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

Selina Maderas
Selina Maderas
3 out of 5
Empalme de Marsella, Playa Maderas,200, mts al norte, San Juan del Sur, 48600
The price is $16 per night from Oct 26 to Oct 27
Stay at this 3-star beach hostel in San Juan del Sur. Enjoy free WiFi, breakfast, and a business center. Our guests praise the helpful staff in our reviews. ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (29 reviews)
Friendly staff, nicely designed in the nature
"Relaxing atmosphere, comfortable, one of few places that has hot shower in San Juan del Sur."

Reviewed on Jul 20, 2022

Hotel Victoriano
Hotel Victoriano
3.5 out of 5
Boulevard de la Mar, contiguo Edificio Claro, San Juan del Sur
The price is $99 per night from Oct 11 to Oct 12
Stay at this 3.5-star beach hotel in San Juan del Sur. Enjoy free WiFi, a full-service spa, and breakfast. Our guests praise the bar and the helpful staff in ...
4.2/5 Excellent! (88 reviews)
"the check out it’s so early, my check in was at 2 o’clock, I would like that the check out must have been in the afternoon, maybe like 3 or 4 pm"

Reviewed on Aug 29, 2022

Nuestra Casa
Nuestra Casa
2.5 out of 5
From Moetti Intersect 1 Block N and 1E, In Front of Violetta Chamorro's House, San Juan del Sur, Rivas
Stay at this business-friendly guesthouse in San Juan del Sur. Enjoy free breakfast, free WiFi, and free parking. Popular attractions Petroglyph and Church of ...
4.1/5 Very Good! (12 reviews)
"staff was excellent and breakfast was wonderful!"

Reviewed on Aug 19, 2022

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.
Ocean View Condo with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, kitchen and balcony
Ocean View Condo with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, kitchen and balcony
San Juan del Sur, Rivas
Stay at this condo in San Juan del Sur. Enjoy WiFi, a balcony, and a TV. Popular attractions Church of Saint John the Baptist and San Juan del Sur Port are located ...
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, 505
Stay at this 3.5-star villa in San Juan del Sur. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and a children's pool. Our guests praise the pool and the helpful staff in our ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (30 reviews)
"very good villa for family and very good customer service. We have very good time there."

Reviewed on Dec 27, 2021

La Santa Maria Resort
La Santa Maria Resort
4 out of 5
Calle Barlovento, La Santa Maria, San Juan del Sur, Rivas
Stay at this 4-star business-friendly condo in San Juan del Sur. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and a health club. Popular attractions Petroglyph and Church ...
4.2/5 Excellent! (14 reviews)
"Excellent location. Amazing views. Large deck and very friendly staff. Safe and secure."

Reviewed on Jan 23, 2022

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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