From Managua to León, via la carretera vieja, you will follow the Pacific coast. Turning west, you can reach the many black sand beaches of the coast: Pochomil, El Tránsito, Miramar, Salinas Grandes. Then you will have to cross the city of León before continuing, either westwards to the beaches of Las Peñitas and Poneloya, or northwards to the beaches of Jiquilillo and Asaredorres, among others.
Beaches south of León
Montélimar and Pochomil
Montélimar, Gran Pacifica, one of the most famous beaches in the country, the ex-dictator Somoza had built his second home there. Today transformed into a casino, the building is part of one of the only Nicaraguan resorts in the region. Its beach is one of the most beautiful in the Pacific, a beach of fine sand where a few coconut trees dance to the rhythm of the wind. Its access is reserved to the hotel’s customers who are the law here in Montélimar.
Don’t worry, just above it is the beach of Pochomil, more authentic, more popular and just as pretty. The small beach stores mainly cater to local tourism, which flock to the beach on Sundays and holidays.
Less than an hour from Managua, a small trail invites you to go to this authentic fishing village. A black volcanic sand beach, with a hill overlooking it. Natural pools everywhere! And waves! A paradise for surfers and families. The village remains family oriented. Tourism is rather recent. Fishing cooperatives, houses and local bars rub shoulders with the 5 or 6 hotels and restaurants with a certain harmony. The village is not very big. From the top of the hill, the view is incredible. The trace of the long barrier of rocks characterizing the north of the beach can be seen. Towards the continent, there is nothing, everything is green. One feels in a very secluded and authentic place. We often witness the departures and returns of the fishermen, the ballet of the few surfers who play on the waves of the ocean and the breathtaking sunsets.
Miramar and Puerto Sandino
About 70 km from the city of Managua, Puerto Sandino is a commercial port whose adjacent beach, Miramar, is recognized as an excellent surfing destination. This small village of fishermen and farmers invites you to rest and tranquility.
Located less than 30 minutes drive south of the city of León, this 4 km long beach borders the south side of the Isla Juan Venado nature reserve. It is named after the many surrounding salt marshes that you will see upon arrival. The village is not very big, not very lively outside of Holy Week when the owners of the few houses come to spend the week.
Beaches north of León
Las Peñitas and Poneloya
The residential beach of Poneloya is especially popular with locals. Its neighbor Las Peñitas, a village of traditional fishermen, has experienced a real tourist development in recent years. The long kilometer along the coast offers a wide choice of accommodation and restaurants.
At the end of the road is the access to the estuary, Isla Juan Venado and its mangroves. The nature reserve fills and empties with salt water according to the tides. It is an essential stop for lovers of fauna and flora that you can discover on board a lancha or in a kayak accompanied by a local guide.
Further north of León is the city of Chinandega and “its” beaches, about 40 minutes away. Great green and deserted beaches, the Eldorado of Nicaragua? It is said that some large Nicaraguan families have been investing here for a few years now, so great is the potential for development. The land is large and fertile, the beaches are enormous. Jiquilillo is one of the largest beaches in Nicaragua and belongs to the natural reserve Padre Ramos. Not far away is the Cosiguina volcano and the border with Honduras, on the other side of the Gulf of Fonseca. The panorama is just breathtaking !