#33 Leon, Nicaragua
Population: Just over 201,160
Average Annual Temp: 87°F
Nicaragua’s second largest city, León has a rich and colorful history. Filled with colonial churches (13 in all), art collections, historical monuments, and nearby geological wonders, such as the Momotombo Volcano, it is small wonder that León is a must see destination for anyone going to Nicaragua. Present day León is actually twenty miles west of its original location. Two major earthquakes, in 1594 and 1610, prompted the move. The ruins of León Viejo are now a World Heritage Site.
León’s popularity, both as a tourist destination and as place for expats and retirees, has increased in recent years. An aggressive effort by the Nicaraguan government to improve the infrastructure is a major contributing factor. Another important aspect is that the cost of living in León is among the lowest in the region. The drive from the international airport in Managua to this former colonial capital is approximately an hour and half. With flight time from the U.S. a scant two hours, getting there is not difficult at all.
There is a great selection of properties in the area. They can range from modern construction to historical colonial homes whose exteriors are protected by local building codes. Many enterprising expats and investors are purchasing these dwelling and refurbishing the interior, maintaining the historic ambiance while providing a comfortable living space within. The expectations for increased investment in León are high and, for those looking for a historical location, surrounded by natural wonders, with a bright future, León is just the place.