The old city of León was established in 1524, and was one of the earliest Spanish colonial settlements in the Americas. The city was built close to Lake Managua and the Momotombo volcano. When the Momotombo erupted in 1610 the inhabitants left the city in fear of the volcano. A new León was built about 30 kilometers to the west, where it still is today. The old León, or León Viejo as it is locally called, was never actually destroyed by the volcano, but was kept preserved beneath the surface. The excavations of the ruins began in 1999. The ruins of León Viejo was listed as an UNESCO world heritage site in 2000.
We like to combine this tour with a trip to Laguna del Tigre, a beautiful and peaceful lagoon close by León Viejo.
Photos: Marthe Kalleklev