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Parque Central Square in Leon, Nicaragua

Leon, Nicaragua

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Jan 08, 2023

Summary: The approximate population of Leon, Nicaragua is around 200,000 people. People describe Leon as a vibrant city with a rich cultural heritage and a strong sense of community. Expats love the friendly locals, the affordable cost of living, and the beautiful colonial architecture. The weather in Leon is generally warm and humid, with temperatures ranging from the mid-70s to the mid-90s Fahrenheit. The average cost of living in Leon for an expat is around $1,000 to $1,500 per month. The cost of a one bedroom apartment is around $200 to $400 per month, and a two bedroom apartment is around $300 to $500 per month.

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William Russell Health Insurance
William Russell Health Insurance
William Russell Health Insurance

What do I need to know about living in Leon?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Leon, they said:

"Thinking of moving to Leon ? Know it is a hot city (between 9h30 and 4h00 the sun is burnin ) so air-condition ed room is a must or take refuge in the shades of trees in parks. Small hotel rooms are cheap (8 to 15 dollars a day) but standard is very basic : no hot water, no bathroom tub, ceiling fan but no air conditioning. Service is slow and be prepared to be patient. English is rarely heard except from tourists and North American residents," commented one expat who made the move to Leon .

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William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.
William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance in Nicaragua

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.
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What do I need to know before moving to Leon?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Leon, they said:

"I encourage anyone serious about relocating to reach out to the ExPat web site group before you move here. They are full of sound advice on what is necessary to bring and what you can buy here. My kitchen and bedroom would be in sad shape if they hadn't advised me, as I'm advising you above. Also, spend a week or more visiting before you fully commit to the move. You will find that what you thought you knew was just the surface of what your new town is about. I spent 4 days here before making the decision to move and I fell in love with the vibes of life I got from the people around me. Leon is a lively town with very active people and I wouldn't have known that. Work with a realtor on finding your first place to live, they know what is safe and what isn't. Once you're there, you can discover your next place to live on your own. Bring someone with you going to the airport because Managua changes their luggage allowances with no advance notice. I had to leave one of my suitcases with my daughter.. If you are bringing pets, that is another whole ordeal, so make preparations months in advance. Good luck," mentioned another expat in Leon.

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How do I find a place to live in Leon?

We asked expats how they chose their neighborhood and found a place to live. They answered:

"I worked with a realty company that I had found while at a conference. I went on the web to narrow down some choices and then spent a day looking at my short list. It quickly became apparent that I would not feel safe in all neighborhoods as a single female and so I chose the best and safest neighborhood in the city. This was a good decision as I can walk my dog at night with no fear," mentioned another expat in Leon.

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What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Leon?

"I currently live in an apartment within a community. It's a one bedroom with hot water, washer-dryer and air conditioning, which is very unusual for Leon. This is another reason why I chose this neighborhood, the houses have more amenities. Next year I plan to move to a small home in the community because I miss having a yard and patio. ExPats here live in a variety of areas in the city, there is no one spot heavily populated by ExPats, in fact, Leon itself is not heavily populated by ExPats, which is why I chose it," commented one expat who made the move to Leon.

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What is the average cost of housing in Leon?

If you are thinking about moving to Leon, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:

"My housing costs are 1/4 of what I would pay in my old state of PA and 1/2 of what I would pay in the lower cost area of the southern US. You can rent a decent house in Leon for $300 a month. If you want air, a dryer and hot water, you will pay more. Also, when the listing says unfurnished, it means there is absolutely nothing in it but 4 walls and a toilet and sinks," added another expat in Leon.

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How do I meet people in Leon?

When we asked people living in Leon about club and activities where newcomers can meet others, they responded:

"To meet others , principally expatriates, go to the new Cafe La Rosita on the street that leads to the city cathedral and park, opposite the main office of Claro.com the most cheap cellular telephone corporation. Frequent the Cyber Internet places where foreign tourists congregate. Get as soon as possible a cell phone costing to start anywhere from 25 to 49 dollars. Sit on the park benches and start a chat in spanish with passers-by coming to sit down on the same park bench," added another expat in Leon .

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William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

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William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

Learn MoreGET A QUOTE

What should I bring when moving to Leon?

People living in Leon were asked what three things they wish they had brought and three they wish they had left behind. They wrote:

"More pots and pans - quality cookware is not easily available. More sheets and towels - cotton sheets are impossible to find. More hair products - it is impossible to find the products that my hair type needs. I could have left all of my high heeled shoes, my jackets and most of my jewelry. My life here is simple and I don't need all the "trappings" I am used to, and it is too hot for jackets at any time of day," said another expat in Leon.

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Will I be able to find a job in Leon?

When we asked people about industries and career opportunities in Leon, they reponded:

"Most jobs in Leon are in the shops and stores and restaurants with many jobs in the communications industry ( cellular, internet, small hotels) and transportation ( minibus service and taxis). No local newspapers , so jobs are found through the social network," explained one expat living in Leon , Nicaragua.

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What is life like in Leon?

When we asked people living in Leon what life is like and how people spend their time, they said:

"Lives revolve around work and family for the Nicaraguan in Leon and family gatherings for birthdays," remarked another expat who made the move to Leon .

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Is there a lot of diversity? Are people in Leon accepting of differences?

"There are many christian churches, catholic and protestant like the Baptist church. You will find Nicaraguans are mainly Metis (mix of European whites and aboriginal) with a small percentage of whites. Economically, as in most Central American cities you will see many unemployed and part time employed in the service industries (restaurant, food service, informal economy , etc). They are very accepting of differences although the great majority are traditional; but Leon women wear miniskirts, tight jeans, and reggaeton music is quite popular with the university crowd," added another expat in Leon .

Answer this Question

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.
William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance in Nicaragua

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

What are the pros and cons of living in Leon?

Expats, digital nomads and retirees living in Leon responded:

"The people are great. It is clean and safe and has everything you need. Also great culture, gorgeous beaches, birds, etc," commented one expat living in Leon, Nicaragua.

Answer this Question

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.
William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance in Nicaragua

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

Parque Central Square in Leon, Nicaragua

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