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“I do not speak spanish”

Ruins of Leon Viejo
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Private Walking Tour of Leon Viejo Ruins
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Leon City Tour from Managua
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Private Corinto Shore Excursion: Rum Factory and Ruins of Leon Viejo with Lunch
Ranked #12 of 46 things to do in Leon
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Owner description: Ruins of one of the oldest Spanish settlement in the New World.
Reviewed March 17, 2014

The fist part of the tour starts with posters of history of the area- only in Spanish. The guide only spoke Spanish so we did not know most of the presentations. Further in the ruins were some English captions. I expected to see more intact ruins. There were the foundations only.

1  Thank David R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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61 - 65 of 147 reviews

Reviewed February 20, 2014

I was guided by a young man who spoke pretty good English. It was approximately a one hour tour. We walked and stopped at various spots, most with just a bit of ruins showing as outlines but this place is an archeology dig in progress so as time passes and money arrives, it should continue to grow. They actually have names and dates of occupants and their titles. They show you the ruins of the fort, gold storage and tell the story of the slaves used to transport the gold. If you have no interest in history, particularly the history of Nicaragua, probably give it a miss. Since I studied precolumbian mesoamerican history as a minor I loved it. Like all guided tours there is some minimal cost ($2 a head ?) but you will be surprised at the depth of knowledge of the guide. And it is a good snapshot of the terrible treatment given of the people of South and Central American by the Spanish the conquistidors. Not your usual place to tour, but very interesting as a bit of education about Nicaragua.

Thank Rick_Carr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 11, 2014

It's not easy to get to the Ruins of Leon Viejo. We took a bus from Managua to Nagarote (45 minutes), another to La Paz Centro (25 minutes), and another to Leon Viejo (20 minutes). Then we walked down a dirt road and followed signs to find the ruins. For us, though, the finding it was half the fun.

Imagine our surprise as we walked into what was surely just recently a simple ruins site to find quite a bit of construction going on. They are building a museum and what is either a gift shop or a restaraunt at the entrance to the site. They just finished a nice set of bathrooms complete with soap and toilet paper (no running water yet, but there's a giant barrel at the door and if you've spent any time in Nicaragua you know the drill). They have also put together a display of dioramas and small scale models to show what Leon Viejo once looked like, as well as a set of what looked to be miniatures of all the Nicaragua volcanoes in the adjacent playground. We spent about 20 minutes looking around all of this at the entrance before moving to the ruins themselves.

They advertise that they have English speaking guides, but this doesn't seem to be too common. We had a Spanish speaking guide (luckily that was not an issue for us). She took us around the ruins, stopping at each structure to explain it's history and the history of the town. Some of what she said I've read before in guidebooks, but some was new, such as details about why the merchant used certain features in his house. It was also clear that they are still excavating the ruins, and trying to protect what they've already dug up. Each spot also has signs in both English and Spanish with information about the building and its inhabitants. The final setting, the viewpoint overlooking the surrounding area with a nice view of Momotombo and El Hoyo, was gorgeous and a perfect picture spot.

I hope they soon decide to sell at least drinks on site. We had to walk 4 blocks after our tour, down dirt roads, to find a store selling cold drinks (water, juice, and beer). And we walked another 6 blocks to find a bus to take us back to La Paz Centro, where the tricky commute to Managua continued. Overall, I'm excited to revisit in a few years to see just what they've done with all the changes they have planned.

Thank Tania R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 19, 2014

Unless your close, I wouldn't go. There is just not much to see. Long drive and 5 minutes to see. As always in Nicaragua the only sign is one at the road cross section.

Thank Keith S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 30, 2013

Take advantage of the tour guide at the entrance. Signs are well placed and in both Spanish and English. Really neat piece of history to learn about and see firsthand, with great views of the Momotombo volcano and the Lake.

Thank Jen S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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