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.
Money-saving tip: Compare hostel prices with Hostelz.com. They compare prices from Hostelworld, Booking.com and others with 1 click.
1. The Spot Hostel Leon
2. Hostal La Tortuga Booluda
3. Poco a Poco Hostel
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.
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.
These are our favorite hostels in Leon Nicaragua. We want to make your life even easier, so we put all accommodations on a map for you. We even added our own tips for favorite restaurants, things to see, and more.
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. They also have a shared lounge with TV if you feel like watching.
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. This hostel is breakfast included. Who doesn’t want a free breakfast, right?
The Spot Hostel is unquestionably the spot to be in Nicaragua.
Location: Located in the heart of the city centre. There is nothing left to say, the central location is excellent.
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 Leon Nicaragua 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.
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.
It’s not the biggest party hostel Leon Nicaragua has to offer, 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 Leon 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
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 HostelLeon is an extraordinary backpacking experience. Their local and travelling staff create awelcoming home–away–from–home vibe.
They are the go–to 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.
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
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?
Famous throughout Nicaragua and Central America, Bigfoot Hostel & Volcano Boarding is an iconic destination. It is the best party hostel in Leon.
AtBigfoot 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.
Volcano boarding in Leon is a must-try experience for adrenaline junkies! You can hike up to the top of the active Cerro Negro volcano, and then slide down the steep slopes on a specially-designed board at thrilling speeds of up to 50 miles per hour. I’m sure you are thrilled about it.
Are you now booking hostels? We got you the best hostels above and we have read hundreds of reviews so we can put together the best of the best.
If you are still looking for more hostels, let us show you more.
Casa Lula León Hostal is a charming and cozy hostel located in the heart of León, Nicaragua. The hostel has a warm and welcoming atmosphere, with friendly staff who are always ready to help guests with any questions or needs they may have. The rooms are comfortable and clean, with plenty of natural light and fresh air.
Casa Lula León Hostal is situated in a great spot for exploring the city. It’s within walking distance of many of León’s top attractions, including the cathedral, the central market, and the Museum of the Revolution.
The hostel also offers a range of amenities for guests, including free wifi throughout the hostel, a communal kitchen, and a shared living room area.
Lazybones Hostel is a cozy and welcoming hostel located in the heart of Leon, Nicaragua. The hostel has a laid-back and relaxed atmosphere, with comfortable rooms, friendly staff, and a range of amenities to ensure a comfortable stay.
The rooms are clean, spacious, and well-equipped, with comfortable beds, fans, and plenty of storage space. The hostel also has a communal kitchen, where guests can prepare their own meals, and a comfortable living room area with sofas and a TV.
They also organize regular social events and activities, such as movie nights, pub crawls, and day trips to nearby attractions.
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 León 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.
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.
Open Hostelz.com with a full list of all hostels in Leon Nicaragua
add your dates
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.
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
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?
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.
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
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