There’s something you may not know about San Juan del Sur.
“San Juan del Sur” is not only the name of a town set on a horseshoe bay on the southern coast of Nicaragua, it’s also the name for an entire region. It starts at the border with Costa Rica in the south and runs all the way north to Playa Ocotal. The town itself lies about 2/3rds of the way up.
Zoom into any part of the coastline and you’ll think it’s been drawn by a very shaky hand. Countless beaches and coves run along the jagged shore. Some with tranquil bays for sailing and swimming, others with barreling surf.
It’s a magnificent landscape.
Downtown San Juan del Sur has its own strip of sand, but you’ll find quieter and more alluring beaches if you visit one of the ones spooling out on either side.
But which one?
A beach is made up of a few essential ingredients. There’s the ocean, of course, the sand and the sun. But as we were writing the Insider Guide To San Juan del Sur we identified a beach that stands out as having something special.
That beach is Playa Hermosa.
Because it lets you do so much.
You can swim… you can float in the sea … you can surf (there are several breaks to choose from) but you don’t have to be a surfer to fall in love with this beach … you can play beach volleyball … you can ride horses…you can wonder along the mile long stretch of sand looking for sea shells … you can find company at the thatch roofed restaurant and beach bar (the food is cheap and delicious and the drinks are cold) … you can find a peaceful spot, curl up in a hammock with a book and hear nothing but the sound of the waves breaking … you can freshen up under the open-air showers, and yes, you can even get online (if you really must).
There’s always the chance that you’ll see the occasional dolphin swim by, run into a herd of cows wondering along the beach, marvel at a newly hatched turtle make a run for the ocean, surf with a group of dive-bombing pelicans or find yourself transfixed by a group of howler monkeys.
Raw. Authentic. Drowsy. Simple. Unaffected. Stripped Back.
Playa Hermosa has an addictive, tranquil quality that isn’t easily defined.
Spend time here and somehow life’s problems shrink into smaller view.
P.S. There’s a small fee to pay for access and you have to navigate a winding dirt track. But we’re not complaining; if the road were paved, the place would lose its off-the-beaten-track charm.