Leon Attractions | Things to do in Leon
Dating back to 1765, this magnificent cathedral has a facade that is a fine example of Baroque art. The temple offers a beautifully structured combination of religious expressions from Leon and also honors the Virgen de la Luz (Virgin of the Light), the patron saint of the city. It has four side chapels, with one dedicated to Saint Joseph. This covered chapel has eight vaults and a central dome that allows sunlight to stream in throughout the day.
Since 1885, the sacristy of the cathedral has been an art gallery and the church houses a considerable collection of religious artwork that reflects the city’s heritage. Since 2003, the annex has been known as the Museum of Sacred Art.
This picturesque location, also known as the Zocalito, is located in the downtown area and is closed to automobile traffic. It is where you’ll find the major monuments and historic buildings of Leon, including Founder’s Square, the Cathedral, the Fountain of the Lions and Plaza Principal, where bands play during busy afternoons.
This zoo is home to everything from large mammals like polar bears and elephants to small monkeys and birds with majestic plumage. The creatures are housed within areas that have perfectly recreated their natural habitat, giving visitors the ideal opportunity to learn more about these fascinating animals. A unique feature of this zoo is the night safari, providing you with a glimpse at how the animals instinctually behave throughout the night.
Explora Science Center
One of the most iconic museums and science centers in Mexico is Explora, located in the city of Leon. Fascinating for children and adults alike, the center features six themed rooms with 275 exhibits along with courtyards and a surrounding park that has 24 additional exhibits. As you explore this exciting attraction, you’ll find one of the largest IMAX screens in Latin America within the Leonardo Da Vinci Theater. In addition, Explora offers an energy saving room called “Ponte las Pilas” and “El Cabus de las Ideas”, a workshop for young children.
This beautiful temple was built in an imposing neo-gothic style and features magnificent stained glass windows. Though construction began in 1920, it was temporarily stopped during the Cristero War, when only 80% of the original project was completed. Christian authorities and thousands of faithful Leon citizens helped with its construction, providing the foundation stones for the walls and altars.
Guanajuato Cultural Forum
With the aim of preserving Leon’s identity, the Guanajuato Cultural Forum hosts permanent artistic events as well as concerts and exhibitions. This modern structure is located in the Poliforum Circuit and features the Museum of Art and History, the Bicentenario Theater, the Avenue of the Arts, the Mateo Herrera Auditorium and the Central State Library of Guanajuato.
Leon City Museum
This museum strives to promote and preserve the visual arts of Leon and it is hoped that in the future it will become a cultural landmark. Works by various local and national artists are housed within the museum along with paintings that are part of the state’s heritage. The museum is located in the city’s historic center, just a few yards away from the main square and the Pedestrian Zone.
Leon Metropolitan Park
Leon Metropolitan Park is natural refuge set in the middle of a modern city. Almost 900 acres in size, the park features camping areas, a zip line, a Children’s City and other fun family activities. The waters of the dam run through the park, creating an environment that is suitable for migratory and resident birds as well as the opportunity to enjoy boat rides.
Sierra de Los Lobos
This protected natural area provides the ideal escape from the hectic city atmosphere. The endangered Mexican wolf makes its home here, and tourists are invited to enjoy hiking, horseback riding, abseiling and kayaking. Located just 30 minutes away from Leon and featuring oak, pine, cedar, willow and other trees, this is the perfect place for a relaxing camping excursion.
International Balloon Festival
One of the most colorful celebrations in the state of Guanajuato is undoubtedly the International Balloon Festival. The most important event of its kind in Latin America, this festival brings together pilot from all over Mexico and the world to fly balloons of all sizes and designs. Sign up to join the celebrations and enjoy additional fun with the competitions, concerts, exhibitions and the food and beverage areas featured at the festival.
Ever since 1876, this celebration has marked the anniversary of the founding of the city, gradually growing to become the major event that it is today. Rides, livestock and craft shows combine with parade floats, a national art exhibition and a food festival to create the most anticipated celebration in the city of Leon.
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