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Nicaragua is a country in Central America boasting with unparalleled natural beauty featuring conical-shaped volcanos, pretty colonial cities, deeply carved canyons, stunning beaches on both, Carribean and Pacific side of the country and much more.
Under normal circumstances, budget-friendly Nicaragua would have been on travelers’ radar, but sadly, recent events (protests against government accompanied by violence outbreaks) slowed down progress and tourism in the whole country.
The situation was the worst last year, and since then the atmosphere in the society has slightly improved, but protests still can occur from time to time.
We would like to inspire you to visit Nicaragua, as this beautiful country surely deserves its place in the sun, but you still should watch the news and be ready to change your travel plans in case the new wave of demonstrations come.
The first stop on our Nicaragua travel itinerary was San Juan del Sur.
SAN JUAN DEL SUR
San Juan del Sur is a lovely town on the Pacific side of Nicaragua which offers a dazzling choice of things to do for travelers on a various budget with various interests.
The atmosphere and life in the town are at the moment quieter and slower than it had been year or two ago, but we wouldn’t have thought of it as about a disadvantage.
Read our ultimate guide on the best things to do while in San Juan del Sur to get the most out of your visit.
WATCH THE SUNSET
Our favourite activity every day was to sit down around 5:30 on a sundeck in our hotel and wait for the spectacular sunset.
Our expectations were high as we had seen pictures from Hush Maderas before our arrival, but the sundown never failed and was each night unique but equally beautiful.
Another place from where you can watch the sunset is on one of many beaches close to San Juan del Sur or if you prefer the bird-eye view, head to the Christ statue.
The official closing time, but no one will kick you out if you want to stay longer and watch the sky turning to different shades of red.
ARRANGE ONE DAY TRIP TO OMETEPE OR GRANADA
Nicaragua has many other natural and cultural highlights you can visit, and we were surprised how many people decide to travel to nearby Ometepe Island (volcano hikes) or Granada (colonial city) on one day trip from San Juan del Sur.
We had enough time, so we wanted to go to each destination separately for a couple more days, but if your time is limited, and you don’t want move from place to place and constantly pack and unpack your suitcase, you can reserve a seat in the shuttle bus from San Juan del Sur.
It is more expensive than taking public transport, but it would have been a long day spent on the bus instead of enjoying your day trip, so we consider it a wise solution.
The main reason to visit San Juan del Sur is, of course, beaches.
You can find your favourite one and stick to it until the end of your stay, or you can visit a new place every day, it is up to your mood and travel style. The most popular beaches are a short drive from the town Playa Maderas, Playa Hermosa or Playa Remanso.
If you are staying in the town without a rental car, your best bet is using a shuttle serving all three beaches provided by Casa Oro Hotel.