San Juan Del Sur

Overview

Introduction

Located near the border with Costa Rica, San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua, is a fishing village on the Pacific that has become a seaside resort. Located 60 mi/95 km south of Managua, the San Juan Del Sur area offers beaches, rocky vistas and seaside restaurants. Surfing is possible, though the waves are rather small. If you visit, take mosquito repellent.

The town is undergoing a transformation from a tourist destination primarily attracting budget travelers and surfers to a slightly more upscale mid-range destination. As a result, it's a rather disheveled place with a mix of grungy hostels, open-air thatched restaurants and bars along the beach, mixed with more upscale accommodations and a smattering of little boutiques, specialty restaurants and cafes, tourist services and souvenir shops. Many of these establishments are owned and operated by Europeans and American expats.

The town has a reputation as a party spot, particularly on weekends and holidays. It also has safety issues. Visitors should not walk on the beach at night, nor on the streets after dark.

A series of little-developed beaches set in small coves between forested headlands are lined up along the coast both north and south of San Juan town. They are accessed by rough, hilly dirt tracks that can become extremely muddy during rainy season. Generally, four-wheel-drive vehicles are needed to traverse these roads.

The nearby nature reserves at Chacocente and La Flor are frequented by sea turtles, which go ashore to lay their eggs. The area also offers spectacular birding and animal sightings.

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