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San Juan del Sur probably needs little introduction for those in the surf community. This is one of the prime places in Nicaragua to enjoy nice waves. The town is known to be somewhat of a party zone since its economy is almost completely driven by tourism from the United States, Canada and Europe.
What to do in San Juan del Sur:
- Besides surfing, San Juan del Sur is supposed to have some “legendary” sunsets – so make sure you find yourself a good vantage point or a spot on the beach.
- Visit Christ of Mercy Statue overlooking San Juan del Sur.
- View the dramatic rock formations on remote beaches north and south of San Juan del Sur
Getaway: Playa Madera
Playa Madera is approximately 30 minutes north of San Juan del Sur and you can ask local places when and where to catch transportation (roughly $10 USD). There isn’t much to know about the area other than its relaxing and devoid of the party scene in San Juan del Sur. You still find some at the drop-off point near Buena Vista Surf Club.
However, if you venture up the beach (north) you will find an unnamed hostel-like building owned by a very nice woman Camping Matilda. Rent at the unnamed hostel will cost you something less than $100 for several weeks of stay. The facilities are in question and are not very clean but, you’re on a fairly isolated beach with half a dozen people in Nicaragua. You should not expect a resort but be aware of the experience that you will get.
Bring ample snacks and water as there aren’t any places to purchase these things for a reasonable price (for Nicaragua at least; by western standards it will still be cheap).
Sarah and I enjoyed lounging on the beach and lying in the hammocks but you can enjoy the surf on this beach as well should you want a more low-key surfing crowd.
If you walk past Camping Matilda and down the road in a direction north you might be able to find a food shack (I believe this place is only in operation during the “busy” season). For a meager $5-7 USD you will be able to gorge on a freshly grilled fish complete with sides.
Photography: Philip Moreira Photography