What to do in San Juan del Sur

What's on tap in San Juan del Sur? Well, we counted over 15 easily accessible beaches, most teeming with fish and surf breaks - but a few, like Playa Marsella, perfect for a quiet swim or snorkel.

And although a surfing atmosphere dominates, you don't have to be a pro surfer to enjoy the waves - there are breaks for all levels, from the beginner waves at Remanso to the aggressive barrels at Yankee.

But it's not all about the coast in these parts. The interior has its special moments too. Follow trails on horseback while howler monkeys whoop from the trees, experience a natural high zipping through canopy lines strung through the hills or hike to the lofty Jesus statue for an awe-inspiring view (and get a great work out to boot).

Don't stop there. Travel further; where paved road gives way to rutted track. You can spend days exploring the San Juan del Sur area, dropping in on tiny fishing villages to watch the pelicans dive bomb their prey, volunteering with a community outreach project or pondering the meaning of a petroglyph deep in the forest. Sometimes being in the middle of nowhere is the best place to be.

Then there's the daily spectacle of a fiery tropical sunset fading into another starry night. And all the while the waves keep rolling in - providing the ever present backdrop to life in San Juan del Sur.

There is always something more to see and do in San Juan del Sur. Just check out these amazing activities you can do here. Watch out, you may never get round to going home.

A History of San Juan Del Sur

SJDS flag

Sure, San Juan del Sur is a surf-orientated region with beautiful beaches and landscapes. But did you know that San Juan del Sur also has a rich history with roots stretching back to the 16th century when Spanish conquistadors made use of the protected anchorage?

Then in the mid-1800 San Juan del Sur’s days were filled with gold prospectors eager to travel to California to seek their fortune.  A little later, waves of foreigners arrived to work with the Central and South American Telegraph that laid a submarine system of cables.   And in the early 1990’s San Juan del Sur’s train station was built connecting the town by rail to San Jorge, Managua and Granada. [Read more…]

Parque Deportivo: Your answer to sports in San Juan del Sur

sports parkIf you’re looking for an inexpensive entertainment option that promises action and an authentic travel experience, consider catching a sporting event at the “parque deportivo”, sports park.

Located across from the beach on the southern end in between Cafetin Jugoso and the Barrio Planta Project, the sports park is San Juan del Sur’s only true sports facility. With the help of donors, it was built and is managed by Comunidad Connect.

Coconut venders sit outside the entrance gates and fisherman ride past on bicycles carrying their catch of the day. Children from Barrio Planta Project classes peak through classroom windows when sports are in play. And the teal blue bay is an ever present backdrop.

[Read more…]

Hostel Clandestino: It’s Where You’d Rather Be


Photo Credit : Ale Romo

One of the perks of living in San Juan del Sur is that any given day has the potential for a unique experience. Nicaragua’s raw natural beauty and untamed wildlife inspires visionaries with a passion for nature.  Every day brings new travelers from all ends of the earth.

And every once in a while, travelers connect with locals to create something that enables a rare connectivity to nature.  The Nica Chill Surf & Yoga Retreat at Hostel Clandestino is one of those special experiences. [Read more…]

Subscriber Giveaway: The San Juan Live Deal Directory


We all love getting a deal.

But not any old deal.

What we really want is an awesome deal on a quality product.

Awesome deals on quality products

We’ve just compiled our first Deal Directory and it’s full of them.

We’re not just excited about the deals but who the deals are from

If you’ve read The Insider Guide you’ll know that we want to do our bit to help put San Juan del Sur on the map. That’s not only because spending locally helps strengthen the local economy and community, but because it also gives you a more direct and authentic experience of this sunny corner of the world.

Flip open the Deal Directory and you’ll find deals on local hotels, restaurants, Spanish lessons, spa services, canopy tours, fishing tips, surf rentals and more… The deals are from great local businesses run by local residents passionate about providing the best products and services.

A free gift to our subscribers

The Deal Directory is a free gift to our subscribers and our way of saying thank you for your support and for taking the time to read San Juan Live. We hope you’ll stick around, because there’s much more coming in 2015.

So if you’re a subscriber, look for an email next week with a link to download the Deal Directory.

Not a subscriber?

How about signing up for email updates as well? C’mon, you know you want a good deal on the best places to eat, drink and have fun in San Juan del Sur.

Just click on this link and add your email.

That’s it, once you’ve added your email, BAM, you’re subscribed. You’ll receive the Deal Directory and also get weekly updates about San Juan del Sur.

