San Juan del Sur

Travel Guide
San Juan del Sur showing a sandy beach, a bay or harbor and a coastal town

Join the sun-kissed surfers at the beautiful beaches of this colorful and fun-loving town located on Nicaragua’s sunny southwest coast.

Dozens of glorious beaches, scenic lookouts, a pretty town center and lively nightlife scene await in San Juan del Sur. Discovered by Spanish explorer Andrés Niño in 1523, San Juan del Sur developed as a small fishing community. Since the arrival of the surfer crowd, the town has been a sought-after stop on the backpacker circuit. See brightly hued houses, lush green surroundings and friendly locals presenting a quintessential Nicaraguan experience.

The town’s centerpiece attraction is San Juan del Sur Beach, where boat owners and guides offer diving, snorkeling and whale-watching excursions. Dine at ocean-facing bars with superb sunset viewpoints. Find more bars, cafés and restaurants on the waterfront Paseo del Rey. This promenade’s northern section becomes a boisterous nightlife zone after dark.

Hike south from the beach on the Old Lighthouse Trail to a hilltop fort to enjoy exquisite views over San Juan del Sur Bay. Follow a path north to the Cristo de la Misericordia Lookout for equally impressive panoramas. Another interesting walk is to the Petroglyph, which portrays ancient hunting scenes. Try adventure pursuits, such as abseiling down a waterfall and zip lining, with Da’ Flying Frog Adventures.

Explore the town’s peaceful streets and note the collection of Victorian-era clapboard buildings. Many have been converted into bars, boutique hotels, clothing outlets and souvenir shops. Visit the humble, colonial-era Church of San Juan Bautista on Parque Central.

More beaches lie within a short shuttle bus ride. Discover the secluded coves, rolling waves and blissed surfer vibe that make Nicaragua’s Pacific coast famous. To the north are Nacascolo Beach, Marsella Beach and Madera Beach. Head south to El Remanso, Hermosa Beach and Yankee Beach.

San Juan del Sur is a 30-minute drive from Rivas and just over a 2-hour drive from Managua. Get here via public buses or rent the services of a private taxi. San Juan del Sur’s laid-back charm is the perfect complement to active treks to Concepción Volcano and Maderas Volcano on the island of Ometepe in Lake Nicaragua.

Where to stay in San Juan del Sur

Bahia del Sol Villas & Condominiums
Bahia del Sol Villas & Condominiums
3.5 out of 5
De la Alcaldia 2.2 km al norte, La Talanguera, San Juan del Sur
The price is $193 per night from Oct 14 to Oct 14
Situated in the mountains, this villa is within a 15-minute walk of San Juan del Sur Beach and Nacascolo Beach. Petroglyph and Church of Saint John the Baptist ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (29 reviews)
"great people, gerat place to stay with the family"

Reviewed on Aug 31, 2021

Bahia del Sol Villas & Condominiums
Buddha Roc Beach Resort
Buddha Roc Beach Resort
4 out of 5
PLAYA MARSELLA SAN JUAN DEL SUR, San Juan del Sur, RIVAS REGION
Situated near the beach, this hotel is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Playa Marsella and 2 mi (3.1 km) from Nacascolo Beach. San Juan del Sur Beach and Maderas Beach are ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (18 reviews)
"Nice and quiet place. Very clean and staff very nice."

Reviewed on Aug 1, 2021

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Buddha Roc Beach Resort
TreeCasa Resort
TreeCasa Resort
3 out of 5
Entrada Rancho Payayal, 2 Km al Este, San Juan del Sur
The price is $225 per night from Oct 12 to Oct 12
Situated in the mountains, this hotel is 1.6 mi (2.6 km) from Nacascolo Beach and 2.6 mi (4.1 km) from San Juan del Sur Beach. Playa Marsella and Petroglyph ...
4.7/5Exceptional! (23 reviews)
amazing!! overall best place for your money.
"amazing place, very clean, sharp staff. the food is the best. great place for relaxing in nature, is wort every penny. only 2 tings you have to be aware of: don bring a girlfriend that is scared of bugs 😅 they should offer a mosquito net so insects dont fall on your bed at night.second: the road ..."

Reviewed on Jun 12, 2021

TreeCasa Resort
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Beach Villa, 5Min walk to the beach, 3 bedrooms, Pool, BBQ, Big terrace, Wifi.
Beach Villa, 5Min walk to the beach, 3 bedrooms, Pool, BBQ, Big terrace, Wifi.
San Juan del Sur, Rivas Department
The price is $164 per night from Sep 28 to Sep 28
Located in the heart of San Juan del Sur, this villa is within a 15-minute walk of San Juan del Sur Beach and Nacascolo Beach. Petroglyph and Church of Saint ...
5/5Exceptional! (1 review)
Beautiful place ❤️❤️
"Bello lugar"

Reviewed on Sep 12, 2021

Beach Villa, 5Min walk to the beach, 3 bedrooms, Pool, BBQ, Big terrace, Wifi.
La Santa Maria Resort
La Santa Maria Resort
4 out of 5
Calle Barlovento, La Santa Maria, San Juan del Sur, Rivas
The price is $284 per night from Oct 5 to Oct 5
Situated by the sea, this condo building is within a 5-minute walk of Petroglyph and Church of Saint John the Baptist. San Juan del Sur Beach and Old Lighthouse ...
4.1/5Very Good! (12 reviews)
"Staff was nice and friendly. Gaudy was amazing"

Reviewed on Aug 10, 2021

La Santa Maria Resort
Bahia del Sol Villas & Condominiums
Bahia del Sol Villas & Condominiums
3.5 out of 5
De la Alcaldia 2.2 km al norte, La Talanguera, San Juan del Sur
The price is $193 per night from Oct 14 to Oct 14
Situated in the mountains, this villa is within a 15-minute walk of San Juan del Sur Beach and Nacascolo Beach. Petroglyph and Church of Saint John the Baptist ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (29 reviews)
"great people, gerat place to stay with the family"

Reviewed on Aug 31, 2021

Bahia del Sol Villas & Condominiums
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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