About San Juan del Sur
San Juan del Sur is a beautiful coastal town of about 20 thousand people, located in southern Nicaragua about 20 miles from Costa Rica on the Pacific Coast. It is known as one of the world’s best surf towns because of the great breaks nearby.
San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua is an international tourist destination and a favorite weekend and holiday destination for wealthy and middle-class Nicaraguans. What makes it so special and beloved is the authenticity of the town and the fact that is that so far it is free of any hotel chain or restaurant chain. No McDonalds, no Best Western, no high-rises. There are several buildings over 150 years old dating back to the gold rush era.
San Juan del Sur is home to many beautiful beaches, such as Playa Coco, Playa Yanqui (aka “Yankee”), Playa Hermosa, “Remanso Beach,” Playa Maderas, Playa Marsella, and the sea turtle refuge of La Flor. La Flor is one of the most important nesting sites of Oliver Ridley sea turtles in Central America, which are famous for their mass nesting patterns, known in Spanish as “arribadas.” The turtle nesting season is from July through December. See us for sea turtle tours.
Natives to San Juan are known as “San Juanenos,” and are friendly and accostomed to tourists. In addition to its many tourist visitors, there are many foreigners living in San Juan del Sur, and it is increasingly a bilingual community. Nevertheless, the town preserves its native character and culture. Because of it’s many hotels , hostels, restaurants and other services, as well as its relative security and rich local culture, it is an advantageous place to base your vacations and adventures. Surf breaks are easily accessed by booking a shuttle from the surf shop, as well as the other other activities offered, including sailing, kayaking, kiteboarding & windsurfing, (seasonal), fishing (seasonal), rapelling tours, canopy tour, horseback riding, hiking, stand-up paddleboarding, etc. San Juan del Sur is also an excellent place to learn Spanish.
In the 1850s, the port of San Juan del Sur was the pacific terminus of Cornelius Vanderbilt’s transit route between the US east coast and California, and was even visited by the American author Mark Twain. It remained a mercantile port, linked to Lake Nicaragua and the rest of the country by a railroad, which longer exists, nor is it visited by mercantile trade. If you are lucky you may see an old steel train rail preserved in a local’s home.
San Juan del Sur is a party town, especially on the weekends during Nicaraguan holidays. Monday through Sunday there are bars and clubs open along the beach, as well as parties sponsored by the hostels. But the biggest parties are New Years, Semana Santa (Holy Week), San Juan Day (all of June until June 24th), and September 15th, Nicaragua Independence Day. There is also a large Evangelical Christian presence in town, plus a Christian Surfers chapter, a very active English speaking AA group, not to mention of course two gyms, a martial arts community, a yoga studio with a vegan/raw restaurant attached, and plenty of other places to find people to hang out with if you like to maintain a cleaner lifestyle. There are also plenty of healthy,active options and family-friendly activities that you can book at the Adventure Center if the night life isn’t your thing. Feel free to contact us for advice on when to come.
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