San Juan del Sur - Nicaragua

Once a quiet fishing town, San Juan del Sur has emerged into one of the nation’s leading Pacific coast destinations. With approximately 18,000 residents and a growing population of ex-patriots, this village has surprisingly been able to maintain its unique culture.

San Juan is characterized by its brightly colored wooden homes and storefronts. Mornings start early in this small town with the hustle and bustle of the local market and the sound of roosters, church bells, and bus drivers feverishly calling out the next departure for Rivas or Managua.

The picturesque, crescent-shaped bay is dotted with local pangas, sail boats, and large fishing yachts and the beach is lined with locally-owned thatch-roofed bars and restaurants serving up cold drinks, local cuisine, and fresh seafood. While the fishing industry is still present, an increasing number of residents are making their living off of the growing tourism industry. Small comedores, hospedajes, surf shops, and local bars and restaurants line the streets of this quaint Nicaraguan fishing town.

At sunset, visitors are sure to catch a game of soccer played on either end of the long beachfront.

While San Juan is a small town, easily explored on foot in a morning, most visitors find that it’s a nice, comfortable place to spend a couple of days. The surrounding areas offer ample opportunities for relaxing on the beach, surfing, fishing, scuba diving, snorkeling, or sailing. Outside of the water, visitors can zip through the canopy on the canopy tour located just outside of town or visit the protected La Flor beach and wildlife reserve to witness numerous sea turtles emerging from the water to lay eggs (August to December).

With a number of quaint hotels, resorts, vacation rentals, shops, and tasty restaurants, San Juan is also a great place to kick back and relax. Generally, visitors to Nicaragua choose to end their holiday comfortably in San Juan del Sur, before heading back home.