2017-03-30 Leon is less touristy than Granada, has an abundance of beautiful spanish architecture, is close to the beaches, is world famous for sand boarding on Cerro Negro, and is the gateway for exploring the northern west part of the country. Every trip to Nicaragua should include a couple of days in Leon.
Pick a side: León or Granada. Founded in 1524 by Spanish conquistador Francisco Hernández de Córdoba, León and Granada are two of the oldest colonial cities in the Americas. Both are blessed with beautiful architecture. For years, they alternated as Nicaragua’s capital (until Managua snagged that honor as a compromise in 1852) and the two cities retain a fierce rivalry. Granada has considerable wealth, lots of North American expats, and the occasional chain restaurant. León, Nicaragua’s second-largest city, has students, artists, poets, campesinos, and a palpable distaste for multinational companies.
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