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Surfing in Las Penitas, Nicaragua - Poneloya and Las Penitas


Located 12 miles or 20 km from the colonial city of Leon on the Nicaraguan west coast, Las Penitas has long been a favoured hang-out for locals and a few expats who stumbled upon it by chance. Despite offering world-class surfing opportunities Nicaragua is still very much of a white spot on the map for the surfing community who flock to crowded beaches along the U.S. and Mexican pacific coast but forget to explore the fantastic surfing further south.

Las penitas is suitable for surfers of all levels of expertise, but the undertow can be fearsome so signing up for at least a few local surfing classes is recommended if your are a beginner. The beach has a surfing school ready to help beginners and more advanced surfers a like and it is located on the beach between the popular hotels Playa Roca and Oasis. The school offers lessons, rent out equipment and body boars as well as having a skilled repair man that can fix any damages your board might have if you want him to.

The beach of Las Penitas is surfed year round and known for its consistency when it comes to offering great waves. The type is point-break and the normal length varies from 50 to 150 meters. Swells starts working at 1.0-1.5 m and grows up to 3 m+. It is a sand beach with a few hidden rocks below the surface and a few large rock formations going out into the water and it can therefore be a good idea to ask a local about the locations of the rocks or to visit the beach during low tide before starting to surf.

On the beach you will find several hotels and hostels that offer affordable accommodation. Dorms start at 6 USD/night and private rooms are available from 20 USD/night. Most hotels and hostels also serve relatively cheap food, such as catch of the day, fried meat with jalapeno sauce, and hamburgers. An example of this is ther restaurant Bertha located nead the entrancy to Las Penitas that offer a gigantic sea food platter that is enough for 2-3 persons for less than 13 usd and very good fish dishes for 5 USD. If you want to eat even cheaper, buy rice and beans and fried pirogues from the food stands people put up in front of their houses in the evening. The local shops offer a bag od breed for 15 cordobas (75 cents) and 2 dozen bananas for a buck. If you want a coconut? You can simple pick cocnuts on the beach due to the fact that the owners of the beach house dont harvest their coconuts and simply allow the nuts to fall on the beach.

You can get to managua on one of countless flights each day and getting here is easy as it is a mere 2 hours flight from Miami. Once you arrive in Nicaragua you will have no problem in the customs and you will find the people very friendly. During recent years, Nicaragua has passed several laws in order to encourage foreign tourism since the hospitaly sector offers a source of income to this impoverished nation where most middle aged people will have deep personal experiences of dictatorship, revolution and war.

From Managua you take the express bus from UCA (Universidad Centro America) to Leon for 40 cordobas (2 USD) and then catch the 10 cordoba (50 cent) bus to Las Penitas / Poneloya from El Mercandito de Sutiaba. It is also possible to take a taxi from Leon to las penitas ata cost of about 10 USD, a Taxi all the way from the airport in Managua cost about 60 USD. The bus is slow and make a lot of stops along the way but one benefit with the bus is that it has plenty of place for your surfing board (you might be asked to pay 10 cordobas / 50 cent extra to bring to board on the bus. Or call/email us at Nicaragua Realty and we will help you with transportation.