Less than a 30 minute bus trip from Leon, on a newly paved road,  are the North Pacific Beaches of Poneloya and Las Penitas.

Poneloya has long been popular with wealthy Nicaraguans who have luxury beachfront homes here.

The more popular adjacent beach at Las Penitas is a wide sandy beach stretching for about 4km with a fishing village based around the estuary . Small hotels and restaurants are scattered along the length of the beach.

Las Penitas has good surf, is great for bodyboarding and is the better swimming beach.

The nearby rocks are also a good place to fish, sunbathe or just admire the beautiful sunsets.

Poneloya has very strong currents so take care.

Close to the estuary in Las Penitas is Juan Venado Wildlife Reserve a mangrove that is home to many birds and wildlife.

John- Max-O'Connor is a Canadian that has lived in Las Penitas for almost 10 years and knows everyone and everything. Contact him at for information on hotels, tours etc.

Directions to Las Penitas HERE

Find out more about beach vacations in Nicaragua HERE



There are many hotels on the beach in Las Penitas, here's our recommendations:


Hotel Oasis: On the beach, popluar with backpackers.

Playa Roca: American owned. Best sunset views and bodyboarding. Popular beachfront bar/restaurant with palapa. Dorms from USD7, private rooms from USD20. Tours available.

Suyapa: Ask for rooms at the top with an ocean facing balcony, excellent seafood in the restaurant.


Click HERE for information about Nicaragua beach vacation packages


The beachfront at Las Penitas is where most of the restaurants and bars are giving you a front row view of the beach and sunset

Here are our eating and drinking recommendations: 

  • SUYAPA: Great seafood dishes at lunchtime, closes early.


Ceviche suyapa