Leon is a strange beast. During the first visit it felt deserted, abandoned, an open air museum as boring as San Miguel de Allende in Mexico. But then, during the second visit, the students flooded the streets and filled the city with life. Let’s have a look at the city with two faces.
Being a student town automatically put Leon in the spotlights during the protests and the violent crackdown that followed in 2018. The colonial town has seen stormy times before though, which gives it a rich history and a great place to leisurely explore.
Good to know
- Leon is a good base for exploring other tourist attractions in the area. Las Penitas beach is a little paradise on this earth, and a nice leisurely daytrip. Lots of tourists do a sandboarding tour on nearby Cerro Negro volcano
- Safety: Leon is very safe. As it is also a major tourist destination, attitudes towards foreigners are usually very relaxed and open-minded
- Getting there and around: connections to Managua and other cities are almost always by chicken bus, the station is located in the northeast of Leon. To get to Granada, you have to switch buses in Managua. To get to Matagalpa, you need a minivan. Within Leon, everything is within walking distance. International transfers are best done with minivans as well