See Our Destinations

San Juan del Sur

Nicaragua's Southern Pacific

San Juan del Sur is deservedly the most famous beach town in Nicaragua. Returning visitors are spreading the word about the area's uncrowded beaches, excellent surf breaks and stunning sunsets. In recent years, a handful of boutique hotels have opened here, drawing families and honeymooners in addition to the regular crowd of wealthy Nicaraguans and foreign surferos.

A string of beaches stretches eleven miles south of town. Some are accessed on foot, others by rough road or water taxi. Closest to town, Playa Remanso is known for its tidepools and blowholes. Neighboring Playa Tamarindo and Playa Hermosa are surfing beaches: exposed point breaks with reliable surf. Farther to the south, Playa Yanqui and Playa El Coco offer left and right surf breaks.

The La Flor Wildlife Refuge, south of Playa El Coco, is a critical nesting site for Olive Ridley sea turtles. From July – February, tens of thousands of nesting females arrive en masse, each laying approximately 100 eggs. After about 50 days, the hatchings emerge from the sand and dash for the water.

North of San Juan del Sur, Playa Marsella and Playa Madera are the most accessible beaches. Farther to the north is Bahia Majagual, a pretty stretch of golden sand and a favorite surf spot. To the north is the isolated Playa Ocotal, a gentle arc backed by tropical dry forest. Ocotal is the site of Morgan's Rock Eco-Lodge, one of our favorite beach destinations. With just 15 cabins, guests usually have the beach all to themselves.

Visitors to San Juan del Sur can charter yachts for deep sea fishing, or sail to an isolated beach for a picnic. Other activities available in this area include diving, zip-line canopy tours, horseback riding, kayak trips to mangrove estuaries, and day trips to Masaya and Granada.

San Juan del Sur is located approximately 60 miles (70 minutes) south of Granada and 32 miles (40 minutes) north of the Peñas Blancas border with Costa Rica. Visits to San Juan del Sur are easily combined with extensions to Granada or Costa Rica's Nicoya Peninsula.

In general, the best time to visit San Juan del Sur is from December to March, when rains have past but the landscape is still bright green. September and November marks the height of the May to November rainy season. Peak turtle nesting season is August to October.

Mosaico Travel Services arranges accommodations, private transfers and tour in Nicaragua's Pacific Coast region. We organize luxury accommodation, private transportation, and tours with expert guides. Speak with a Mosaico travel planner today at 801.582.2100. We’ll take care of the details.


"Travel does what good novelists also do to the life of everyday, placing it like a picture in a frame or a gem in its setting, so that the intrinsic qualities are made more clear. Travel does this with the very stuff that everyday life is made of, giving to it the sharp contour and meaning of art."

Freya Stark