A Birds-eye View of San Juan del Sur from the Jesus Statue

jesus christ statue san juan del surMy companion pointed upwards. “That’s where we’re headed,” she said as we headed north over the suspension bridge and gazed at the statue of Jesus Christ, perched high on the hill.

Sometime or other while you were deciding on San Juan del Sur you will probably have seen a photo of this colossal statue silhouetted against the sky.

Erected in 2009, it’s quickly become an iconic landmark and geographical reference point for the town. At  24 meters (77.8 feet), it’s one of the 10 largest Jesus statues in the world.

We followed the road into La Talanguera, in search of the stone steps.

They were easy to find. After a brief pause at the top of this first ascent we turned right on the paved road and followed it higher up the hill. We were now in Pacific Marlin, home to some of the most spectacular real estate and scenery in the San Juan del Sur area.

At the top of the hill is a small parking area (Yes, if you’re feeling wimpy, just drive up). And from there it’s just a final clamber up a set of steep steps and a small fee to pay to the security guard before you reach the statue.

I was not the first to reach the top. My companion – who I have to say, was looking decidedly fresher than I was – stood by the statue staring out at the hills and ocean.

There was San Juan del Sur, laid out in front of us.


Photo Credit : Lauren Stocker

I could see everything. Where we had breakfast, the villa I was staying at and the pedestrian bridge we had just walked over. To my right a glossy white cruise ship at anchor and the jutting headland of Pacific Marlin with its sharply cut cliffs and million dollar views; behind me a series of rugged hills and secluded coves rising and falling into the distance.

The view is a full 360 degrees and well worth the hike (or, ahem, the drive).

I could see that the sky was building for a beautiful sunset and was tempted to stay a while longer. But feeling the pull of dinner we headed down the hill and were quickly catapulted back into downtown San Juan del Sur.

We could see the statue from our dining spot on the beach. Night fell, the spotlights came on and the statue was once again silhouetted against the sky.

Visiting Hours: 8am – 5pm
Entrance Fee:
Nicaraguans C$ 20
Foreign Tourist US $2


P.S.  How about you?  Have you been up to the Jesus statue in San Juan del Sur?  Is it on your to do list?  Either way, we’d love to hear about it in the comments.


  1. Jeff Peters says:

    On my to do list when I visit next.

    • Claudia says:

      Nice to hear from you Jeff. The view is definitely worth it. You get a great perspective on the town. If you are short on time, you can drive up.

  2. tom mclaughlin says:

    How far to the top does the road go? I am lazy and save my energy for day to day. Hey away from San J is it all agriculture?

    • Claudia says:

      Hi Tom, Thanks for the comment. The road goes almost all the way to the top. From the car park, there’s just one section of steps before you reach the statue.

      There are some cattle farms near town, but you’ll find larger scale agriculture (including for export) and livestock farms located near Rivas and around San Jorge and Belen. San Juan del Sur has a strong fishing industry, with tourism and real estate investment also now contributing to the local economy.

  3. Made a trip to Costa Rica in May with my Mother and sister. We were delighted to find out the resort we stayed at offered a day trip to Nicaragua. We were excited at the prospect of getting 2 stamps in our passports in one trip. Our tour guide was very knowledgable, and one of the places we stopped was San Juan del Sur. It was breath taking. I got some spectacular photos. The many steps proved how out of shape we really were, but the view was well worth it. I would strongly recomend this be on everyones list of must sees. I would be happy to share my pics if anyone is interested.

    • Editor SanJuanDelSur.Org says:

      Hi Tina, Thanks for the comment and great to hear that you enjoyed the trip to San Juan del Sur. We’re planning an article on the visa run in the other direction… so I may look you up for insights from the Costa Rica side on this. I’m pleased you enjoyed the hike to the Jesus statue, despite the steps. Are your photos on Instagram? If they are you can add “#GetSanJuandelSur” to the photos and they’ll show up in our gallery page: http://sanjuandelsur.org/gallery/

  4. Probably one of the coolest experiences of my life. Cheers to that 🙂

  5. Christopher C. Corcoran says:

    I just got home from San Juan Del Sur. We did this walk and it is a great experience (even for the secular like myself) and the walk is not that difficult. The view is spectacular. So worth every moment.

    • Yes, the view sure is spectacular. Thanks for the comment and I’m pleased you enjoyed the experience.