View from the cathedral to El Calvario church in Leon, Nicaragua


León has been the intellectual center of the country since the first University of Nicaragua was opened there in 1813. These days León has several universities and has the hallmarks of a university town: a young and relaxed feeling, a steady tourist flow, and a general interest in cultural activities.

León has a great number of quality restaurants (local fare as well as international), hotels, guesthouses, bed & breakfasts, hostels, bars, and coffee shops (one of the properties offered for sale was home to the very popular Café La Rosita). It has several museums (for art, politics, and history), a municipal theater, movie theaters, large grocery stores, and a busy central market.

Many national and international NGO’s have offices in León, contributing to the town’s international feel. The location is ideal, with beaches close by, and the 'big city' of Managua with its international airport only an hour and half drive away. Visiting other Central American countries from this starting point is certainly easy enough. The borders of Honduras and Costa Rica are only one and two hours’ drive away, respectively.

The town is also rich in colonial architecture with over a dozen colonial churches and an impressive cathedral (the largest and one of the first to be built in Central America), which was just recently named by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

For more information about this special city, please view the video presentation below prepared by the Utrecht-León Sister City Foundation and also have a look at our page on Colonial Architecture.


View León in al larger map


» León on wikipedia
» León on wikitravel



General info about life in Nicaragua for ex-pats:
Aurora Real Estate, for León and surrounding area:
Info about Retirement in Nicaragua:
Pan y Paz, Authentic French Bakery in central León:
La Perla, a higher end hotel in the center:
El Nancite Guesthouse, 'Elegance and Tranquility at Affordable Prices':
Hostal Casa Ivana, the most affordable option, only a few steps from everything:
Barca de Oro Hotel and Restaurant at nearby Las Peñitas Beach:
Tour Company ¡Va Pues!: