Tour Nicaragua’s former capital of Leon, a colonial city now beloved for its architecture, especially the glorious Roman Catholic cathedral, the largest in Central America.
Depart from the pier and enjoy a picturesque drive inland, well into the volcanic lowlands of northwestern Nicaragua. It’s a dramatic setting for Leon, the country’s second largest city. Founded by Spanish conquistadors on the edge of Lake Managua in 1524, Leon was heavily damaged in an earthquake and later moved to its present site, where it has since thrived.
One of the city’s most striking features is its colonial architecture, which imbues Leon with an Old World ambiance. You’ll experience its charm firsthand by touring the main plaza, a wonderful gathering place of fountains and statues flanked by magnificent, historical buildings. The plaza’s undisputed gem is Leon Cathedral, whose construction began in 1747.
Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the cathedral beautifully illustrates several architectural styles and features thick low towers shaped to withstand earthquakes. As you walk through the interior, you will notice the abundance of natural sunlight and rich ornamentation. The wooden Flemish altarpiece is particularly treasured.
Following your guided walking tour, you will enjoy free time to explore more of Leon on your own. Don’t limit yourself to churches and plazas, of which there are plenty. The museum dedicated to Nicaragua’s revered poet and national hero Ruben Dario is also noteworthy. Afterwards, you’ll rejoin your coach for the drive back to the pier.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 45-minutes of moderate walking, plus any additional walking at the guests’ discretion during free time. There are an optional 60 steps to negotiate if guests wish to visit the roof of the cathedral. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way on and off the coach and have an able-bodied companion to assist them. Those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned only to participate to the extent of their personal stamina and ability and may make arrangements with the guide to not participate in some of the walking portions of the tour. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; a bottle of water from the ship; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. *Daytime temperatures in this destination can be quite high.*