From Leon we decided to take a taxi to the nearby coast area of Las Penitas, just short 40 minutes ride away for a respite from the constant heat in Leon. The taxi cost us $12 but for the return we opted for the bus as we had to get to the main terminal.
The coastal area has high waves and is not great for swimming but perfect for surfing. If you want to swim then you can do so in the very large pool that forms when the tide goes out in the morning. Due to the surrounding volcanos the sand on the coast is black but strangely enough it does not get too hot to walk on.
We stayed in small hotel called Barca de Oro literally at the end of road in Las Penitas and next door to the Isla Venando Wildlife Refuge. The place had a very relaxed feel to it and we were virtually the only guests, partly due to the low season and partly due to going in the week.
The only downside to the hotel was you had to buy your meals there or in a nearby restaurant. If you plan to visit the area there is a hostel with cooking facilities but there were no shops that we could find nearby that sold food so make sure you bring enough for your stay.
If you like fresh fish then you will love this area as the fisherman bring in their daily catches to the hotels so you are always ensured fresh fish at very reasonable prices.
On our second day we decided to rent a kayak form the hotel and visit the Isla Venando Wildlife Refuge. We set out at about 2.30pm and didn’t get back until 6.30pm!
We hadn’t planned to stay out so long but once you start going along the mangroves you keep wanting to see what’s around the next bend and as we had the place to ourselves it was hard to turn back.
The trip itself did not reveal much wildlife for us but it was a really nice afternoon out as long as you don’t try to park up as the mosquitos along the mangroves are ferocious as we found out the hard way!
After 2 days we were ready to move on and decided to head to Granada for the next leg of our journey.