3 Best Hostels in Leon Nicaragua

3 BEST Hostels in León Nicaragua – From Colourful Colonial History To Lively Nightlife & Volcano Boarding

León in Nicaragua is an exciting and vibrant city that has something for everyone. That’s why we can’t wait to share with you the best hostels in Leon. From its colourful colonial history and ancient architecture to its lively nightlife and beautiful beaches, this city is sure to capture your heart and your imagination.

You will encounter fun backpacker hostels as well as party hostels. Get ready for fireshows, beer-pong and pool parties.

But most of all, do you dare boarding down an active Volcano? This is what you can do just here.

Good To Know: Traveling all over Nicaragua? Then you have to check our detailed guide on the best hostels in Nicaragua.

Your Shortcut:

  1. The Spot Hostel Leon - best for couples
  2. Hostal La Tortuga Booluda - best for solo travelers
  3. Poco a Poco Hostel - best for backpackers
  4. Extra: Bigfoot Hostel & Volcano Boarding - best for Party Hostel and Volcano Boarding

Money-saving tip: Compare hostel prices with Hostelz.com. They compare prices from Hostelworld, Booking.com and others with 1 click.

A bit about Léon as a destination itself: Explore the cobblestone streets and take in the stunning views of the stunning Leon Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy traditional Nicaraguan fare in restaurants and cafes located throughout the city. Spend a day touring the nearby volcanoes and soaking up the sun on its beaches.

Take a stroll through its bustling markets and find unique souvenirs to take home.

Whether you’re searching for adventure or relaxation, Leon, Nicaragua has something for everyone to enjoy. Come explore the beauty and culture of this fantastic city – you will love it!

Leon was founded in 1524 and has seen its fair share of civil wars, dictatorships, revolutions, and cultural shifts that have shaped it into the colorful, colonial Central American town that it is today.

The region, which was once the nation’s capital, is economically significant to Nicaragua, serving as a prime agricultural export location and Central American tourist hotspot.

Leon is now a popular stop on the typical Nicaragua backpacking itinerary. We handmade a map for you with all the top hostels in Nicaragua, including San Juan del Sur, Granada and Ometepe.

Our map will help you plan your itinerary, and stay in safe and fun hostels.

Nicaragua is well-known by visitors for its volcano sandboarding and the all-white Leon Cathedral, and many visitors consider it to be one of the highlights of their Latin American treks.

This guide is perfect for YOU, when you…

  • are tired of crappy hostels!
  • want a social Hostel to actually meet people
  • are happy to spend $1 to $2 more for a much better experience

Despite being Central America’s poorest country, tourism has thrived in the last decade, with tourists from all over the world flocking to the country for its warm weather, extraordinary beaches, low prices, and friendly locals.

Leon, two hours northwest of Managua, is ideal for backpackers seeking sun, sand, party, and adventure.

With so many hostels to choose from in Nicaragua, start your trip in Leon with HostelGeek’s three best hostels in Leon.

What we cover in this article?

You can find all 5 Star Hostels here with Hostelgeeks and all guides to “Best Hostels In” here.

Quick Introduction to Leon Nicaragua

Average price for a bed: Hostels in Leon Nicaragua cost 5€ – 10€ per night for a bed in a dorm. A private room starts from 13€ up to 22€ per night. This is a rough average just to give you an idea.

Prices always depend on season and holidays. Please always check exact rates on Hostelz.com or Hostelworld.com.

Check-In and Check Out: The average check-in time is from 15:00 (3pm), while the Check-Out time is before 11:00 (11am). Hostels usually offer luggage storage in case you arrive earlier or leave later. Make sure you check if luggage storage is free or if there is an extra cost.

Transportation in Leon Nicaragua: Leon is a great place to visit, with many attractions that can be reached on foot or by bicycle. For further destinations, there are local buses (ruletos) which can take you to the inter-city bus station, the municipal market in León or Sutiava, and the beach towns of Las Peñitas and Poneloya. Taxis are also available.

Safety in Leon Nicaragua: Leon is generally considered to be a safe city both by Central American and Nicaraguan standards. You can walk around the city center during the day and at night without any worries. But it is always advisable to be vigilant.

