San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua Travel Tips

Taking a trip to San Juan del Sur? You've got one chance to have a remarkable travel experience.

Our aim in this travel tips section is to enable you to get to the heart of San Juan del Sur, explore this beautiful region of Nicaragua as an well-informed insider and return home with wonderful memories to share with your friends and family.

A smart traveler is a well informed traveler so read on for tips, lessons learned, mistakes to avoid, timely travel advice and suggestions on things to do.

Plus we'll be featuring local businesses and profiling the locals who run them. We've seen first hand that when tourism supports local businesses in San Juan del Sur it can bring about real community benefits. Even better: connecting locally will also improve and add to your overall travel experience.

P:S If you are interested in a vacation here with more fun and less stress The Insider Guide to San Juan del Sur might be a good fit for you. It not only provides you with the knowledge and inspiration for a remarkable travel experience but helps you avoid the mistakes that otherwise smart travelers make when they travel here. So if you'd like to have a look, go ahead and click on this link for the details.

Travel Tips from Expats who live in Nicaragua

Travel Tips from Expats in NicaraguaWhile we like to keep a glass-half-full perspective at San Juan Live, we also know that life isn’t a never-ending happy hour.  Nicaragua can be a little rough around the edges and San Juan del Sur has experienced some “growing pains” over the years.

But we think it’s all about your expectations.  If you expect the sun to shine 365 days a year, October in San Juan del Sur will disappoint you. If you expect the ocean to always be warm, you’ll be surprised in February when the windy season makes the temperature drop… a little.  The power does go out occasionally, but the beach is always open.   So if you’re considering a vacation, a wedding, or even a long term relocation to Nicaragua, we suggest you do your homework first.

To help, we’ve curated a shortlist of travel tips from local expats who are knowledgeable about the country and provide trustworthy information.

[Read more…]

6 Reasons to Choose Nicaragua for your Destination Wedding

Photographed by the talented Two Of You Photography team, Nicaragua provides stunning natural backdrops and charming antique architecture for the perfect destination wedding.  Click to view 6 Reasons to Choose Nicaragua for your Destination Wedding. #SanJuanLive

Two Of You Photography

Getting married?

Why not consider tying the knot in an exotic locale away from your hometown?

Nicaragua’s got my vote and here are 6 great reasons why:

1. Do the Math

You can’t ignore the low price tag of a destination wedding in Nicaragua.  Run the numbers and you’ll probably find that traveling to Nicaragua with your partner and close loved ones will cost much less than the typical 150 guest wedding on your home turf.  Many resorts in Nicaragua offer attractive all-inclusive wedding packages combining lodging, dining, wellness services and a memorable celebration. Even after you add the cost of air-fare for friends and family, the expenses could easily be less than saying “I do” in the US.  For example, check out this unbelievable wedding deal from Villas de Palermo starting at just $1,000.

[Read more…]

Things That Could Happen to You in San Juan del Sur

Pos Prob

Definitely Won’t Happen

You’ll leave town without drinking the surfing kool-aid.

We’re going to let you in on a little secret.  Most people living in San Juan del Sur don’t surf.  But if you’re a traveler on holiday, chances are that you’ll at least give it a go one day. The beautiful beaches, warm waves and laid back surf culture are inviting.  Some might even call it irresistible.  (And even if you never get in the water, you can still follow the surfers guide to a blissful vacation in San Juan del Sur.  In fact we recommend it.)

Probably Won’t Happen

[Read more…]

Best Selfie Spots in San Juan del Sur

Photo Credit :  Keith Harper

Photo Credit : Keith Harper

Vibrant sunset over the ocean. Click. Perfectly shaped rolling waves. Click.  Lush exotic jungle. Click. Brightly colored colonial buildings. Click.

No question, San Juan del Sur is photogenic.  So whether you’re after an awesome selfie to make your friends jealous, or just a picture to capture the memory of your adventure in Nicaragua, here are a few of our favorite photo spots.

