Famed for its surf breaks, San Juan del Sur sits on a crescent-shaped bay on Nicaragua’s Pacific coast. Once a resting place for gold prospectors en route to California, this small fishing community has transformed into a popular holiday town and adventure tourism hub.
Things to do in San Juan del Sur
Rising atop a cliff overlooking San Juan del Sur Bay is the Mirador del Cristo de la Misericordia, which is home to one of the tallest statues of Christ in the world. A walking trail leads from San Juan del Sur up to the 134-metre-high statue, which enjoys spectacular views across the Pacific Ocean.
Many visitors come to San Juan del Sur specifically for the surf, with legendary breaks at Playa Maderas and Playa Hermosa. If you’re just starting out, you can book a lesson with one of the local surf schools and practise your skills in the smaller swells. Olive ridley turtles come to lay their eggs at Playa La Flor, which is a short drive south.
Inland from San Juan del Sur is Finca Las Nubes, where you can fly through the treetops on a ziplining tour. Alternatively, rappel down a 20-metre-high tree or swing through the air like Tarzan while coming face-to-face with spider monkeys. Finca Las Nubes is traversed by hiking trails that are popular with birdwatchers and provides the setting for thrilling ATV tours.
Getting around San Juan del Sur
San Juan del Sur is just under two hours' drive from Granada and 2.5 hours from Managua and Augusto Cesar Sandino International Airport, which has flights to destinations across Central America. There are daily buses from Managua to Rivas, from where local buses connect to San Juan del Sur. The town is small enough to explore on foot.