Chill vibes in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua is the motto. Laid back people; colorful, sleepy hotels in the hills; casual beachside taco huts; beautiful, remote beaches and stunning hikes. Mel and I were blown out of the water with San Juan.
About 45 minutes North of the Costa Rica border is San Juan del Sur, a very small beach town that hundreds of surfers flock to each year. As you can guess, the waves are real here. But what if you don’t surf? I was worried that I’d end up being bored in a town that is famous for a sport I can’t do, but was so happy to find that is so much more to San Juan than surfing.
While planning, we knew we wanted to stay in a really nice place so we could relax and unwind. El Jardin fit that bill perfectly. It’s tucked in the hills about 10 minutes from town with a stunning view of the ocean below it. The color walls of the hotel popped against the green trees and skies. Instant relaxation.
The staff at El Jardin are very kind and know almost everything about the area. We asked for beach recommendations and without a beat, we were sent to Playa Hermosa via the hotel’s free shuttle into town. And this beach is AMAZING! People still haven’t caught onto the fact that Nicaragua makes a wonderful place to visit. You can tell because the beach was remote, well kept and peaceful. It costs a whopping $3 to enter and you’ll be welcomed by blue ocean behind huts and hammocks to relax in. To the right is a full-service bar and restaurant to keep you hydrated (and buzzed) all day long.
We spent a long day between soaking up sun, playing in the waves, and cooling off in the shade with a fruity drink. By the end of the day we were sunburnt, but in total bliss.
After a long day on the beach, I loved coming back El Jardin. Without any other hotels for miles, it offers a peaceful evening with no sound but the wind and the crickets. Each evening we took a quick dip in the pool and had a casual dinner outside on the patio, under the stars.
Mel and I both wished we had stayed longer in San Juan del Sur. We’d spent more time on the beaches, fit in a few hikes and maybe I’d even have the courage to try out surfing. There is something very special about a town that is remote, chill and happy all wrapped up into one. When planning your Nicaragua visit, block off at least 3 nights for San Juan del Sur, but you could easily spend a whole week here.