Volcano Boarding: This is the absolute MUST DO in Leon, Nicaragua. Invented by the Hostel owner of Bigfoot Hostel, this activity is so unique and a complete thrill. We share more details below.

New to Hostels? Read our full hostel starter guide here. We especially recommend reading:

The 3 Best Hostels in Leon Nicaragua are …

Let’s jump right into the coolest hostels in Leon Nicaragua.

  1. The Spot Hostel Leon – best for couples
  2. Hostal La Tortuga Booluda – best for solo travelers
  3. Poco a Poco Hostel – best for backpackers
  4. Extra: Bigfoot Hostel & Volcano Boarding - best for Party Hostel and Volcano Boarding

We put all accommodations on the map, incl. our own tips for restaurants, things to see, and more.

Overview: Best Hostels by Traveler Type

🦸 Solo Traveler: Hostal La Tortuga Booluda
🙎‍♀️ best for Female Solo Traveler: Hostal La Tortuga Booluda
🥳 Party Hostel:Bigfoot Hostel & Volcano Boarding
🎒 BackpackersPoco a Poco Hostel
👩‍❤️‍👨 Couple Hostel: The Spot Hostel Leon
👨‍👩‍👦 Family Hostel: Hostal La Tortuga Booluda
👩‍💻 For Digital Nomads: Hostal La Tortuga Booluda
🧘 Cozy Hostel: The Spot Hostel Leon
🌋 Best for Volcano Boarding:Bigfoot Hostel & Volcano Boarding

1. The Spot Hostel Leon

The Spot Hostel Leon is one of Leon’s most unique and modern hostels.

This cozy hostel, decorated with a quirky collection of colorful art, has two double-bed rooms for couples, a private suite of four, and three 5-6 bed mixed dormitories.

Couples especially enjoy staying at The Spot Hostel because it provides the ideal balance of a lively and social atmosphere that is also clean and comfortable.

The Spot Hostel can book all kinds of tours in and around Leon, including the famous volcano boarding at Cerro Negro, as well as tours to other nearby volcanoes, kayaking, and canyon tours.

The hostel is only a few minutes away from Parque Central, which has a plethora of shops, cafes, and eateries to choose from on a hot afternoon.

Book The Spot Hostel Leon here

Check prices at:
Hostelworld | Booking.com | Hostelz.com

 

The Spot Hostel León Dorm room

Private bedroom at The Spot HostelThe Spot Hostel Leon - Volcano Boarding

The hostel makes every effort to ensure that all guests have a positive experience. The hostel organizes social events daily, so you’ll never be bored.

Try your luck at trivia night, play a friendly game of beer pong, or go on a pub crawl—whatever you decide, your days in Leon will be booked and busy.

The American-styled diner, which serves a fusion of burgers, sushi, and Mexican food, is also a gathering place for guests. The Spot Hostel is unquestionably the spot to be in Nicaragua.

Location: Located in the heart of the city center. There is nothing left to say, the location is excellent.

The best choice in Leon Nicaragua for

  • couples
Book The Spot Hostel Leon here

Check prices at:
Hostelworld | Booking.com | Hostelz.com

Have fun at The Spot Hostel León

The-Spot-Hostel-Leon Activity Area

2. Hostal La Tortuga Booluda

Hostal La Tortuga Booluda is one of Leon’s only boutique hostels. Hostal La Tortuga Booluda most certainly lives up to its slogan “A hostel for the tranquilo traveler,” and is the ideal accommodation for independent solo travelers seeking relaxation, comfort, and cleanliness.

While this is not a party hostel, it does attract a diverse range of interesting people, without the binge drinking and loud music found in other hostels in the city.

With 24-hour reception, complimentary breakfast, and even a gym, guests at Hostal La Tortuga Booluda will feel right at home, as it is the perfect place in Leon to recharge and feel like a normal traveler without the hecticness that comes with it.

A pool, book exchange, and self-service bar are among the other several amenities.

