San Juan del Sur Travel Guide

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Large cruise ships anchored in the bay look strangely out of place in this laid-back town, which until a few decades ago was a remote fishing village.

Visitors today are welcomed by local craftspeople selling their wares on the golden beach, while the beach bars and restaurants set-up by enterprising ex-pats are great places to soak up the atmosphere of this small and still relatively under-developed jewel in Nicaragua's tourism crown. More adventurous visitors can explore further afield for a range of ecotourism activities.
Situated on a horseshoe shaped bay on Nicaragua's Pacific coast, San Juan del Sur is an attractive and lively beach resort.


San Juan del Sur itself does not offer much in the way of attractions. Besides the beach, the bars and the restaurants there is little to do in the town itself. There's an impressive Petroglyth just outside of town and if you're there between July and December you may be able to see Olive Ridley or Leatherback turtles who return each year to nearby Refugio de Vida Silvestre La Flor to lay their eggs.In the last few years a number of eco-tourism companies have sprung up offering canopy tours, wildlife watching and visits to surfing beaches nearby. Those with a little more time may want to explore Ometepe Island in Lake Nicaragua with its twin volcanoes, cloud forests and coffee plantations.


• Iglesia San Juan Bautista (church)
• Playa Marsella (nearby beach)
• Petroglyph (ancient monument)
• Refugio de Vida Silvestre La Flor (turtle refuge)
• Canopy Tours
• Ometepe Island

Tourist information

Instituto Nicaragüense De Turismo
Hotel Crowne Plaza, 1c Sur, 1c Oeste, Managua, Nicaragua
Tel: +505 254 5191.

Shopping introduction

Locals sell arts and crafts, such as hand-carved wood products and colourful paintings, direct to cruise ship visitors on the beach.


There are a few local restaurants serving the standard Nicaraguan fare of rice, beans and chicken. But most of the beachside restaurants serve dishes devised with the Gringo in mind.

When to go

The dry season is from November to April and it gets progressively warmer until the wet season kicks off in mid May. For turtle-watching aim for July or August.

Nearest destination

San Juan del Sur.

Transfer distance

1km (0.6 miles).

Transfer time

5 minutes.

Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.