San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

A party/ surfing town on the South-Pacific coast of Nicaragua. Relatively pricey and dirty town, hostels were mostly packed and averaged over 30$ a night for even a “basic” (aka crappy) private room. The beach directly in front of the town is more like a bay, lots of boats, litter, and some pretty smelly water.

Known for good beaches for surfing and swimming North and South of town, and “Sunday-funday”: a hostel/bar crawl that buses 100+ participants from three different hostels party to party. SJDS is also one of the seven nesting sites in the world for the endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles and home to many poachers. Not safe to walk on the beach at night. We talked to two people that had been victims of petty theft and violent crimes near the beach in SJDS. Touristy things like “Sunday-funday”-along with lot’s of partying and bad decisions have unfortunately branded tourists in this town as easy targets. As long as you act responsibly and respectably and heed the warnings of the locals, it’s not inherently dangerous, but we still felt inclined to depart early and head to less populated beaches with easier access a few hours south in northern Costa Rica. Maybe we are just old 🙂

Another note- it is a 15 minute and 12$ taxi ride from Rivas from SJDS (same for SJDS to Rivas) verses a  LONG 1.5 hour 4$ bus ride (prices are both for two people). I’d recommend springing the extra 8 bucks and enjoying some A/C for a little while… The chicken buses get old pretty quick- no shame in taking a taxi when it’s much faster not that much more expensive!

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