View of San Juan del Sur from the local mountain hill, Nicaragua
SURF, SUNSHINE & SERENITY

Cruise to San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Once a sleepy little fishing village, this idyllic beach town in Nicaragua has garnered a little more global attention lately thanks to its easy-going vibe, budget-friendly activities and stunning natural splendour. That said, a cruise to San Juan del Sur still feels very off the beaten track. You won’t find crowds of tourists here – just avid surfers chasing world-class waves, expats living out their dreams along the area’s golden shores and a mix of sun-seekers and savvy celebrities craving a low-key tropical getaway. Once you cruise into port, San Juan del Sur’s brilliant blue Pacific waters and rolling emerald hills will cast a spell on you, too.
National Language Spanish
Currency Accepted Nicaraguan córdoba

Things To Do in San Juan del Sur

Surfer caught in waves in El Yankee Beach, Nicaragua

SURF’S UP

Surfer caught in waves in El Yankee Beach, Nicaragua

Surfer caught in waves in El Yankee Beach, Nicaragua

SURF’S UP

San Juan del Sur has been called Nicaragua’s 'Mecca of surfing' because of the incredible waves that roll in along the Pacific coast. For some of the best swells, head to Playa Maderas about 25 minutes north of the city, or go south to Playa Remanso. Boards are usually available to hire.

Olive Ridley Turtle hatchlings, Nicaragua

WILD BY NATURE

Olive Ridley Turtle hatchlings, Nicaragua

Olive Ridley Turtle hatchlings, Nicaragua

WILD BY NATURE

If you’re a nature buff, don’t miss Wildlife Refuge La Flor, located just 14 miles south of town. It’s the area’s most important nature conservation site. Home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, La Flor is one of only eight spots around the world where massive turtle nesting takes place.

Famous Jesus statue. Aerial view on San Juan del Sur city in Nicaragua.
Famous Jesus statue. Aerial view on San Juan del Sur city in Nicaragua.

THE VIEW FROM UP TOP

San Juan del Sur boasts the world’s second-largest statue of Jesus. It stands high above the town’s northernmost seawall and offers the best view of the coast and surrounding mountains. You can make the steep climb to the top on foot or take a taxi and comfortably soak up the sights.

Nicaragua typical plate. Meat with rice and beans
Nicaragua typical plate. Meat with rice and beans

LOCAL CUISINE

Traditional Nicaraguan dishes typically spotlight deep-fried plantains, coconut water, rice with beans and meat. You’ll have your pick of authentic local specialities, like gallo pinto, in San Juan del Sur, plus great global cuisine that ranges from incredible Indian food to standout burgers.

 Handmade masks from Nicaragua on sell at artisan marketplace
Handmade masks from Nicaragua on sell at artisan marketplace

SHOPPING

For affordable local finds like beach cover-ups, leather goods, jewellery, artisan-made souvenirs and even hand-woven hammocks big enough for the whole family, head to the bustling market at San Juan del Sur’s Plaza del Arte. Most of the goods sold here are made in Nicaragua.

Insider's Tips
Insider's Tips
1 San Juan del Sur’s most popular beaches – Playa Maderas, Playa Hermosa and Playa Remanso – are just a short drive from town.
2 The sun in Nicaragua is strong. Don’t forget to reapply sunscreen if you’re spending time outdoors.

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