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20km (12 miles) W of León

A 20-kilometer (12-mile) drive from León, you'll find two beautiful beaches: Poneloya and Las Peñitas. Popular with Leoneses escaping the city heat during the weekend, these dark-sand beaches are deserted on weekdays, though they're growing increasingly popular with surfers. Beware: The dark waves here are big and the currents strong. There is no lifeguard, and drownings are frequent, especially during the high season (around Easter week).