After a visit to revolutionary Leon in north west Nicaragua, I drove in the area to explore some of the nearby ruins of ancient Leon and see some of the volcanic activity in the area. Both, to my great surprise, were completely deserted, I was the only person there. When I arrived in San Jacinto two highschool students (a girl, and, let’s say, an ambiguous) who were clearly good friends waiting for tourists to stop by, took me on a walk through the volcanic activity in the area. They spoke some fairly good English, and laughed alot, probably about me, the whole “tour”. They made sure I don’t step where I shouldn’t, that I see the boiling chocolate, and that I get to see the scenic area from the “best spot”.
From there, I thought I’ll be able to just drive through the mountains, but since – unlike Costa Rica – I didn’t have a 4×4, I soon regretted that decision, backtracked, and took the high road to the ruins of Leon Viejo, the long way around. Better safe than sorry, and I had an audio book keeping me company, with an occasional stop along the way in some local shop to freshen up. Once there, I parked my car, and walked this magnificent historical site on my own. There’s an informative map, it all has English signs, and you can easily spend two three hours walking around and admiring the scale of it all. Nearby, about 200meters away, is the lake, with volcano mountains raising in the back, and some really strange lake side bars with horrible music, which also offer boat sails.
I somehow expected to see more people around, but since they weren’t – that just added to the feeling that I’m doing something sort of off the beaten track, exploring local wonders that not many have ventured through. Leon ruins are definitely a top historical attraction that should be getting more attention.
Here’s a bit from that wonderful day exploring the Leon area…
Ruinas de Leon Viejo Nicaragua