Book The Spot Hostel Leon here

Check prices at:
Hostelworld | Booking.com | Hostelz.com

Hostal La Tortuga Booluda Pool area

There are numerous options for accommodation. The hostel boasts three private rooms for couples, a twin bunk for two, four 4-bed family rooms, and an 8-bed mixed dormitory.

Because of the hostel’s space and privacy, it is also one of the best hostels for those who work online.

A spacious dining room and kitchen, as well as a lush outdoor terrace, make a tranquil backdrop for morning coffees and evening dinners.

Location: Located just 3-4 blocks from the central square of Leon, Hostal La Tortuga Booluda is the perfect hostel for the ‘tranquilo traveler’. The hostel is therefore in the heart of the city, just one minute from the Cathedral.

A great choice for

  • solo travelers
  • female solo travelers
  • digital nomads
  • groups
Book Hostal La Tortuga Booluda here

Check prices at:
Hostelworld | Booking.com | Hostelz.com

Hostal La Tortuga Booluda Private Bedroom

Hostal La Tortuga Booluda Activity Area

3. Poco a Poco Hostel

Poco a Poco Hostel has been named the Best Hostel in Nicaragua three times– and for good reason!

Poco a Poco is one of Leon’s best social hostels for backpackers, with daily and nightly activities that keep guests entertained and carefree, and many guests regularly extend their stay.

There are 4-bed, 8-bed, and 10-bed mixed dormitories. A deluxe private room for couples and a family suite for four people are also available.

Guests appreciate the spacious backyard, which includes hammocks, swings, a pool, and several patio tables and chairs for meals and drinks, all surrounded by a calming arrangement of plants and trees.

Book Poco a Poco Hostel here

Check prices at:
Hostelworld | Booking.com | Hostelz.com

Poco a Poco Hostel Activity Area

It’s not the biggest party hostel in town, but nights on the rooftop and the 38-person capacity make it one of the best places to stay in Leon for having fun with new, exciting guests every night.

Like the other hostels, you can book one of Leon’s many volcano and adventure tours at the front desk with the hostel’s friendly and accommodating staff.

Rooms fill up quickly during the high season, so be sure to book your stay in advance. For an exciting and memorable few days in Leon, you cannot go wrong with Poco a Poco Hostel!

Location: Poco a Poco Hostel is situated at a distance of 2.7 km from Guadalupe, 4.8 km from Jesús María, and 102 km from Augusto Cesar Sandino International airport.

This is one of the best hostels in Leon Nicaragua for

  • backpackers
  • social butterflies
  • families
Book Poco a Poco Hostel here

Check prices at:
Hostelworld | Booking.com | Hostelz.com

Poco a Poco Hostel Dormitory

Poco a Poco Hostel Outdoor Pool

4. Bigfoot Hostel & Volcano Boarding

Bigfoot Hostel & Volcano Boarding is one of the most legendary hostels in Nicaragua and Central America. Seriously, a legend. You might have seen already at one point or another some people snowboarding down a Volcano, dressed in an orange jumpers. Well, this hostel was founded by the same guy who invented this unique activity.

Bigfoot Hostel in Leon is an extraordinary backpacking experience. Their local and travelling staff create a welcoming homeawayfromhome vibe.

They are the goto place for the incredible adventure of Volcano boarding, with daily tours to Cerro Negro!

They have a wide range of accommodations, from dorms to private rooms, to suit all types of travellers.

Experience Volcano Boarding at Bigfoot Hostel

Bigfoot Hostel & Volcano Boarding

Bigfoot Hostel & Volcano Boarding Dormitory

Important: You can also just join their Volcano Tours, the Boarding and Trekking. You do not need to stay at the hostel. You can book the combo though of accommodation and tours at discount.

Location: The location is ideal, just a few minutes’ walk away from Leon’s majestic Cathedral and Parque Central, and the Museo De La Revolucion and Iglesia El Calvario are also nearby.

