San Juan del Sur used to be a quaint Nicaraguan fishing village. It is now a bustling beach town thanks to the pristine beaches and crescent shaped bay right on the Pacific Ocean. Despite the increase in tourist numbers and service industry establishments, San Juan del Sur remains charming with a vibrant culture. Colorful painted homes and a typical Central American town market add to the authentic feel here. Tiny fishing boats sail the bay alongside luxury yachts, and the occasional cruise ship pulls in to dock at the pier. Pack your bags and brush up on your Spanish because there are a number of exciting things to do in San Juan del Sur, especially for adventure travelers.
Less crowded than the surfing beaches of neighboring Costa Rica, San Juan del Sur has decent waves for beginners as well as experienced riders. The closest beach for surfing is Playa Maderas. The waves can reach a barreling height of around 8 feet near high tide. You can also visit Playa Yankee, a more secluded surfing beach just 30 minutes to the south of the town center. Board rentals are available in town at several surf shops, but there are no rentals at Playa Yankee so make sure to rent a board before you head out.
Tree Canopy Tour
San Juan del Sur has the longest tree canopy tour in Nicaragua, a great excursion for travelers who are not afraid of heights. Da Flying Frog company runs a canopy tour adventure program in the foothills just above San Juan del Sur. A network of 17 zip-line cables connects elevated tree platforms on the mountain peak to descending canopies along the slope. Strap in with a harness and helmet before zipping down the mountain from tree to tree. All in all, the excursion lasts about four hours. Participants can take in sweeping views of the town and the bay below. Kids ages seven and up can take the tree canopy tour. Outings are scheduled Monday through Saturday and cost $30 per person.
La Flor Beach
Travel just 13 miles south of San Juan del Sur to La Flor Beach. This is a wildlife reserve where rare Olive Ridely turtles breed once a year. Thousands of sea turtles migrate to the beach between July and January to lay their eggs at night. Myriad eggs hatch around three months after being laid, releasing hosts of baby turtles on the beach. Observe the baby turtles as they crawl along the sand and swim out to sea. La Flor Beach is a special place in Nicaragua where visitors can witness one of nature's mysterious events. Ask local guides about prime times to see the turtles in action.
Article Written By David Thyberg
David Thyberg began his writing career in 2007. He is a professional writer, editor and translator. Thyberg has been published in various newspapers, websites and magazines. He enjoys writing about social issues, travel, music and sports. Thyberg holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pittsburgh Honors College with a certificate in Spanish and Latin American studies.