Arced around a curving strip of sand and protected by dramatic headlands, San Juan del Sur’s downtown area (or centro) is small, just 10 blocks or so (a little more if you include Barrio La Planta, the small neighborhood behind the port). The beachfront road is lined with a string of thatch-roofed restaurants, bars, surf shops, souvenir stalls and stretches from the southern headland to the pedestrian bridge.
As you’d expect on the property front, San Juan del Sur’s downtown has a commercial flavor. If you happen to own one of the corner buildings downtown you can be assured of strong rental demand from restaurant owners, hostels or real estate agencies looking to set up shop. While the beachfront road has received most attention from investors, there are interesting areas developing back from the beach, with some streets starting to develop an arty vibe, others clustered with interesting shops and street food.