Visiting San Juan del Sur is a great thing to do when traveling around Nicaragua – check out this helpful travel guide!
I spent a week in beautiful, beachy San Juan del Sur Nicaragua and though I spent much of it sick, I still managed to have a great time and fall in love with the cute town.
I took a bus from Liberia, Costa Rica into San Juan del Sur on a Saturday morning, and by that evening, I was sick in bed. I’m not sure what happened, but my sickness definitely kept me from doing some of the things I wanted while there. That said, the beachy little town is about six blocks by six blocks and it doesn’t take much to walk around and get a feel for the place.
San Juan del Sur is full of American expats, locals and tourists and it sort of feels like the whole town is on holiday. Interestingly, I didn’t speak a word of Spanish while I was there (despite that I was trying really hard to practice my Spanish!) because I interacted mostly with expats and then it seemed like many of the business owners wanted to speak to me in English. (It could also have to do with not wanting to listen to me blather on through trying-hard-but-not-so-great Spanish!).
So, let’s chat about things you can expect as while visiting San Juan del Sur!
Things To See & Do: All the beach activities you could possibly imagine! You can take a surfing lesson (I did), you can do the water sports you are into, you can lay around on the sand. There are also hikes (a notable hike up to a big Jesus statue is something that a lot of visitors to San Juan del Sur do) and if you are into shopping, you’ll have a great time hopping from shop to shop.
Where To Stay: I stayed at an airBNB – a private apartment with two rooms – because I needed to ensure that I had access to good wifi for work. That being said, though, San Juan del Sur is literally a town of hotels and hostels. Anything you could want – for any price range – you’ll be able to find. A popular hostel there is the Naked Tiger Hostel. There are also others I heard good reviews about, like Casa Oro and PachaMama.
Where To Eat: The local places are the best. I ate at a series of little cafes and bars that all had amazing food. For vegans, there are a few places I went to – among then Wrap N Roll and Buddha Garden – that had really delicious veg food! No matter what your preferences are, you definitely won’t starve in San Juan del Sur.
How To Get Around: Walk! You walk everywhere! Since the town is so small, there’s almost no place you can’t get on your two feet. In fact, just walking getting to know the town was one of my favorite things to do there! The beach is right next door to everything, and they have a great farmer’s market where you can get all the healthy food you want.
Cost Expectations: Cheap, cheap, cheap. I didn’t pay more than $5-$6 for the best meals I had there, and I didn’t have to spend any money on transportation. My airBNB was $20 a night – and that was on the more expensive end. A lot of the hostels there cost between $8-$15 a night. Your dollar will go very far here!
San Juan del Sur is definitely worth a visit for the Central American traveler – don’t miss it!