Leon City Guide
OVERVIEW: The second-most famous colonial city in Nicaragua after Granada. The colonial buildings are slightly less preserved than the aforementioned city, but impressive nonetheless. It is the second-largest city in the country, and many students come to Leon from nearby cities to study.
WEATHER: Hot year round (27-35 °C).
SAFETY: You don't have much to worry about in Leon. Much like Granada, you shouldn't have any trouble here. That doesn't mean you can walk down empty streets at night with a Boateng suit and an Omega watch and not expect trouble, but a very basic level of caution should be exercised.
MUST DO: Smoke a cigar. Nicaragua is the home of Padron, one of the world's finest cigar companies. I suggest you buy a Rubusto, along with a bottle of Flor de Cana. Find somewhere quiet and spark up.
RENT AN APARTMENT IN LEON: $200 to rent an apartment in the city centre of Leon.
HOSTEL DORM BED/NIGHT $7.00
NIGHTLIFE IN LEON: 6.5/10
As a university city, Leon has a varied nightlife. Check out its Zona Rosa. The good thing about Leon is that you have options every night of the week and, like Granada, it's all pretty central.
BOTTLE OF BEER: $1.00
CHANCE OF HOOKING-UP IN LEON: 7/10
Whether you fancy Euro gals or locals doesn't matter - you should be able to break ground with both. As I said above Via Via if you're focusing on tourists, Antorchas Bar y Bocas if you want a bit of local flavour. If you speak Spanish, you will be more respected by, and attractive to, the local sweeties.
***ONLINE DATING: Latin American Cupid allows you to talk with girls and set up dates before you arrive in the country. For this reason, I recommend it.
ARE GIRLS HOT IN LEON?: 6.25/10.
Women in Leon have a slight edge on Granada girls which I'll attribute to the larger student population. Still, if you're comparing it to Mexico or even Costa Rica it leaves something to be desired. I will say that the women here in Leon have excellent personalities: friendly, proud, and passionate are words that come to mind.
If you want to meet women in Nicaragua, you will need to speak some Spanish. The Pickup Spanish Program is the only course of its kind, designed specifically to teach you Spanish for meeting Latinas in Latin America.
GROCERIES: Milk (1L)= $1.30 Loaf of Bread= $1.25 Eggs= $2.40 Water (1.5L)= $1.00 Cigarettes= $1.25
JOB OPPORTUNITIES: Same as Granada. Either you're volunteering, or you're working in a hostel or shop catering to tourists.
NOTES: Leon vs. Granada. A colonial city rivalry that has raged on for centuries. Who won? Leon. But not by much. I'd give Leon the edge due to slightly better nightlife and slightly more attractive women. However, I think Granada is a nicer looking city overall.
OVERALL RATING: 6.5/10
*More city guides from Nicaragua here!