Why León, Nicaragua is One of My Favorite Cities to Visit
Nicaragua is a really interesting place to visit. I highly recommend planning a trip if you’ve not been there because it’s super-authentic and the people are down to earth but it’s also a very interesting and fun place. There’s a lot to see and do and everywhere you go you’ll meet happy people interested in you and what you’re all about. It’s a small country so it’s easy to get from place to place and since most of the cities are on the western side of the country (the central and eastern side is jungle) everything is really accessible. Whether it’s historic cities you like or picturesque beaches or spending time in pristine natural areas, Nicaragua has it all!
One city in particular really felt like home to me and that was León. I really enjoyed the historical story that surrounds the entire personality and aura of this small city. In fact I loved the entire area surrounding the city of León as well because there was such great history literally everywhere I went. Walking the streets of León just feels good to me. You can hear the people talking and laughing in the central square. It was cool to walk among the college students going to and from class and seeing all the possibility in their faces as they invested in their future. I love the background noise of León, the cathedral bells ringing in the distance, the coffee grinders in the little cafes, tour guides sharing their wisdom with tourists and street vendors trying to get your attention. The vibe of León is friendly and playful, full of life, full of possibility and overtly proud.
Check out the time I called people to Sunday Mass at the cathedral!
Everywhere you turn there are little museums build out of colonial homes. The Rubén Darío house museum was one of my favorites and just up the street I found an amazing little place to stop in and have some coffee. Everything is within walking distance of the city center where the cathedral and churches sit calmly waiting for you to take some photos and explore them. The city of León is a walking city and a person could explore it’s streets and avenues for weeks and have a blast. I did!
When you visit, be sure to take a tour of the Old León (Viejo León) ruins site. It’s a good little drive from the city but it’s incredibly interesting and the view of Momotombo (huge volcano) from what was once the fort that overlooks the lake is awesome! Spend a couple of days just hanging out in the city of León itself, take in the small galleries and restaurants. Don’t rush. Take your time. Nap, walk around, sit in the park, talk with people, explore, take photos, take a guided tour, dance. It’s a beautiful little city that is full of life and has so much to offer anyone who takes time to drop by for a visit.
I hope you consider checking out Nicaragua if you haven’t already and when you do, definitely take some time to get to know León. You’ll be glad you did.