Villas de Palermo: The Best Happy Hour Deal in Town

Every week day Villas de Palermo offers 2 for 1 drink specials and free appetizers from 5pm to 8pm.  As if that isn’t enticing enough, the ocean view pool is open to the community for these 3 glorious hours.  What better way to watch the sun set into the bay in San Juan del Sur than having a ice-cold beverage delivered to you in the pool.  The appetizers are always different but typically include a variety of authentic Nicaraguan specialities including “tostones con queso“, grilled plantains with cheese, or a sampling of mixed nachos.  And unlike most other happy hours in town, the 2 for 1 drink specials are not limited to only national Nicaraguan beer or rum.  At Palermo, you get 2 for the price of 1 on whichever specialty cocktail or imported wine you are drinking that day.

Villas de palermo happy hour


How to Use Four Hours on a Sailboat to Recharge Your Soul


Photo Credit : David Kalani

With a quiet whoosh the sleek hull of the catamaran slices through the blue waters of the Pacific, its sails snapped tight. There’s an elemental pleasure that comes from harnessing the wind and after visiting San Juan del Sur for more than a decade, I’ve learned that there’s no better way to experience this stunning coastline. Yes you could take a motorized boat, hike the high cliffs or stroll along the beaches, but that can’t compare with the intimate connection with the ocean that you get under sail.

We set of in the early afternoon. The offshore winds fill the mainsail as we round smoothly out of San Juan del Sur bay. Captain Zach keeps us close to the shore and I watch the beautiful bays of Nacascolo and Marsella pass by, the gentle tingle of ocean spray on my face.

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SJDS Biblioteca: A Gateway to Education

Mobile Library
The San Juan del Sur Biblioteca Publica is a free public library open to everyone that crosses its path.  Located across the street from Central Park in the heart of town, it’s doors open every day except for Sundays.  The library consists of over 12,000 books, primarily in Spanish, for students and patrons to borrow, browse and return.  The library also hosts free classes covering a myriad of topics including public health, English classes, literacy and crafts for children.  The library offers a safe and healthy place for children to read, learn, study and get lost in imagination.  Upon seeing the walls and shelves lined with children’s art, inspiring posters, educational games and stuffed animals it’s no wonder this is one of the most popular non-profits in town for children of all ages.
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Comunidad Connect: A Model of Sustainable Tourism

The mission is simple.

Comunidad Connect supports Nicaraguan communities by matching social, economic and environmental opportunities with local and global resources.

Comunidad Connect

Photo Credit: Justin Courter

Funded by donations and tourists attempting to make minimal environmental and cultural impact, the organization strives to protect the environment, educate youth and generate future employment for local people. Since its foundation in 2006, it is impossible to quantify the magnitude of positive impact that this organization has had on San Juan del Sur over the years. Take a stroll through town and you will see its footprints in the recycling bins thoughtfully placed along the beach to the handmade recycled art products produced by the organizations’ women’s co-ops and sold in a range of hotels.

The program has three components:

Parque Deportivo, or “Sports Park”, is San Juan del Sur’s only outdoor sports center renovated and managed by Communidad Connect. Since 2007, the Parque Deportivo has played host to 16 futsala leagues, 4 basketball leagues and dozens of international women’s volleyball games and children’s clinics. Over 1200 local children and adults participate each year and approximately 2500 enthusiastic fans visit the Sports Park each month.

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La Posada Azul: The Blue Inn


After a tasteful renovation in 2007, La Posada Azul went from historic family house built in 1910 to perhaps the most delightful boutique inn in San Juan del Sur. The public spaces – especially the large sala and wide veranda that runs the length of the house – conjure the feel of a stylish, well-furnished hacienda.

While the historic sensibility of the home has been retained, you’ll find all the modern conveniences needed for a comfortable stay. Each of the 7 rooms is uniquely decorated with wicker furniture and regional art to take advantage of the high ceilings and wooden floors. Brightly painted bathrooms, plush cotton towels, 100% cotton sheets, excellent mattresses and beautiful throws round things off in style.

