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4 Reasons Why You Should Visit This Charming Beach Town In Central America

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Are you looking for your next dreamy beach getaway but aren’t sure where to go? There is a charming hidden gem on the Pacific coast that should be at the top of your list!

If lounging on a pristine beach with a cold drink in hand during a gorgeous sunset sounds like your cup of tea, then there is one coastal town in Nicaragua that is calling your name.

Woman looking out over San Juan del Sur beach town in Nicaragua

Renowned for its incredible beaches, top-notch surfing, and laid-back vibes, San Juan del Sur is the perfect place to unwind during your next trip.

While the coastal town attracts surfing enthusiasts from all over the world, this destination is so much more than that, and has something for every type of traveler.

Here are 4 reasons you should visit San Juan del Sur for your next beach getaway:

Stunning Beaches & Dreamy Stays

We said it above and we’ll say it again — San Juan del Sur boasts some of the most gorgeous beaches in the Pacific. On top of that, there are some seriously top-notch places to make your home away from home.

If you are looking for the ultimate stay right in the heart of San Juan del Sur, you can’t get any better than La Santa Maria Resort.

You’ll have a fantastic view overlooking the town, everything you need right on site, and will only be a 10-minute walk from everything you could possibly want to do in town.

@traveloffpath Come with us to the best hotel in San Juan del Sur – La Santa Maria Resort . #sanjuandelsur #lsmresort #lasantamaria #visitnicaragua #travel #resort #nicarag ♬ Vlog / Western Music Tropical House / EDM ♫(997692) – RIKIYA

Plus, La Santa Maria Resort can help you set up any sightseeing or adventure tours you may want to take part in, like surfing or horseback riding.

As far as beaches go, some of our favorites include:

Playa San Juan del Sur

This is the main beach in the heart of San Juan del Sur and one of its most beautiful. There are endless options for food and entertainment both day and night right along the gorgeous sands. Plus, it’s only a 10-minute walk from La Santa Maria Resort.

One of our favorite spots for a bite was Restaurante El Timón. The food was amazing, and the view of the sunset was even better.

Playa San Juan del Sur
Playa Remanzo

This beach is the perfect place to learn to surf, as the waves break in different areas, meaning everyone from beginners to advanced surfers can enjoy themselves.

There are plenty of beach clubs and bars to grab a bite to eat or a drink after you are done catching the waves.

If it’s your first time surfing or you need to brush up on your skills, be sure to book a lesson with Tribu Surf Nicaragua. They can pick you up right from La Santa Maria Resort, making planning easy and painless.

@traveloffpath An incredible day out from @lsmresort with @tribusurfnicaragua. One of our first times out and we got up! . #surfing #lsmresort #lasantamaria #sanjuandelsur #visitnicaragua ♬ Lets Go Surfing – The Drums

Playa Escameca

This beach is the most secluded out of the three listed, but don’t let that stop you from visiting!

The coolest way to see this beach is by booking a horse riding tour. You’ll ride through the beautiful jungle, where you may even spot some howler monkeys!

Making your way out of the jungle you will come upon Playa Escameca, offering an incredible view of the Pacific. If you look across the water, you’ll even be able to catch some views of Costa Rica’s coast.

Riding a horse on a beach in Nicaragua

Affordable & Easy To Get To

One of the best parts about visiting San Juan del Sur is its affordability.

Drinks and food are cheap too. You can easily find domestic beers for a few dollars each, and a meal at a decent restaurant shouldn’t run you more than $20 or so.

As for getting there, while it isn’t as easy as a direct flight straight to San Juan del Sur, it is an easy journey. The closest major airport to fly to will be Managua.

Americans will connect either through Houston, Miami, or Fort Lauderdale. Once you land in Managua, you’ll have a 2.5-hour drive to San Juan del Sur. You can get there by bus for just a few dollars, or for a more comfortable journey, you can book a private transfer for about $80 per person.

**One thing travelers should know is that you will be required to pay a $10 USD fee to get into the country. This is a tourist fee and must be paid in cash.**

Flying into Managua airport in Nicaragua

Friendly & Laid-Back Atmosphere

You can’t help but feel like the wheel of time has slowed when walking the charming streets of San Juan del Sur. The bohemian vibe with colorful buildings and cute shops makes it feel like you are walking through a movie set.

Talking to the locals and other travelers, you’ll get the sense that nobody is ever in a rush, and you can truly unwind and relax during your time here.

All the restaurants you can visit are inviting and it’s totally fine (and expected) to make an evening of your meal.

Entrance sign of San Juan del Sur

Incredible Activities

If you get bored in San Juan del Sur something is wrong. There is so much to do here that you could easily stay for a month without ever feeling like you’ve run out of things to do. Best of all, La Santa Maria can help set you up with any tours or activities you want.

Some of our favorite activities included:


San Juan del Sur is renowned for having some of the best surfing in the world. We went to Playa Remanzo with Tribu Surf Nicaragua for some private lessons and had the hang of it within the hour (we are newbies).

Man surfing in San Juan del Sur

Horseback Riding

One of the coolest ways to take in a destination is on horseback, and Nicaragua is no exception.

We left La Santa Maria and within 30 minutes we were riding horses through the jungle on our way to Playa Escameca where we were able to watch the sunset over the gorgeous Pacific water.

During our ride, we saw some howler monkeys and even heard them in the distance as we left the area.

@traveloffpath What an incredible way to take in San Juan Del Sur! An easy drive from @lsmresort and so worth it! . #horseriding #sanjuandelsur #lasantamaria #lsmresort #visitnicaragua #nicaragua ♬ I Don't Like It, I Love It (feat. Robin Thicke & Verdine White) – Flo Rida

Cristo de La Misericordia

Overlooking San Juan del Sur is the Cristo de La Misericordia statue. It sits on top of a hill offering an incredible view of the town below.

You can take a taxi close to the top, or for more of a workout, you can start your walk from the bottom.

We opted for the hard way, and the views at the top were definitely worth the effort. If for no other reason, be sure to visit this spot for a great picture to take home with you!

@traveloffpath This is the best view of @sanjuandelsur! . #sanjuandelsur #lsmresort #lasantamaria #visitnicaragua ♬ Climb on Up – Climb

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Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.


Thursday 21st of September 2023

Need a place to visit that is wheelchair accessible, is it here? Any suggestions?


Thursday 21st of September 2023

That's the most beautiful place in Nicaragua, wow

Tino Lira

Wednesday 20th of September 2023

San Juan del Sur is a dream!🥰. I used to visit with my parents, siblings every other summer back in the 70's; when SJ was a gorgeous fishing town where locals went to bed by 7:00pm and got up at 4:00am! 😄 My parents used to get us up early to make it to SJ before dawn. Once there, they would rent an "enramada" or palm house right on the beach! We'd then change and would go out to take our first swim when everything was peaceful but you could still hear the waves crashing against the rocky hills in the background! We'd come out of the water excided but freezing, laid down on the sand, and had hot pinolillo (frothy, toasted corn flour and cocoa drink) and dunking French bread with butter for breakfast! Awesome memories! Obviously, more than 43 years later, everything has changed and SJ has become a surfing mecca! I just hope that the local authorities prevent SJ from becoming too commercialized and save its cultural charm, original vibe, and natural beauty! Thanks for sharing!


Wednesday 20th of September 2023

The San Juan del sur area is absolutely gorgeous. They're home of some of the most beautiful beaches in Latin America...this is a must visit country of Nicaragua 🇳🇮❤🇳🇮

Tyler Fox

Wednesday 20th of September 2023

We couldn't agree more!