101 Things to Do in San Juan del Sur (and counting)

With miles of diverse coastline, abundant wildlife, rugged hills, warm weather and vibrant local communities, the San Juan del Sur region has the power to exhilarate, soothe and inspire.

At San Juan Live we’re excited to bring you the best this beautiful area has to offer. At last count we’ve gathered together 101 things to do in and around San Juan del Sur. Whether it’s sun, adventure, nature or culture you seek, you’ll find something to tempt you.

Exclusive Subscriber Bonus: Don’t forget to grab our Free Coupon Book so that you can save on the best places to eat, drink, get active & have fun in San Juan del Sur.

[Read more…]

6 Top Spots for Coffee in San Juan del Sur

coffee shopNicaraguan growers have been producing quality coffee since the 1850s, so it was only a matter of time before specialist coffee shops serving local beans started to open in San Juan del Sur.

So whether you’re a long time resident, interested in relocating to San Juan del Sur or planning a visit, I give you 6 great spots to get your caffeine fix (plus a bonus spot).  And best of all, San Juan del Sur is still a chain free zone.
[Read more…]

Ladies & Gentlemen BRUSH Your Hair


Brush is a hair salon with a love for the surf, the sun, the sand and your hair.   Originally founded by Justin Bobby Brescia in California, the Ladies and Gents Hair Salon in San Juan del Sur opened in 2013 and is now in the creative genius hands of Natasha Lazdins, an award winning Australian hairstylist.

Brush offers all types of styling, cutting and coloring for any type of hair, whether it’s sun-kissed or not.  Located almost directly in the center of town, only one block off the main beach road in San Juan del Sur. [Read more…]

Two Free Tickets to Pitaya Fest for a Lucky San Juan Live Subscriber


Winner: Congratulations to Ricardo Claro! Get free email updates from San Juan Live for a chance to win future prizes.

It’s coming.  Pitaya Fest 2014.  With a fantastic lineup of live music, great food, local art and handmade crafts, Pitaya Fest is THE place to be on Saturday, March 15th.

And here’s the best part – you can go to the fest for free.  Yes, totalmente libre.   Pitaya Fest has partnered with San Juan Live to offer two free tickets to one of our lucky subscribers.

Now how do you win these awesome tickets?

Simple.  All you have to do is be on our email list.  Get our updates on San Juan del Sur delivered via email for free (we hate spam, so don’t worry about that) and you could win the free tickets.  And if you’re already a subscriber, no worries – you’re already eligible to win.

We’ll pick a winner at random from San Juan Live subscribers on Wednesday, March 12th.  We’ll notify you via email and you’ll have 24 hours to claim your tickets.  Otherwise we’ll draw again and give them to the next subscriber in line.

So all you have to do is click here to sign up for updates, and you’re eligible to win.  Oh and get your festival partner to subscribe as well for a greater chance of winning.  Good luck!

Pitaya Fest
Playa Hermosa – Saturday, March 15th .
It all kicks off at 3pm.
Pitaya Fest Website
Pitaya Fest Facebook Page

Pitaya Fest: A Smokin’ Party & Festive Fundraising


Photo Credits : Justin Courter

Entering its sixth year as Nicaragua’s premier music and sustainability festival, and the only one of its kind, this year’s Pitaya returns to Playa Hermosa on March 15th – bringing romping and raging, fun-in-the-sun, and full moon festivities for locals and tourists of all ages. Pitaya Fest will transform the community of El Carizal into a rock n’ roll haven complete with national and international live music, a selection of cooperatives spanning Nicaragua from Ostional to Managua and a variety of specialty cuisines from your favorite restaurants in San Juan del Sur.
[Read more…]

All You Need is Love


Valentine’s Day is one of those emotional holidays that people either love or hate.  Either way, it’s here to stay.

In North America, the candy hearts, lovey-dovey messages and Valentine cards seem to appear on grocery store shelves the day after Christmas. In Nicaragua the Valentine vibe is much less apparent. But we’re noticing that “Día del Amor y la Amistad” (Spanish for “Day of Love and Friendship”) is becoming more celebrated in the region.

Children in San Juan del Sur don’t typically exchange Valentines at school, but the local businesses in town are starting to jump on board the celebration by offering cupid themed specials on February 14th.

Whether you’re observing 50 years of marriage or just looking for a dance partner, we’ve consolidated a list of Valentine’s Day specials around San Juan del Sur to spread the love. [Read more…]