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What Would My Life Be Like If I Lived Here?

It’s a great question. One that every real estate buyer looking at San Juan del Sur should answer before they purchase.

The good news, is that you’re in the right place. is dedicated to answering the question – for both visitors and investors.

Working out whether San Juan del Sur has your right mix of lifestyle attributes is highly subjective. You’ll find the process easier once you develop a clear idea of the kind of lifestyle you desire and what you want to get out of your investment.

That’s the best place to start. Then, once you have some clarity, here are a few lifestyle factors to check off:

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Mi Bodeguita Delicatessen: A Foodie’s Delight


It was bound to happen given San Juan del Sur’s evolution from sleeping fishing village to desirable destination. But every time I walk into Mi Bodeguita Delicatessen I’m thankful that it’s here.

Quick and easy comfort food, imported meats and cheese with a Mediterranean bias and a collection of edible exotica. There’s room in this short life for all of it.

Craving manchego cheese direct from La Mancha or a few slices of proscuito crudo? This is the place to visit. Love gourmet sausages, chorizo, pate, olives? Mi Bodeguita has you covered. And if you want to pack the perfect picnic, this tiny deli has enough to hit your palate’s sweet spots.

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San Juan Del Sur Farmers Market: Local Connections

It’s Saturday morning and pickup trucks and cars are assembling in-front of Big Wave Daves for the weekly farmers market. It’s first-come-first-get-space so vendors pile into the shady interior before the 9am start, their goods piled high.

Shopping for local, artisan products is fun. And the weekly San Juan del Sur farmers market is no exception. Wonder to the table groaning with smoked bacon and ham, check out the artisan breads and finish up at the cream pie stand. On any given week you’ll be able to choose from jerky, ribs, pork, muffins, biscuits, cheese, sausage, pastrami, empanadas, yogurt, bread, smoked fish, stew, pate, and soups. Yes, all this wonderful food is available in San Juan del Sur.

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Mercado, Market, Mercado!


San Juan del Sur Municipal Market

Tucked behind a line of small shops, it can be hard to find San Juan del Sur’s municipal market (mercado municipal). It’s small – smaller than a city block – but is the place to visit if you are after vegetables, fruit, cheap clothes and even a hunk of freshly slaughtered meat.

You may not be able to get all your shopping done at the market – and this is not the place to buy local handicrafts – but you’ll leave with a slice of unfiltered Nicaraguan life.

Don’t miss the line of commedores serving breakfast and local Nicaraguan food on long tables in the shade. Grab a perch, nosh on gallo pinto and watch San Juan’s social and cultural life unfold.

The market is closed on Sundays.

Fish Market

The Fish Market

It’s hard to get much fresher than this. San Juan del Sur’s fish market is located behind the port where the fishing boats come in to drop off their catch. Made up of just four small stalls, you’ll find an enormous variety of seafood on offer. This changes with the tides but most days you’ll find shrimp (camaron), lobster (langosta), sole (lenguado), grouper (mero), snapper (pargo), makarel (caballa) and a type of sea bass (corvina).

Not only do you get fish for pennies on the dollar but you’re supporting local businesses and keeping the money flowing in the community.

Zen Yoga: All Levels, Every Day

yoga 1

If you have tried googling San Juan del Sur yoga, then you know that there is no shortage of yoga class, retreats and teacher training options that show up online.  The reality is that many of the websites are outdated and the instructors have long since left town.

Zen Yoga is the first and only real yoga studio in San Juan del Sur with a variety of levels, consistent instructors and regular class schedules.  No matter what day of the week it is, you can be certain of finding a quality yoga class available at Zen’s outdoor yoga studio centered in the heart of San Juan del Sur.  Located just one block west of the church square and surrounded by Fundacion Tierra’s beautiful nursery gardens, this two-storey outdoor studio capturing sea breezes and ocean views is an oasis of oxygen.

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