Backpackers Guide to San Juan Del Sur – Nicaragua

Sunset in San Juan Del Sur

San Juan Del Sur is a small coastal town on the Pacific Coast of Nicaragua. San Juan Del Sur is the hub for exploration of Nicaraguas toned and tanned southern beaches. While San Juan itself doesnt have an amazing beach or great surf, you can easily get shuttles either 30 minutes North or South to find waves. San Juan Del Sur is the best location for restauraunts and nightlife, and is home to Central Americas biggest party, Sunday funday, that attracts hundreds of foreign travellers each week.


Things to do in San Juan Del Sur

Mirador del Cristo de la Misericordia: This viewpoint overlooks San Juan Del Sur offering an amazing view. Sunset is a great time to hike to this viewpoint. The viewpoint is located where you see jesus from town.

Things to do in San Juan Del Sur

Sunday Funday: San Juan Del Sur is renowned for its party scene, in particular Sunday Funday, held every Sunday across three venues in San Juan Del Sur. After attending a Sunday Funday, you will understand what all the hype is about. When passing through make sure you don’t miss Central Americas biggest party. To secure your spot at one of the party hostels arrive to San Juan on a Tuesday or Wednesday and get settled for the coming Sunday. I recommend staying at the second Pacha Mamas.

Surf: There are many great surf spots North and South of San Juan Del Sur. Your hostel or surf shop can organize transportation. The photo below was taken at Playa Maderas.Things to do in San Juan Del Sur

Beaches: Even if you don’t surf, still check out the beaches North and South of San Juan Del Sur as they are much nicer. Playa Maderas, Playa Hermosa and Playa Remanso are worth checking out.

Fishing trips: Many places in town offer chartered fishing tours. Every person I spoke to that went on one loved it and highly recommended it.

Quad tours:Another tour I seen advertised throughout town, however cant comment as I didn’t take the tour. I can say however, that Quad tours are awesome.

Recommended length of stay

I recommend staying in San Juan Del Sur for 6 nights, however you could easily stay here more if you love to party.


Nicaraguan Cordoba and US Dollars .


Where to stay

Pacha Mamas: The last and most central Sunday Funday venue. I recommend Pacha Mamas as it is located in town making it easier to get around and see things. There are two Pacha Mama hostels. One is the main one where the party is held and one is smaller and quieter but only 1 block away. I recommend the second Pacha Mama as it is a nicer and quieter hostel, with all Sunday Funday benefits.

Naked Tiger: Is a mansion turned hostel, sitting on the rolling hills of San Juan Del Sur offering an unbeatable view. Naked Tiger is the second Sunday Funday venue. Although out of town, the shuttle makes it easy to get around.

Search for cheap accommodation options here.

Getting to and around

If you are coming from overseas, you would fly into Managua Airport, Nicaragua.

From Managua, you would take a bus to Rivas, then a bus to San Juan Del Sur. Alternatively you could organize a shuttle or get a taxi.

If your coming from Granada you would take a bus to Rivas, then a bus from Rivas to San Juan Del Sur.

If you are coming from Costa Rica you would get a bus to Rivas from the border, then a bus to San Juan De Sur from Rivas.

Once in San Juan Del Sur, most things are within walking distance. Most surf shops and hostels organize transportation to beaches North and South of San Juan Del Sur. Transportation to Sunday funday is included in your ticket purchase.

Check out my other Nicaraguan Destination Guides here… 

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