Ruins of Leon Viejo, Leon

#6 of 27 in Historic Sites in Nicaragua
World heritage site · Ruin · Hidden Gem · Historic Site
Explore early 16th century Ruins of Leon Viejo, a site discovered by Spanish conquistador and founder of Nicaragua, Francisco Hernández de Córdoba. Córdoba found the site in 1524 and met a bloody end just two years later after being decapitated in a military coup by his lieutenant Pedrarias Dávila. The area originally had a native population of 15,000 people before being settled by the Spanish colonists, who turned it into a financial hub thanks to plenty of rich gold merchants in the city. The city migrated 30 km (18 mi) to the west after the nearby Momotambo volcano erupted in 1610. The old city was never actually destroyed, just covered by ash, and the excavation since have revealed the ruins underneath. Bring a camera to capture views of the volcano from the ruins. Make Ruins of Leon Viejo a centerpiece of your Leon vacation itinerary, and find what else is worth visiting using our Leon trip itinerary maker site.
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Ruins of Leon Viejo reviews

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  • People who know little about history and think that all ruins must be spectacular like Pompeii or the great Mayan cities should not come to Leon Viejo. Although it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site it.....  more »
  • Great lookout and little trip outside the city. Recommend bringing sun lotion and loads of water. It's hot out there.  more »
  • Very good! Great views of volcano and the lake. Good food at restaurant near the entrance to the ruins. A lot to see.
  • Interesting if you want to learn more about León and León Viejo. About one hour private guided tour by a local that knows a lot about the history of León. Most of the tour is outside.

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