Leon is one of the biggest, but also the safest cities in Nicaragua. Apart from being a student city with possibilities for good partying, Leon is also known for its beautiful cathedral Cattedrale di León and for the possibility to slide down the nearby volcano Cerro Negro. In other words, this is a city you shouldn’t miss out on, during your Nicaragua vacation! Here I’ll briefly tell you how to do both, in one day if you want to. These are some of the things to do in Leon.
Cerro Negro is an active volcano with its peak 728 meters above the sea level, located outside Leon. It’s famous for the popular activity of sliding down the side of the volcano on a board one of the best parts of Nicaragua tourism if you ask me.
There are many organizers offering the activity prices ranging from 25-35 dollars. They all offer more or less the same service, “Bigfoot hostel Leon” is one of the more expensive ones. With Bigfoot hostel you get a t-shirt and they also measure what speed you go down the volcano side. I choose one of the cheaper tour operators but have no complaints about it.
How is the volcano boarding tour from Leon?
You’ll be picked up by the agency early in the morning and driven to the summit of the volcano. From there you’ll be walking up to the crater of Cerro Negro carrying a bag with all your grear, as well as the board you’ll be using. The hike up is pretty easy and takes about an hour. The views of the surrounding volcanos is absolutely breathtaking. When you’re at the top you’ll have time to check out the top crater of Cerro Negro. The hot and smoking(!) ground and the beautiful view from the crater is crazy. Then you’ll all line up, but on your gear and head down the side of the volcano one by one. It’s a quick ride down, but definitely worth it. You’ll be back at your hostel in Leon around 1 pm. And if you feel like it, you’ll be able to check out the cathedral in the afternoon.
What to bring to Volcano boading:
- Something to cover your mouth and face with as the vulcanig dust and stones will be flying when you head down the volcano.
- Ask about snacks or food. We got water and fruit provided before we headed back to Leon.
- The rest of the gear will be provided. That includes, protective glasses, gloves, overall and the board.
Cattedrale di León:
This white beautiful cathedral can be found in the city center right at the main square. You can go inside it all day, but the access to the roof only opens at 2 pm. So if you feel like checking out the cathedral after the volcano boarding that’s fully doable. While waiting for the rooftop to open, check out the market located behind the cathedral. Here you’ll be able to get a traditional, affordable Nicaraguan lunch.
I recommend being on the rooftop as it opens so that you have to chance to check it out before it gets too crowdy. The access cost about 3 dollars and gives you permission to walk around on the roof barefoot for 25 minutes. Enjoy the beautiful view of the rooftop and the city!