This is one of the best hostels in Leon Nicaragua for

  • party seeker
  • backpackers
  • anyone who wants to slide down an active Volcano!
Book Bigfoot Hostel & Volcano Boarding here

Check prices at:
Hostelworld | Hostelz.com

Bigfoot Hostel & Volcano Boarding Bar and Restaurant

Bigfoot Hostel & Volcano Boarding Pool Area

Bigfoot world’s famous Volcano Boarding

The first and only Volcano Boarding Tour on Earth.  Slide down an active volcano at speed of 101 km/h – this is almost as fast as the German Autobahn…

Volcano Boarding is an extreme thrill-seeking kind of sport created by an equally extreme, Australian thrill-seeker, Daryn Webb. How else can it be? Australians are known as extreme thrill-seekers.

The founder of Volcano Boarding sent his very first boarder down an active volcano back in 2004. Darryn Webb is also the founder of the famous party hostel Bigfoot Hostel, back in in 2005.

You’ll have the chance to feel the rush of speed as you slide down the slopes of an active volcano, feeling the heat of the volcano as you go. 

It’s an incredibly exciting way to explore the natural beauty of an active volcano and get a feel for the power of the earth.

Plus, it’s a great way to get an amazing view of the surrounding landscape! So grab your board and get ready for an unforgettable adventure!

Where is volcano boarding in Leon?

You will be boarding down the Cerro Negro, an active volcano near Leon. It is remarkable for many reasons. It is a quite a new volcano, in fact the youngest in Central America, having first appeared in 1850.

Are you ready? Then put on the orange jumper and take this adventure on!

Best Hostels in Leon Nicaragua for Solo Travelers?

What is seriously the best hostel in Leon Nicaragua for solo-travelers?

Hostal La Tortuga Booluda   is the best hostel for solo-travelers. 

Guests of Tortuga Booluda will be treated like family, with two delicious breakfast options, unlimited coffee, filtered water, wifi, musical instruments, book exchange, and a pool!

Plus, an honour-system bar allows guests to enjoy and keep track of their own tab.

Experience an unforgettable adventure in the colonial beauty of León with a home away from home atmosphere and a cozy atmosphere to rest and recharge.

Don’t miss out on the chance to explore León with Tortuga Booluda!

Book Hostal La Tortuga Booluda here

Check prices at:
Hostelworld | Booking.com | Hostelz.com

Hangout at Hostal La Tortuga Booluda

Party Hostels in Leon Nicaragua

Famous throughout Nicaragua and Central America, Bigfoot Hostel & Volcano Boarding is an iconic destination. It is the best party hostel in Leon.

At Bigfoot Hostel & Volcano Boarding in Leon, backpackers are warmly welcomed by the local and travelling staff. It is the ideal spot for a thrilling volcano boarding excursion and they offer daily tours to Cerro Negro.

Aside from the volcano boarding, the hostel offers exciting nightlife. The hostel has a great atmosphere – it’s fun and friendly, with a huge selection of great drinks, food, and activities available.

Best of all, the party atmosphere is contagious – it’s a great place to meet people and make new friends.

Whether you’re looking for a crazy night out or a relaxed evening of drinks and conversation, the party at Bigfoot Hostel is sure to be a night to remember.

Book Bigfoot Hostel & Volcano Boarding here

Check prices at:
Hostelworld | Hostelz.com

Drink all night at Bigfoot Hostel

Bigfoot Hostel & Volcano Boarding - the best party hostel in Leon

More Hostels worth a mention

At the moment, we think you are all set with the hostels we just shared with you. We always try to keep our guides super fresh and up to date. We might add more hostels worth a mention soon here if we feel that it could enrich your travel and hostel experience.

Did you know … ?

Leon was originally located next to Lake Managua in 1524, but due to an earthquake, it was relocated westward, where it remains today.

Because of its proximity to the coast, Leon is one of the best places in the country for architecture, culture, and seaside vacations. If you want some sun and sand, Los Penitas, a tiny fishing village on the coast, is only twenty minutes from Leon’s city center.

It’s accessible by chicken bus, and once there, you’ll find yourself on a long, golden-sand beach surrounded by bars and restaurants.

Despite being one of the few tourist-accessible beaches in the Leon region, it is not overcrowded, so you can enjoy the waves without having to contend with hotel umbrellas and loud noise. Surfboard rentals and lessons are also available at this beach.

