Las Penitas : Nicaragua

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What it's Like to Retire in Las Penitas

As you watch the sunset over the Pacific while sitting on an empty black sand beach, you’ll ask yourself, where are the people? Don’t worry. Nicaraguan families flock to this beach town on Sundays. But the rest of the week, it’s all yours. A few foreigners have recognized this and have set up very small beachside hotels. However, hurricanes and crippling governments of the past have kept development down, meaning that extremely inexpensive properties can be found directly on the beach.

Residents spend their time relaxing in hammocks, walking or running along the black sand beach and wading in the ocean. The waves provide a perfect environment for first time surfers who want to take a lesson from the local surf school. Fishing and kayaking are also popular activities. Adjacent to the town is the nature preserve of Juan Venado Island, where you can see birds, iguanas, and alligators in a mangrove ecosystem. Most impressive are the sea turtles who come onshore at night to lay their eggs. A local organization can put together night tours to see these amazing animals.

The town is quite small, with few cultural attractions. However, the nearby liberal University town of Leon offers arguably the best art museum in Central America, as well as several smaller museums devoted to their beloved poets. The city also has plenty of stores to stock up on supplies, language schools to work on your Spanish, restaurants, a movie theater and colorful, yet crumbling colonial houses.

Today, Nicaragua is not the war-torn country of the past, but an inexpensive, yet rapidly developing one. The Pacific Coast is very similar to the landscape you would find in Costa Rica, but overdevelopment is non-existent and prices remain quite low. Safety can be a concern, especially if your house is unoccupied for months at a time. Most of the small beach side hotels have hired night patrolmen and this expense should be taken into account before investing.

Where to Retire in Las Penitas and Home Prices

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What is special about Las Penitas

There are few beach towns close to the US that remain this undeveloped. The beauty of this beach is astonishing. Active adults will enjoy exploring the local nature preserve with its impressive wildlife. The proximity of Leon, with its many cultural attractions also increases the value of life in Las Penitas.

What is not special about Las Penitas

There is little to buy in the village itself, so residents would need to drive into Leon to resupply just about anything. The Nicaraguan government is much more stable than in the past, but still faces many challenges. People considering buying property should extensively research property rights to ensure security. The surf is quite rough and even strong swimmers should be careful.

Who will like retirement in Las Penitas

Those who are looking for a beautiful landscape, beach tranquility and a very quiet community would enjoy retiring here.

Local economy is driven by

The local economy is driven by tourism, fishing and employment found in the city of Leon.

Climate and Physical Environment

Properties are found between the black sand beach and a rough dirt road. The climate is fairly constant year round, with temperatures in the 80s. There is a rainy season between May and October. Generally this means that skies are clear in the morning, with afternoon or evening showers.

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Not much culture can be found at the beach. Plenty exists in Leon.


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Medical facilities

The closest hospital is in Leon.


Las Penitas is located forty minutes away from one of the major Nicaraguan cities - Leon. Several daily buses run this route, or you can take a taxi along the rough, unpaved road. Leon is about a 1.5 hour drive from the capital, Managua, which is a 2.5 hour flight from Miami.

Valuable Links

Link to some hotels at the beach, with pictures and info about activities:

What people are saying about Las Penitas

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Facts about LAS PENITAS
  • State: NICARAGUA
  • Environment: Rural,Coastal,
  • City Population: Less than 10,000
  • Median age of Population: 0-24
  • Avg Jan Temperature: 61 +
  • Avg July Temperature:
  • Median HH Income: 0-20,000
  • Average Home Price (MLS): Less than $100,000
  • Annual Property Tax on a $200,000 house: NA
  • Total Crime Index: 101-110 (slightly above average)
  • Cost of Living Index: <80 (Very low)
  • Culture Index: <80 (Very low)
  • State Sales Tax: Yes
  • State Income Tax: Yes
  • Name of the Guide:

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