rivers and gorges. As well as private transport to and from León, you’ll also have all safety equipment, lunch as well as your entrance ticket included. 

Somoto Canyon is located roughly 210 km north of León, close to the border with Honduras (it's around a 4 hour drive). 

The national park is open for visitors from 7:00am until 5:00pm all days of the week.

17. Head on a Private Street Food Tour

local market in Leon

Nicaraguan food is by far one of the most underrated cuisines that you can try in Central America. 

Gallo Pinto remains the country’s National dish (despite neighboring Costa Rica also being famous for it), which is a must for those who like a hearty breakfast. 

Other dishes that are popular with locals include Tajadas, Quesillo and Nacatamales. 

You can find many of these foods throughout León in various markets and local restaurants. However the ultimate way (as well as the most memorable) will be heading with a private street food tour. 

On this awesome tour your private guide will show you a novel Nicaraguan market as well as typical ingredients that are used daily, where you’ll then try as many as 12 popular dishes from this country and region. 

As a bonus you’ll also get to sample various fruits and drinks that are native to this Central American region. You’ll definitely want an empty belly before joining this tour, so be sure to eat a light breakfast!

18. Visit León Viejo Ruins

León Viejo Ruins
Source: Helmut Haefner via Wikipedia

León as a city is full of incredible sights and attractions, with all kinds of cathedrals and museums to explore. 

However little is known about León Viejo, which was once the beating heart of Nicaragua (and also the former capital too). 

Unfortunately much of the area was destroyed by a violent eruption from the Momotombo Volcano in 1578, followed by several earthquakes. The new León was then built further away from this site, which is now one of Nicaragua’s most important cities. 

This archaeological complex has been well-preserved despite the challenging environment, and here we can see buildings such as the Convent of La Merced, Casa de la Fundición as well as the Cathedral of Santa María de la Gracia

We highly recommend heading with this private, guided tour, which includes hotel pick-up and drop-off, as well as your own professional guide to teach you all about this fascinating site. 

The ruins of León Viejo are located around a 1 hour drive east of León in the town of Puerto Momotombo. They are open from 8:00am until 5:00pm, Tuesday through to Sunday.

19. Go Horseback Riding

As we’ve already seen, León has a diverse mix of things to see in both the city and within the region. 

In terms of the day trips though, you’ll find that most are about a single activity rather than discovering new scenery (such as volcano-boarding). 

Horseback riding on the other hand gives us a chance to really explore the outer region of León, taking in vistas that many other travelers don’t get to see. 

You’ll find plenty of operators to book with throughout the city, however for ease we suggest pre-booking your spot on this horseback riding adventure tour

Here you’ll spend the day riding past local farms, whilst getting to see Nicaraguan culture on a much more intimate level with your experienced tour guide. At the end you’ll make a stop-off at the Laguna del Tigre, which is a crater lake filled with warm water (and is perfect for a relaxing swim). 

Be sure to wear comfortable clothing before going horseback riding, and also to drink plenty of water given it can get really hot out here.

Day trips from León

20. Head to Chinandega


Whilst Chinandega is not the most popular of destinations in Nicaragua, it's definitely worth the visit.

During your time in Chinandega you should visit the Chorotega-Nicarao Museum, Parroquia Santa Ana, and Plaza Santa Ana.

The best way to travel between the two cities is by bus as it's incredibly cheap. You can opt for a private transfer or taxi but you'll be paying a lot more.

Or, if you're heading out on a tour of Flor de Caña Rum Factory (which is in nearby Chichigalpa), then you’ll also make a stop here to see the city and visit the main museum.

It’s actually more ideal to do it this way since your transport there and back from León will be included.

Chinandega is just a 50-minute drive from León, and you’ll find public buses heading here throughout the day.

21. Explore the Capital of Managua

Managua Cathedral

Managua is the capital of Nicaragua and has so much to offer!

This city is quite close to León, so you can easily visit on a day trip if your itinerary is already jam-packed.

Managua is one of the largest cities in Central America so naturally, you'll find plenty of fantastic places to visit here.

This includes the scenic waterfront, Managua Cathedral, and Revolution Square.

The city is located on the beautiful Lake Managua so you'll want to allow some time to simply relax and enjoy the impressive views.

Here's some more information on the best things to do in Managua if you're planning a trip there!

Managua is just a 1.5 hour drive from León, and you’ll find plenty of buses leaving throughout the day here (making it both a solid and easy day trip to do).

22. Visit the Colonial City of Granada

colonial buildings in Granada

When you think of Nicaragua, you often think of Granada and its beautiful colonial buildings, bright colors and volcanoes!

I'd 100% recommend taking a day trip out to Granada from León if you don't think that you're going to have time to stay there.

For the best experience you'll want to leave early in the morning as it takes 2.5 hours to get there.

