Just an hour and half northwest of Managua lies León — a charming colonial city known for its hot temperatures (que calor!), its abundant churches and its beautiful beaches (que bellas las playas).
I had the opportunity to brave the heat to explore León last weekend. Prior to Managua being founded as the capital city of Nicaragua, León and the city of Granada vied for this recognition.
León turned out to be as hot and beautiful as I was told.
The express bus from León puts you in the terminal, a bustling market full of fruits, vegetables, and kiosks selling local dishes. From here, a short taxi ride gets you to the center of town in less than 10 minutes.
The center of León is where you’ll find the Cathedral, one of the oldest of its kind in Central America. It´s also where you’ll find a very friendly young man, who will try to convince you to buy a hammock. If you tell him you don’t need a hammock, he´ll tell you to buy one for all your friends and family.
After trying, to no avail, to catch a bus to the beach, I decided to spend my first day exploring downtown León. You can’t walk far from the center of town without running into one of León´s many churches. They’re beautiful and worth exploring for the history and architecture as well as the respite from the heat.