- Where to Go
- The Best of Nicaragua
- Nicaragua’s Best Surfing
- Hiking Nicaragua’s Ring of Fire
- Nicaraguan Arts & Crafts
- Nicaragua’s Great Green North
- Sportfishing in Nicaragua
- Down the Río San Juan
- Nicaragua’s Celebrations & Fiestas
- Volunteering in Nicaragua
- Diving & Snorkeling in Nicaragua
- Managua’s Revolutionary Driving Tour
The shady and pleasant Parque Rubén Darío (also known as Parque de los Poetas), a block west of the central park, pays tribute to four famous Nicaraguan writers, all sons of León: Azarías H. Pallais (1884–1954), Salomon de la Selva (1893–1959), Alfonzo Cortéz (1893–1969), and of course, the beloved Rubén Darío (1867–1916).
León’s Old Train Station, built in 1884, was Nicaragua’s first and most majestic. It has been rebuilt since being gutted by fire in 1956, now housing a boisterous market.
The creepy yet captivating El Fortín de Acosasco sits on a grassy hill just south of the city, providing phenomenal views of the entire Maribio volcano chain. Conservative president Sacasa built it in 1889 to keep an eye on the Liberals that would overthrow him four years later. Abandoned until Anastasio Somoza took interest and rehabilitated it, El Fortín has since served as both a military base and jail. It is presently abandoned once again, though the city has invested a small amount to seal off the dangerous dungeons and to slap on some fresh paint.
From the Subtiava church, it’s an easy 45-minute walk or $6 by taxi (don’t walk alone): Go one block east and head due south up the hill along the shady dirt road. The panorama of the city is worth the walk (or taxi), though the stench and smoke from the nearby abandoned landfill can be a drag if the wind is blowing the wrong way (the city promises to cover it up soon).
© Randall Wood & Joshua Berman from Moon Nicaragua, 4th Edition