Behold the artistry of northwestern Nicaragua, which is beautifully expressed through the colonial architecture of Leon and the pre-Columbian ceramics in the Chorotega Museum.
Depart from the pier and enjoy a picturesque drive 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. You’ll experience its charm firsthand by touring the main plaza and the magnificent 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.
Then, following free time to explore more of Leon on your own, you will rejoin your coach and drive to Chorotega Museum in Chinandega, which lies in the shadow of San Cristobal volcano. The museum’s collection of more than 1,000 pieces is primarily pre-Columbian ceramics. There are also other beautifully crafted stone and metal artifacts. However, it’s the pottery that reveals the culture of early Nicaragua, as it’s decorated with intricately painted mythical figures, animals and people in the traditional clothing of the time. Following your tour of the museum, you will transfer directly back to the pier.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 2-hours 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.*