Cerro Negro, Nicaragua’s most active volcano, is 25 km from Leon. Leon is unquestionably a destination for adventure tourism. Many backpackers come to Leon to go volcano sledding, which consists of hiking up and sliding down the Cerro Negro black sand volcano.

This will almost certainly be the first thing you do when you arrive in Leon. Many hostels have partnerships with tour companies that will take you directly to Cerro Negro from your hostel. If you prefer to travel in a smaller or more private group, you can do so by visiting any tour agency in the city center.

The guides will lead you on a 45-minute hike up the mountain, where you will be given a prison-style jumpsuit and goggles to wear before sliding down the volcano. The prices range from USD 25 to USD 35.

The climb is particularly hot, dry, and windy, so dress appropriately and bring plenty of water!

Transport, buses and Taxis in Nicaragua

Nicaraguan transportation is a jumble of simplicity and chaos. Skip the expensive tourist shuttles and take a chicken bus to your next destination if you want a fun and bumpy ride.

Chicken buses are small, old-fashioned minibusses that will take you anywhere in the country for less than two dollars.

The bus station (which is actually just a huge market in the middle of the street) is about a fifteen-minute walk northwest of the center, and the buses usually have a sign indicating which city they are going to.

There is usually no reason to take a taxi in Leon because public transportation is so inexpensive, but if you must, turn on the meter and agree on a price before leaving.

Rather than using the unofficial taxis you will see waiting in crowded places, try taking a taxi with other people and verifying the taxi’s legitimacy by calling a company prior.

Don’t worry if your Spanish is rusty; local men holding signs and shouting the city name will direct you to the correct bus. Keep your belongings safe and a few dollars in your pocket for delicious Nicaraguan snacks.

Pickpocketing and Safety Tips for Leon

Despite Central America’s overall reputation, Nicaragua, particularly tourist cities like Leon, is safe for visitors who take extra precautions and practice common sense.

Pickpocketing is common, so never walk alone at night and keep your valuables in your lodging. Unfortunately, sexual harassment and groping are frequently directed at women, but they are usually “harmless” in the sense of not violent.

Leon, Nicaragua’s second-largest city, is a vibrant city that attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year.

Nightlife and Party Hostel in León

Tourists’ nightlife typically begins in the bar of their hostel and progresses to one of the many bars and clubs in the city center.

Have a few drinks at Bigfoot Hostel in the center if you want to experience one of Central America’s largest party hostels without actually staying there.

Try the Toña, Nicaragua’s national beer, and don’t forget to stock up on the country’s cheap and easily available dark rum for your nica libres.

3 Best Hostels in Leon Nicaragua

What about the cheapest hostels in Leon Nicaragua?

Of course, there are always cheap hostels. But how do you actually find them? When you are traveling on a shoe-string budget and you want to save every dollar, there are ways to find the cheapest places in Leon Nicaragua.

  1. Open Hostelz.com with a full list of all hostels in Leon Nicaragua
  2. add your dates
  3. Order the listings by price

Simple as that.

Hostelz.com is a price comparison site for hostels. They list every single one in the world and tells you exactly which website is cheaper to use.

Another smart Tip: Check what is actually included, and what is excluded. Take a closer look at the location, too. A further location might mean more costs in transport.

Any Discounts?

You can find all our hostel discounts worldwide here. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive the freshest hostel discounts directly in your inbox. There are even special discount codes that we only share in our newsletter.

It is completely free to join!

How to book?

The most popular booking platforms are Booking.com and Hostelworld.com. On both platforms, your credit card is 100% protected and the booking 100% confirmed.

We included some handy links to each of the recommended hostel. Just click on the hostel name. The link will lead you to check prices and availability.

Read: step-by-step guide on how to book with Hostelworld

We recommend booking your hostel as early as possible! All of Leon Nicaragua best hostels are popular; especially in high-season. To make sure you end up in those stylish and good hostels, secure your room/ bed as soon as you have your travel dates fix.

