Welcome to the beaches of León!

Less than 30 minutes from downtown León, the black sand beaches of Las Peñitas and Poneloya allow you to get out of the overwhelming heat of the colonial city and enjoy the beach to swim, rent a surfboard or drink a cocktail with your feet in the water in front of a heavenly sunset.

You can also explore the Isla Juan Venado Nature Reserve and observe the many animals in this spectacular mangrove swamp.

Las Peñitas

   Considered THE beach of León, it is basically a small fishing village located 20 minutes from the city of León.

Next beach to the more residential Poneloya, Las Peñitas offers you a long and wide black sand beach with its estuary that fills and empties with water with the tides and is the gateway to the Isla Juan Venado nature reserve.

In recent years, since the road between León and the Pacific coast was paved, a diversified hotel offer has been created here.

Isla Juan Venado Nature Reserve

   The end of the road to Las Peñitas is a simple cul-de-sac, some cars are parked in front of the Barca de Oro, a small historic French restaurant and hotel on the beach. It is the gateway to the Isla Juan Venado nature reserve, located across the street! What a beautiful place! Isla Juan Venado stretches to Salinas Grandes, 22 km further south.

Between this island and the coast is an immense forest of great biodiversity that is home to hundreds of species of wading and migratory birds, caimans and iguanas.

The discovery of this spectacular fauna and flora within the mangrove is done aboard a lancha, a fisherman’s boat, or in a kayak accompanied by a local guide.

A little further on, on the beach of the desert island, leatherback turtles come to lay their eggs during the season, from August to December!


   Poneloya is a fishing village, rather residential for a few years. Some Nicaraguan families have second homes there. The beach is large and quite irregular, with black sand everywhere and coconut trees scattered on the coastal land.

There is also an estuary, the entrance and access to Los Brasiles, an island and a huge mangrove.

Beware, Poneloya and its beach have a bad reputation for swimming. The waves and currents are very strong there.

How to get there ?

   Las Peñitas and Poneloya are located on the Pacific coast less than 30 minutes drive from León. There are several possibilities to get there:

  • by Chicken Bus, take the bus at the market from Sutiaba to León.
  • by cab,
  • by private car, follow the road to the coast. At the police station, go straight for Poneloya or turn left for Las Peñitas.

What to put in your suitcase?

   We advise you to bring in your suitcase a swimsuit, a hat, sunglasses, sun cream, a water bottle, a camera, binoculars and possibly your surfboard (rental possible on site).