1. A Birds-eye View from the Jesus Statue

This is the best opportunity for a 360 degree of San Juan del Sur.  Standing almost 80 feet tall (24 meters), it’s the one of the tallest 10 Jesus statues on the planet.  And it’s perfectly positioned atop the rocky ledge of Pacific Marlin.  Believe it or not, it’s only a 45 minute walk from town. Visiting hours are 8am – 5pm and the entrance fee is $1 for Nationals and $2 for tourists. The photo of yourself and your friends towering above Nicaragua’s most picturesque bay…priceless.

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Best of San Juan del Sur: Results of the Readers Poll

We’ve just wrapped up our first readers poll on San Juan del Sur.

The goal? To find out find out what folks think are the best places to eat, drink and have some fun in San Juan del Sur.

Nearly 100 people responded and the results are pretty interesting!

So interesting in fact that we compiled them into a shareable infographic which you can check out below.

If you want to embed the infographic on your website we’ve included the code at the bottom of the post. [Read more…]

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…]

Best of San Juan del Sur Readers Poll

Thank you to everyone who has cast their vote to help define the Best of San Juan del Sur.  The poll is now closed and here are the results. Thanks everyone for participating!

Everyone’s got an opinion. If you’ve read our Insider Guide or you follow our blog then you’ll know our top picks in town.

But now we want you to tell us yours. So we’re taking a poll of readers and residents to discover the Best of San Juan del Sur.

To make this fair, we’re laying down some ground rules for the vote. Don’t worry, there are only 2 of them:

  1. You must fill out at least 10 questions to enter. This is to prevent people from voting for their business only.
  2. Only 1 vote per email address will be counted.

Here’s the form to cast your votes:

Make traveling easier with Tropical Concierge

Coach Kenny

Photo credit

Tropical Concierge offers a wide range of concierge services, along with reliable and affordable personal assistance for residents and travelers in San Juan del Sur. It is your one stop shop to a custom vacation package.

Owner and founder Kenny Nakai has expertise and local knowledgeable staff to assist with everything from gourmet chef services to surf instruction.  Any activity you want to do in San Juan del Sur can be booked right here. Kenny understands that your vacation is treasured time and he knows how to help you make the most of it.

Tropical Concierge FoodWhether it’s 5 course wine dinners or cocktail parties and BBQ cook outs at your vacation rental home, his door to door chef services are sure to enhance your holiday.  And when it comes to surf instruction, Kenny is an expert.  He’s got years of coaching experience in both Hawaii and Nicaragua. His deep knowledge of the local breaks and background in water safety make him one of the best instructors around.  But above all, Kenny has a passion for teaching and is one of the nicest guys you’ll meet.

When you’re vacationing in a foreign country, it’s all about peace of mind…. and we can assure you that you’re in good hands with Kenny.

Tropical Concierge is located downtown at Wrap n’ Roll, 15 meters north of Casa Oro. Ask for Kenny. Or contact him on Facebook here.

7 Books About Nicaragua Worth Reading


As Brooke and I were writing The Insider Guide to San Juan del Sur we started to compile a list of books to help our readers learn more about Nicaragua and its history.

While these books won’t help you decide what to do each day, where to stay or how to get there (that’s what The Insider Guide is for) they will help round out your knowledge about the country.

All the books on the list are great so we have no problem recommending them to you (and using our affiliate link which will take you to Amazon).

We’ve kicked off the list with Rubén Darío as he leads the way in Nicaragua’s literary tradition. But if reading poetry is not your style there are options for you to consider: [Read more…]

16 Nicaragua Travel Tips from the Rockstars of Travel Blogging


You don’t have to be the world’s best traveler to have an amazing vacation in Nicaragua. But if you’ve never visited before it’s easy to make mistakes that could derail your vacation.

Thankfully, you can avoid common mistakes by getting travel advice from experts and insiders who know the place well.

So we started with Nomadic Samuel’s list of 100 top travel blogs.  It’s effectively the Who’s Who of travel blogging.  When we checked we found that around 1 in 4 of the blogs had articles about Nicaragua. (Yes, it’s a small number, but we think that’s a good thing.)

From the shortlist we compiled 16 travel tips and personal reflections to help you when you arrive in Nicaragua so that you can get started immediately on having a great time.

In no particular order, here they are: [Read more…]