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I stayed in Las Penitas at Benjamin's home March 9-15.
It was a pleasant surprise to get a quick return phone call when I booked from Ben and an offer to drive me from Managua to Las Penitas for $100. Benjamin is US educated and always available by phone for everything from house issues to dinner suggestions in Leon. He responded imediately. My wife and I really enjoyed the beautiful drive past Lake Managua and volcanos. We stopped and ate quesillos and loaded up with groceries in Leon. Las Penitas is a sleepy beach town with some hostels and a rundown hotel called Las Rocas. I was there to surf. My plan was to stay 1-2 nights and then explore further north. When we came thru the gates of Benjamin's home, I was pleasantly surprised. We had about an acre of true beachfront with coconut trees, teak and tropical plants. There is a giant cabana with a tiled floor, a hammock and desk. Our home had a very simple kitchen, refrigerator and 4 bedrooms with AC units. The living room and kitchen are open air, so no AC. Bedrooms are basic, each with it's own bathroom. I chose the front with a balcony and glass doors so I could wake up and see the surf.
The surf was great! I couldn't leave. I had 8 days of 7-8 foot waves with light to moderate offshore wind. 80 degree water and usually surfed alone or with 1-2 other surfers spread out over a mile. There were 3 main peaks in this stretch. A mellower wave with an easier takeoff right in front and a much more hollow right in front of the bigfoot hostel down a half mile. The inside section of the wave is fast and powerful. It broke the same at all tides. At high tide the shorebreak made the swimming a little challenging. I can't find much written about the surf here online so I'm not sure if this is typical or I was just lucky. It's hot here. 95 degrees everyday. There are two other breaks a mile south that I did not surf. A couple afternoons got blown out so we went to a volcano 1 day and kayaked the national park south of town another. Leon was a great town for walking and restaurants but nothing could top evenings in the hammock with some flor de cana and music. Needless to say, I never made the trip further north. After many trips to central america, this was my favorite.
Location, location, location. Right on the beach. Close to restaurants , hotels, and bars. A hammock, rocking chairs and a big rancho to relax under and view the beach. Our host Benjamin picked us up at the airport and drove us to Las Peñitas personally. There were caretakers on the property if we needed anything. Overall a quiet, relaxing experience.