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“Interesting History”

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 #11 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.
Brisbane, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
280 reviews
123 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 141 helpful votes
“Interesting History”
Reviewed March 29, 2014

History in these small towns is always interesting especially coming from a well developed country. I always like to see how other cultures live.

Visited March 2014
Thank Denstrip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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142 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
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  • Spanish first
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English first
Panama City, Panama
Level 6 Contributor
137 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
“Great potential”
Reviewed March 23, 2014 via mobile

Tje place has a great potential.... They need to get more parts of buildings out of the dashes. Guide was good although too quick given the heat...

Thank Usuario7713
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
82 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“I do not speak spanish”
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.

Visited March 2014
1 Thank David R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Batavia, New York
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“If you like history and want to see the original capital”
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.

Visited February 2014
Thank Rick_Carr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lakeland, Florida
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Interesting and Expanding too”
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.

Visited February 2014
Thank Tania R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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