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Nicaragua’s Playful Beach

San Juan del Sur is a beach in Nicaragua, wonderful to spend a few good days, partying all night and spending the day with a hangover on the beach.

Being one of the main tourist destinations in Nicaragua, San Juan del Sur also attracts a lot of people who are traveling through Costa Rica, due to its proximity to the border.

If you haven’t read it yet, we have many posts with tips and itineraries for Nicaragua and Central America. Check out:

And also read about the other destinations we visited in Nicaragua:

Be sure to check out our video on Youtube talking more about this destination, with many stories and perrengues that we went through:

Things to do in San Juan del Sur

San Jual del Sur is a perfect place to relax and let time pass. If you’re coming from an intense travel pace, you can bet that you’ll want to be stranded on the beach doing nothing else.

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San Juan beach

On the beach there are several restaurants with tables and sun loungers to spend the day in a good mood. The structure is great and the prices are not high.

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beach bars
Image of Bronson Harrington

For those in the mood, there is a statue of Christ on top of a hill, with a lookout point to see the beach. You can walk up without much effort, but if you prefer to take a taxi, there are roads there as well.

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view from above
Photo: Biomedeng at English Wikipedia [Public domain]via Wikimedia Commons

If the focus is surfing, the beaches around are great for that. The main ones are Playa Hermosa and Playa Maderas. You can go by bus, but the most common thing is to close a package with a surf instructor, transport and equipment to spend the day having lessons.

Click on a point on the map to see its legend

But the best thing to do in San Juan is to really enjoy the night. It doesn’t matter if you want a nightclub with beautiful and tidy people, or if you prefer to have some on the beach with a guitar. San Juan is the place for that. So let’s get down to business:

Bars and Restaurants in San Juan

What San Juan has the most is a little shop selling rum and beer, in addition to internationalized bars. The secret is to walk around the village and see where there is movement.

The beach bars have more teenagers from the region, while the ones further into the village have people from other countries.

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Sunset at the beach

On Sundays there is a huge party in San Juan del Sur, which is considered the biggest and craziest in Nicaragua: it’s the Sunday Funday.

The party starts at Hostel Pachamama, passes through several bars and ends at Naked Tiger. Expect lots of drinking, pool making out and those things young people like.

We were even curious, but the price is very high considering you are in Nicaragua, so we left it at that. If you’re interested in participating, be sure to buy tickets in advance, as the deal fills up.

When the hangover hits and you remember that you need to eat something, downtown San Juan has it all: lots of fast food and lots of restaurants serving meals.

A delicious street food we tried in San Juan del Sur was Nacatamal, a variation of a typical dish from much of Latin America. It’s a polenta stew with meat, vegetables and lots of seasoning, cooked in a banana leaf package. Amazing! Read more:

san juan del sur
nacatamal

Where to stay in San Juan del Sur

Choose to stay in the center of San Juan del Sur to enjoy the best of the village. As much as it is a party place, you will hardly have problems with noise there. The worst thing is on the beach, where there are parties with loud electronic music.

The most common accommodations here are hostels, very cheap and great for meeting people. Casa Oro and Sueños del Mar are almost free and excellent. Casa Romano has private rooms, for those who prefer.

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