Travel & Expat Lifestyle Magazine

Monday Escape: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua


If you love beaches, surfing, perfect tropical weather, unspoiled beauty and a cheap place to move to as an aspiring expat (who doesn’t?), then San Juan del Sur might be your ideal location.

Set aside a crescent-shaped bay, San Juan del Sur has some of the best waves in Central America. It’s a laid back place where the best things to do are just hang out, eat, drink and surf. It is also nearby the site of the upcoming season of Survivor: Nicaragua, in case you’d like to get more of a glimpse of this place on television before embarking.

With a population just under 20,000, it’s the perfect size. For many travelers, San Juan del Sur is considered an unspoiled alternative to the more popular destination of Costa Rica, and if you take a trek up to the cross overlooking the harbor, you’ll sit in awe of the vistas that prove it.

There are dozens of spectacular remote beaches both north and south of downtown where pounding surf and dramatic rock formations await to impress even weary travelers. The waterfront is a joy and small boats bob at anchor in the harbor as pelicans swoop down to perch on their bows. But the natural beauty isn’t limited to the coastline. Take a zip-line canopy tour through the treetops, and witness spider monkeys and other natural life everywhere.

The town itself is small enough to get around by walking. Despite its small size, there’s actually an English bookstore with a café in it, with a wide range of different books, though there’s no reason not to polish up on your Spanish too, right? Getting outside of town is easy enough– we recommend renting an ATV or motorbike if you want to get to some of the more remote beaches or locations, since some of the roads are often unpaved. It’s all part of San Juan del Sur’s unspoiled mystique.

Get here before the rest of the world discovers it!


2 thoughts on “Monday Escape: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

  1. Are their many Retirees in San Juan Del Sur? What are the drawbacks? The place sounds heavenly. Phyllis

  2. There’s a growing population of retirees but still far fewer than in more mature vacations and real estate destinations. San Juan receives more visitors each year, but still feel like Nicaragua. As it should.

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