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Living in Leon

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dumluk
9/25/2016 10:53 EST

Has anybody on this forum actually lived in Leon for any length of time, and if so, what is your take on the city? In terms of safety, friendliness, service, cleanliness, and cost effectiveness? And how far to the west coast beaches? I heard it had a terrible garbage issue, but that its gettin fixed??

iguanalover
9/25/2016 17:57 EST

Salsera lives in Leon. You can PM her.

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bamalam999
9/27/2016 07:16 EST

Join the expats in leon Facebook page. Lots of expats there that live in leon or on the coast (20 minutes) in las penitas or poneloya. The garbage problem is no different than most latin American cities that don't have a huge tourism base. I personally love leon the best out of all the cities in Nicaragua but don't live there. We have a house near by on the beach in salinas grande.

dumluk
9/27/2016 10:36 EST

ok, thanks, i will check that out.....But tell me why you like Leon the best out of all the Nica cities porfa? And howz the surf and beach cleanliness out there where your beach house is?

Salsera
9/27/2016 16:12 EST

I live in Leon since April last year, and I love it. It is most of the time VERY hot, but having lived in Africa for 11 years, I do not mind - you can arrange yourself with that by adapting your way of life.

I like the old colonial buildings (not so refurbished as is in Granada which is for me like a puppet museum, but often rather "original". I like the spirit of revolution - paintings and traces of that time everywhere in town.
I like its size which permits do do everything walking or with a bicycle and the rest with a taxi.
If you do not have a car, it takes about 1 hour to the beaches, which are rather "rough", but not crowded. Rough means more for surfers than for swimmers.
There is a lot of garbage, and this requires a ton of environmental education.
I founded an environmental network in April - RED VERDE LEON - and we are also working on that. Tomorrow we will participate in a "Jornada de Limpieza" organized by the Instituto de Desarrollo (INDE), Rome was not built in one day... you have to be very patient...
But it is always difficult to explain a location to someone - this is very personal. Come and see and make your own opinion!

bamalam999
9/28/2016 15:42 EST

Leon has everything Granada has except the high prices and the overrun by tourists. However that is changing fast. Nice size colonial city with a nice vibe. It feels safe and the people are friendly. The beaches at las penitas / poneloya are good for surfing but not good for swimming (20 minutes by car/taxi). I would consider them clean. Where our beach house is, near salinas grande (1 hour by car/taxi, roads are bad, would be about 20-30 minutes if they ever paved it) the beach goes south for several miles. The beach is cleaner and better for swimming but not as good for surfing. Although there are some breaks at either end of the beach where the estuary meets the ocean. There isn't much there though. Few people (so less garbage) little to no accomadations or restaurants for tourists. Lots of very nice places in Nicaragua, Matagalpa has the perfect climate but far from the beach. You just need to spend some time and decide what is for you.

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dumluk
9/29/2016 10:12 EST

How faris Matagalpa from the beach and how is the road? Which of the two upcountry cities offers the most amenities? Esteli or Matagalpa?

zenitram
9/30/2016 07:33 EST

I live in Leon and have been to both Matagalpa and Esteli. The nearest beach to Matagalpa is probably the one near Leon, and that is a 2.5 hr drive from Matagalpa.
Both Matagalpa and Esteli benefit from the mountain climate, but Matagalpa feels cooler. The difference is that Esteli sits at the bottom of a valley surrounded by mountains and the city itself is fairly flat, while Matagalpa is more on the slopes and the streets have some very steep grades. I find that this difference gives Matagalpa more of the cooling breezes that are so welcome in this climate.

dumluk
9/30/2016 10:26 EST

Thankx for your feedback zeni.........I would imagine there are some nice clean rivers and natural swimming holes around Matagalpa?

elduendegrande
9/30/2016 10:52 EST

As you go east in the northern mountains the weather tends to be wetter and cooler for the same elevation.

zenitram
10/1/2016 07:59 EST

Best swimming spot near Matagalpa is Cascada Blanca, about a 15 min ride by bus. There's a waterfall with a nice pond for swimming, bar, restaurant and motel. There's a 70 cord charge if you're under 65.

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