Once you've arrived you can explore the town, grab some lunch, and enjoy cocktails that cost 70 pence each (I’m not joking!).

You'll find plenty of awesome things to do in Granada like taking a walking tour, exploring Parque Central de Granada, and visiting Granada Cathedral.

Then in the evening you can head up to the Masaya volcano and see REAL LIFE LAVA, to end this epic day!

We suggest pre-booking your volcano tour, so you can spend the day enjoying the city highlights before heading up to the crater. On this tour you’ll have a private guide as well as round-trip transportation provided.

Tour agencies in León offer many day trips to Granada, but you'll need to negotiate a good price.

Granada is located roughly 134 km south-east of León, with the drive taking approximately 2.5 hours.

Read Also: How To Plan The Perfect Trip

León Travel Tips/FAQ

When is the best time to visit León, Nicaragua?

December is a popular month in Nicaragua, but Bradley and I visited during the month of March and I feel it was perfect.

You often find a lot of backpackers and travellers visit during the months of January to April.

The weather was super super hot, but everything was open and beautiful!

How long should you stay in León?

We stayed in León, Nicaragua for 2 nights, but we could have easily stayed longer if we were going to explore nearby beaches etc.

I would recommend around 3-4 nights, but I know travelers who have spent a week or more here!

But if it’s just to complete the list of brilliant things to do in León, then 3 nights is perfecto.

What is a good budget for León?

Like many other cities in Nicaragua, León is extremely cheap. You'll find plenty of fantastic hostels in the city and lots of cheap food options too.

You won't have to break the bank when visiting attractions or heading out on tours either.

For the best experience, you'll want to allow yourself a budget of at least $30-40 a day. This allows you enough for a cheap dorm bed, food, and activities.

Can you just book a tour for León?

You'll find plenty of fantastic tours in León if you'd prefer to have a guided experience.

One of the best options is this private walking tour which will dive into the city's culture and history. You'll have an awesome guide with you at all times and they'll take you to some of the best spots in León! 

You'll also find plenty of tour operators in León who will offer excursions to popular destinations outside of the city.

Is Nicaragua safe?

Yes. We are all aware of the political protests and political situation that has been going on in Nicaragua since 2018. However, these protests (even when they were happening), did not affect tourists.

So it’s kind of like me saying, don’t go to England because of protests against Brexit. However, the government in Britain don’t kill people for protesting, so yano.

But, the protests are not happening (as they have been declared illegal) and Nicaragua continues to be the safest country in Central America.

The people are super friendly, you can use buses, hang around at night and not feel unsafe.

Don’t get involved in protests, handle drugs, flash your expensive items, or walk around alone at night (or drunk) and you will be fine!

We didn’t have a single issue in Nicaragua, and it’s a fantastic country that holds a special place in my heart. It’s truly one of the most beautiful countries I have ever visited, and if you decide not to go, then you are seriously missing out!

Useful video: Check out our backpacking Central America travel video
main plaza leon

My León, Nicaragua packing list

To help ensure you’re fully prepared for your trip to León, I’ve provided a little packing list!

  • Shorts: It gets super warm in León, like super warm, so you will want to stay cool.
  • Suncream: Again the sun is powerful, so stay protected!
  • Bug Spray: Bugs come out at night (mosquitoes I am looking at you) and they bite….they bite you even more if you have pale Irish skin like me…
  • Lonely Planet Guide to Nicaragua: In case you want more tips and information for the rest of your trip.
  • Decent shoes: You will be walking on cobbled streets and you don’t want to fall. I wear sketchers go walk shoes on all my travels.
  • A tripod: for when you want solo pics and couples pics
  • A good camera: I use a Canon G7X Mark II if you’re interested. It’s a decent point and shoot (if you don’t want to carry lots of lenses with you) and it’s a great vlogging and video recording camera.
  • Go Pro: For volcano boarding of course, also useful for surfing in León too! 
  • Memory cards: Always carry more than you need! 
volcano boarding in leon

Where to after León?  

If León is your first stop: Then you can either head to Granada or San Juan Del Sur. We visited San Juan Del Sur and worked our way backwards as a loop in the country, because we were going back to El Salvador.

But if you’re planning on heading through to Costa Rica, then head to Granada first and work your way around from there.

You can add the Corn islands in half way through!

If León is your last stop: If León is your final stop on your Nicaragua itinerary, then you can head into El Salvador.

El Salvador is often skipped due to “danger”, but it’s just as safe as Nicaragua and there are so many amazing things to do in El Salvador.

But, if not, you can also get transport into Guatemala easy!

So there you have it, I hope you’ve enjoyed my list of the things to do in León. It kind of turned into a bit of a León travel guide, but sure, the more information the better!

If you think there is anything I should add to the list, or you want to tell me about your experience in beautiful León, then drop me a comment below :)

Happy travelling!

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