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Explore León, a Nicaraguan colonial city, on this full-day sightseeing trip from Managua. With a knowledgeable local guide, visit the Rubén Darío Museum to learn about Nicaragua's most famous writer and tour the Ortiz Guardian Foundation's art center to further understand Nicaraguan culture and artistry. Stroll through two separate UNESCO World Heritage sites, the Baroque Cathedral of León and León Viejo (León's Old Town). Round-trip transportation from Managua hotels is included. 

Highlights

  • Day trip to the colonial city of Leon from Managua
  • Visit the ruins of Leon Viejo and the Cathedral of Leon, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites, with your bilingual guide
  • Learn about Nicaraguan art at the Art Centre of Ortiz Gurdian Foundation
  • Tour the Rubén Darío Museum and learn about this famous Nicaraguan writer
  • All entrance fees and hotel pickup and drop-off included

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Leon Day Trip from Managua

Leon Day Trip from Managua

Following pickup at your hotel in Managua, board your comfortable coach for the ride north to León. Get to know your guide and tour group while watching the scenic landscape pass by, including Lake Managua, the Maribios volcanic chain and Momotombo volcano.

Upon arrival in León, disembark at the ruins of León Viejo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stroll through the restored buildings and the foundations of some houses dating from the 16th century as your guide fills you in on the history of the city. 

Head into the city of León proper, passing through picturesque colonial streetscapes and among ornate historical churches. At the Baroque/Neoclassical Cathedral of León, one of the largest churches in Central America, admire the architecture and the cathedral's art collection. 

Stop at a local restaurant for an authentic Nicaraguan lunch (own expense).

After lunch, head to the Rubén Darío Museum, located in the home of the famous Nicaraguan writer. See photographs and hand-written manuscripts that help illustrate the life of the poet, whose work has had a lasting influence on Spanish journalism and literature.

Continue to the Art Center of the Ortiz Gurdian Foundation. Located in two restored colonial buildings, this center houses various exhibits of paintings, sculptures and contemporary art by Nicaraguan artists.


At the conclusion of your full-day tour exploring the arts, history and culture of León, return to Managua for drop-off at your hotel. 

Customer Reviews

Josue A

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2016

Leon, along with its sister city and former rival Granada, is one of the most beautiful colonial cities of Nicaragua. As a child, I used to go to Leon often with my dad, who sometimes worked there on the weekends. However, as an adult I had not returned to Leon, in favor of Granada, which is more accessible from Managua. Since I hadn't been to Leon since 1992, I was determined to return to Leon. Overall, Leon is less appealing to the eye than Granada, but in a way that makes the experience in Leon seem a bit more authentic. Most of the colonial houses in Leon still function as houses, instead of retails space. The authenticity of Leon is best appreciated by visiting its cathedral, one of the oldest and biggest in Latin America. Compared to the much newer cathedral in Granada, you can feel the ancient history of the Cathedral of Leon. In all the many times I visited Leon, I had never been inside the cathedral. For the first time, I was able to visit the tomb of the famous Nicaraguan poet Ruben Dario. But the best part of the Cathedral, it's the rooftop, which in itself is a work of art, all in white and with its beautiful domes, that almost feels like you are walking on top of some surreal sculpture. This tour also takes you to an excellent art gallery in Leon, that includes a vast collection of Nicaraguan art, Central and South American art, and even some European pieces. It was a pleasant and unexpected surprise to our visit in Leon. One of my favorite parts of this tour was our visit to Leon Viejo, the ruins of the original city of Leon as it was founded by the Spanish. The city was abandoned due to the constant earthquakes caused by the volcanic eruptions of the nearby Momotombo Volcano. But you can still see the foundations and walks of many of the ancient colonial buildings. As a native Nicaraguan, I had never been to Leon Viejo. And walking down those ancient streets along those ancient buildings, it felt like I was walking through a history book, and discovering something new and beautiful about my own country. This was the first of three tours that we took with our guide Moises Ferreti. He was always professional, knowledgeable, and personable. I highly recommend visiting Leon and this tour.

tina N

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2016

Our tour guide was a local Roberto!! He picked us up and we were the only 2 on the tour. He was amazing. Spoke English and Spanish. Was very experienced, very smart, and catered to anything we wanted to see.

Klaus P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2013

Nice trip to colonial town of Leon with good information by the nice guide

LUIS A USA

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2012

Martin, the tour guide, was excellent he did an outstanding job in showing us the city and all of the historical places.

gregory h

3 star rating: Worth doing June 2015

Not much too see. Cathedral was under reconstruction. It is a nice University town and saw a great art collection that was in town. My guide worked in a side trip to the beach which made the day. Henry is great. When they loose this guy they might as well give up on tours.

Nancy W USA

3 star rating: Worth doing March 2013

Bustling city, slightly different than Granada. It was interesting to visit but relatively long drive to get there for not too much time actually pent there.

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