Situated just over 100 kilometers from Nicaragua’s capital city (Managua), Las Peñitas is a coastal town with beachfront cafes and bars, perfect for you to enjoy the views of the waves and incredible sunsets. Las Penitas is a peaceful village, famous for it’s excellent surfing and its a great place to escape to, especially while visiting Leon.
As I mentioned in my previous post, we explored Nicaragua with Sarah (from South Africa) and Cara (from The U.S.), who we met in Honduras. Travelling together and sharing memories was an incredible and most certainly made my time in the country more fun! Because of the political climate, there are fewer tourists in Nicaragua than usual, so we were excited to meet Melissa (from Canada) at our hotel.
Boasting a private beach area and an outdoor swimming pool, El Belga Loco is a great place to stay at. I really enjoyed my stay, and it was definitely an upgrade compared to the cheap hostels I’ve been staying at. This place is lovely, with spacious rooms and amazing facilities. In addition to breakfast, they offers several, drinks, smoothies and snacks all day.
We spent our afternoons in the pool, sunbathing and relaxing with a cocktail in hand, while taking advantage of the free WiFi. I highly recommend staying here if you are in Las Penitas. For a private room, we paid 990 NIO / R 420 / 30 USD pn.
Where to eat
Sua Grill & Chill – This restaurant is located right on the beach. I really enjoyed sitting right under the stars with my toes in the sand, while eating ceviche. Not only is the food delicious but the all white decor is cute too, this definitely adds on to the great atmosphere. I would say the best day to go to Sua is on Saturdays because they have live music.
Comedor Bertha – If you are looking for a true Nicaraguan restaurant with great food, then try out Comedor Bertha. The menu is based around local specialties of fish, shrimp and lobster. I was really surprised by the great quality of the food and smoothies. This meal below was 180 NIO / R 80 / 5.5 USD.
What to do
Surfing – Surfing is a popular activity here, if you wish to learn how to surf or rent surf boards, there are surfing shacks right on the beach. The best places to surf is behind Playa Roca and lessons cost 660 NIO / R 280 / 20 USD pp.
Visit Juan Venado Nature Reserve – This island is located just off the coast in front of Las Penitas. The nature is spectacular, I highly recommend the mangrove boat tour. You can get out of the boat and explore this tiny island. Because there are no houses or people living on the island, you’ll practically have the whole gorgeous beach to yourself. You can book the tour at most hotels, remember that the price goes down with the more people on the boat. I heard that from September to December there is a chance to see Sea Turtles laying eggs and baby turtles hatching!
Beach hopping – Las Penitas and Poneloya – The 5 kilometer long beach has dark sand and a lot of palm trees which will give you the ideal tropical destination feeling. You can enjoy beautiful walks and amazing sunsets. These beaches are known to have strong currents, if you want to get into the water, make sure you have sufficient swimming skills and knowledge and do not do it alone. The weekends and holidays may get a little busier because this is a popular vacation destination for Nicaraguans.
Horse riding – Do you dream about horses riding on the beach at the sunset? On this experience, you can enjoy galloping along a beach at sunset or even explore Las Penitas.
How to get to Las Penitas
From Leon – We took a chicken bus at a cost of 40 NIO / 1.2 USD pp. The bus stop for the chicken bus heading to Las Peñitas is at El Mercadito which is located in the Sutiava Neighbourhood. Taxi’s are also available which takes about 30 minutes, at a cost of 330 NIO / R 140 / 10 USD.
From Managua – Starting at the UCA Microbus Terminal, take a 2 hour bus ride to Leon. Once you arrive in Leon, you can either take a bus or a taxi to Las Penitas.
Best time to visit Las Penitas
November to April are the most popular months to visit Nicaragua because its dry season. between these months, you’ll experience sunny days with mild temperature. However, I visited in March and it was extremely windy, which made it hard to fully enjoy the beach.
If you want a nice quiet beach vacation, now is the time to go because of the lack of tourists in Nicaragua, you can’t go wrong going to Las Penitas. Don’t be the one that misses out on the best kept secret of Nicaragua!
Thank you for reading,