The main reason Chris and I wanted to go to León was to go volcano boarding. Other than that, we didn’t’ have much plans and expectations. We knew León was a pretty big city with a very popular cathedral, but we didn’t expect to actually fall in love with the city like that!
León is a university city with batidos (smoothies) restaurants at every corner and the cheapest comedors I’ve been to. It has a pretty young crowd and a lot of food to try. But that’s not it: the city center itself is beautiful, with tons of churches and colonial buildings. Plus, the volcanos in the background make the picture even prettier!
On our first day in León, we explore the city by foot, getting lost in this beautiful town. But don’t worry, we had a map on us, so it wasn’t too hard to find our way back. We found a place to grab lunch that only cost us $5 for two people… And some good home cooked meal, not some fried stuff either! Try to beat that 🙂
On our first day, I had planned to watch the sunset from the top of the cathedral! Didn’t that sound like a great plan? Except that they don’t let anybody on the roof past 4:00 PM, which totally ruined my plan… But it was fine! Instead, we walked around and found more churches to take a quick look at, and we would come back during the day to visit the roof of the León Cathedral.
And we did, right after our tour of the Flor de Cana factory! For only a few dollars per person, you’ll have access to the roof. If you’re a claustrophobic, you probably won’t enjoy the stairs going up, but don’t worry! You don’t have to go up for a very long time.
Once you’re on the roof, you have to remove your shoes to preserve the white paint. After all, you wouldn’t want sandal marks everywhere in your pictures, would you? So pop those shoes out (and take off your socks if you have them, because it’s pretty dusty up there) and start exploring! There are also two other rules: don’t ring the bells and don’t walk on the domes. Pretty simple, eh?
The view of the city and the volcano is stunning from up there. You might even get lucky and see a volcano eruption, but we didn’t. I guess we didn’t stay on the roof that long either. It was getting too hot (yes, a white roof gets pretty hot too!), so we took our pictures, enjoyed the view before going to get our daily smoothie and jumped in our hotel pool.
I find it a bit hard to explain in words how awesome León was, but you should trust me! It’s a great city to visit while you’re traveling through Nicaragua and you should definitely not miss it! The beach is also only 30 minutes from the city center, so you can combine both! We didn’t, since we’re based in San Juan Del Sur and there are plenty of beaches, but nothing is stopping you 🙂