The coolest Hostel App you need comes as well from Hostelworld. It gives you super cool features like you can contact your hostel mates beforehand and make plans together. Find more details in our review of the app

Download the Hostelworld App here

QR Code to Download your Hostelworld app with one scan
Scan the QR Code with your Smartphone to download the Hostelworld App from the App Store - like a real Hostel Geek!

The best way to find hostels: Hostelgeeks website and Hostelworld App

All Top Hostels put on a map + sights

Let us have a look at the map. Below, we list all three best Leon Nicaragua hostels on a map.

Personally, we love to plan our trips with a map having all sights and potential hostels on it. We thought this map will help you with planning your trip too.

In Leon Nicaragua we absolutely enjoyed these activities:

  • Visiting the beach
  • Shopping at the market
  • Trying a Nicaraguan cooking class
  • Volcano boarding at Cerro Negro
  • Hunting for street art of the Sandinista Revolution
  • Strolling the vibrant streets of Leon
  • Understanding of the City of Lions’ history
  • Exploring Leon Cathedral
  • Getting to the roof of Leon cathedral
  • Discovering the colonial churches in Leon

FAQs

Here we share with you the most asked question:

What are the best hostels in Leon Nicaragua?

The best hostels in Leon Nicaragua are:

  1. The Spot Hostel Leon – best for couples
  2. Hostal La Tortuga Booluda – best for solo travelers
  3. Poco a Poco Hostel – best for backpackers
  4. Extra: Bigfoot Hostel & Volcano Boarding - best for Party Hostel and Volcano Boarding

Is it safe to travel to Leon Nicaragua?

Leon is generally considered to be a safe city both by Central American and Nicaraguan standards. You can walk around the city center during the day and at night without any worries. But it is always advisable to be vigilant.

Where can I find a good and cheap accommodation in Leon Nicaragua?

Hostelworld.com and Booking.com are the easiest way to find cheap places and compare prices. Make sure you read our guide on how to book hostels with 15 tips to save money.

How to go around in Leon Nicaragua?

Leon is a great place to visit, with many attractions that can be reached on foot or by bicycle. For further destinations, there are local buses (ruletos) which can take you to the inter-city bus station, the municipal market in León or Sutiava, and the beach towns of Las Peñitas and Poneloya. Taxis are also available.

Staying at one of these hostels? ❤️

Share your photo and tag us @hostelgeeks on Instagram.

Flights to Leon Nicaragua?

We use Skyscanner and Omio.com to find cheap flights and good connections all over the globe.

Skyscanner has a bunch of cool features like Multi-City Trip. Instead of doing this research step-by-step, Skyscanner offers this flight planning tool.

Our Step-by-Step Guide to Skyscanner

review of Skyscanner flight searches

We’ve gone one step further and created these awesome guides to more Central American destinations:

Around Nicaragua:

Over to you

Do you have any questions left, maybe doubts? Then please leave it in the comment below. We are very keen to help you - and actually you would even do us a favor!

Your question will help us to improve this Leon Nicaragua guide.

Last note: Our commitment

This is a genuine article to help you travel a bit smarter, and find the best place on a budget! We will never recommend you any place we haven’t evaluated or are not convinced by. We are constantly updating all our guides to keep them as fresh and accurate as possible.

Safe travels,
The Hostelgeeks

Best hostels in Leon Nicaragua by Hostelgeeks

Best Travel Websites we recommend ❤️
(Fresh Update 2023)

Booking Hostels and Discounts 👏👏👏

As a user of Hostelgeeks, you also have access to exclusive hostel discounts. For booking hostels, we use:

We recommend installing the Hostelworld App. It is very useful!

How to find cheaper Flights ✈️

The first websites we always check are Skyscanner and Google Flights.

Find our step-by-step process in our review about Skyscanner.

Travel Insurance made easy 🤒

We are currently using Safetywing and Hey Mondo. We wrote detailed guides about these insurances:

Smartest Travel Tools you need to know 🤓

Find all our recommended travel tools and websites here.

Get your Smart Packing List (Free Printable)

Knowing what to pack and what not to pack is key. As an example, you need a one-fits-all padlock.

We put together the ultimate list of smart items to bring.

Download your Free PDF Packing List

Best Hostel Packing List