San Juan Del Sur

Posted from San Juan del Sur, Rivas Department, Nicaragua.

San Juan Del Sur can be described in two words, Sunday Funday. Of which I did not participate. Why? Well, as I get a bit long in the tooth, going to pool parties that are teeming with 20-somethings begins to feel a little like I’m trying to reinvent the wheel. That, and our hostel had it’s own Funday. From what I hear, it was better. But I digress.

San Juan del Sur is a famous place amongst surfers in Nicaragua. The main beach itself does not have a good break, but there are beaches to the north and south that attract these wave seekers like crazy. Daily shuttles leave from most guest houses, returning in the evening for a fair fee. 

san juan del sur

I’m a sucker for sunsets, especially when the tide goes out.

I, however, do not surf. There was one time I did a lesson in New Zealand. But that was years ago.

Instead of running myself ragged trying to see everything I could, I chose to relax in San Juan and let myself enjoy the pool at the hostel. And the party.

The journey from León was rather painless. No borders to cross. Great roads. And only a five to six-hour journey in a cramped van. The driver stopped in Granada for lunch, which seemed like a beautiful place. It reminded me a bit of Antigua. And I plan to return one day.

Hola Ola

I pretty much stayed here for hours. If only someone was around to bring me a fresh beer.

After arriving in San Juan we were informed that our hostel, Hola Ola, was technically not in the downtown, so we’d have to taxi. As I watched my Google Maps whilst dropping off the other occupants, I noticed we were less than 1km away – so we told the driver we would walk from where we were. Less than 10 minutes later we were at our hostel. And it was awesome. The only problem was they didn’t have any space for the next night – Sunday.

san juan del sur

A little piece of paradise along the boardwalk at the beach.

Hola Ola has a pool and a bar, free breakfast, and great food at reasonable prices. For Sunday Funday they offer $10 all you can drink rum punch from 2 to 5 p.m. Then they offer a shuttle to Naked Tiger where the final pool party of Sunday Funday occurs. The entry is $20 and it’s an extra $15 for unlimited drinks. Us and about 12 other people decided to stay at our hostel – which really wasn’t our hostel.

Hola Ola

Enjoying the pool at Hola Ola Hostel on Sunday Funday. It doesn’t get much better than this.

Apart from surfing there didn’t seem to be much else to do in town, other than hang out at the beach, or drink. There’s a big Jesus statue on top of a hill that one can walk to. There’s lots of great seafood and over-priced beach bars to take in the spectacular sunset. Apparently there are crocodiles in the river we had to walk by each day, but we didn’t see any. If you aren’t there to surf or party, it’s a good place to just relax.

san juan del sur

While it was unclear how big or how many lurked in the waters, I didn’t venture too close.

We were warned by our hostel to not wander the beach after dark because people have been mugged. If we were out drinking somewhere else and found ourselves in that situation they suggested taking a taxi. The city doesn’t seem violent, but we had discovering that crime against tourists wasn’t uncommon.

san juan del sur

The length of the beach is rather immense. Winds were high this day which kept most people away from the blowing sand.

On my last day there, recovering from Sunday Funday, I walked around the city a lot and explored. I bought myself a new tank top, and gave the shirt I was wearing to a homeless man. Somehow it had shrunk, though I suspect I may have grown. I found a market and a boardwalk during my wanders, and also had some delicious Mexican food. Somehow I even managed to arrange, in some form of broken Spanish, a taxi ride to the border the next day for $20. 

market san juan

At the market in San Juan Del Sur, where almost anything can be found. It wasn’t quite as big as other markets.

san juan del sur

Steps leading up to a church in town. Some of the urban landscape here is beautiful

My travel companion and I would be going our separate ways from the next day. My plan was to try and make it to Santa Teresa in Costa Rica – a journey that I feared was a little too ambitious. That trip deserves a post of it’s own.

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