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pescado frito in Poneloya
For unpretentious fried fish and ocean breezes when in the Northwest of Nicaragua, head to Poneloya. You don't even need a car--buses leave from León regularly and in about half-an-hour you're on the beach.

Head to the northern end of Poneloya and you'll see a handful of fish 'shacks' clustered around a cove...(We sought out Pastora, a friend-of-a-friend...) The catch-of-the-day will be fried up for you, served with rice, fried plantains and a fresh lime. Order a "Victoria" or a "Toña" (the local beers), and maybe there'll even be a hammock for you to swing in while the fish sizzles...

(March and April are the hottest months, and the Easter holiday crowds can be formidable. Come mid-week, December through February, for cooler weather and quiet sunsets...Remember, this is rustic--no tablecloths, bring cash, avoid the tapwater, but be open to friendly smiles and relaxation.)

Poneloya, Nicaragua