Once a quaint fishing village, San Juan del Sur in southern Nicaragua has emerged as one of Central America’s most sought after getaways for artists, writers, entrepreneurs, and bohemian-minded professionals looking to decompress. Here are 10 insider tips to make sure you see everything San Juan del Sur has to offer. And if you want more, download Trip Tribe’s 2016 Ultimate Guide to San Juan del Sur.
1. Momentom Collective – Momentom is a team of certified Acro, Circus and Yoga teachers based in San Juan del Sur. Classes combine yogic breathing techniques (pranayama) meditation and asanas with circus techniques including inversions, hand to hand and contortion. To join Momentom for a circus class or have the team drop in on your retreat, visit www.momentomcollective.com.
2. Mercado de San Juan del Sur – Located in the center of town, San Juan del Sur market offers an array of food stalls where locals and travelers alike can enjoy a sit down breakfast or lunch for $2 and up. Breakfast includes local favorite gallo pinto, huevos rancheros, granola, smoothies and more. Lunch brings traditional Nicaraguan foods, including soups, freshly caught fish, local meats, and salads.
3. La Cerveceria – In 2013, the idea was hatched to bring craft beer to Nicaragua by building a brewpub in Nicaragua’s most famous beach town, San Juan del Sur. With an abundance of unique and tasty local ingredients, La Cerveceria offers craft beers fit for the beach town lifestyle: beers that taste good after a day on the waters. http://www.sjdsbrewers.com/
4. Taco Tuesday at Hulakai – Every Tuesday, the Playa Hermosa community gets together at Hulaki Hotel for delicious $2 tacos and drink specials. Hulakai features an infinity pool, putt-putt course, and a picturesque view of the sun setting over the Pacific Ocean. http://www.hulakaihotel.com/
5. Gaby’s Spa – With 15+ years of experience in massage and alternative therapies, Gaby’s Spa has gained a reputation of being possibly the best massage you’ll ever have. After a long day of surfing and yoga, your body will thank you for stopping by Gaby’s for a deep tissue, Swedish or shiatsu massage. http://www.gabysspa.com/
6. Spanish School – San Juan del Sur is a hotbed for Spanish language programs. Whether you want to take class a couple hours a day over the course of your retreat, or extend your stay and experience immersion, a host of schools can offer expert tutoring at a bargain rate. http://www.spanishya.com/
7. SJDS Biblioteca – Located in the heart of San Juan del Sur, SJDS Biblioteca offers over 12,000 books to the local community. The SJDS Biblioteca project is expanding every month and is actively seeking extra support to help in their mission. To learn more about how you can volunteer, visit http://www.sjdsbiblioteca.org/volunteers/.
8. La Flor Wildlife Refuge – Along Nicaragua’s Pacific coast, just south of San Juan Del Sur is the Refugio De Vida Silvestre La Flor, is an important nesting area for olive ridleys, as well as hawksbill, leatherback, and green sea turtles. La Flor is one of only two olive ridley arribada nesting areas in Nicaragua. Here, the olive ridley nests “in mass” between the months of July and December. http://www.seeturtles.org/la-flor-nicaragua/
9. Playa Matilda – Often referred to as San Juan del Sur’s “secret” beach, Playa Matilda offers beautiful white sand relaxation without the beach crowds and surfboard filled waters. Playa Matilda can be found by walking down the beach at Playa Maderas and traversing a waterside rock scramble. The walk takes 20 minutes, and drops you out near a beachside shack serving cold beer and snacks.
10. El Secreto de Marsella – Located at the far end of Playa Marsella, El Secreto is a hidden paradise between waves and sand. The restaurant offers delicious seafood dishes, sourced locally from the ocean just 50 feet away. The fish ceviche is served with three distinct sauces and is a must have appetizer. Come by for lunch and rent kayaks to paddle around afterwards. https://marsellabeachfronthotel.online.com