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San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

san juan del sur, nicaragua - surf ranch
The Town of San Juan Del Sur

San Juan del Sur is a municipality and coastal town on the Pacific Ocean, in the Rivas department in south-west Nicaragua. San Juan del Sur is popular among surfers and is a vacation spot for many Nicaraguan families and foreign tourists.

Its population is approximately 18,500, consisting largely of families engaged in fishing and foreigners from the United States, Canada and Europe. While the local economy was, for many years, based on fishing and shipping, it has shifted towards tourism in the last 20 years.

San Juan del Sur, set aside a crescent-shaped bay, was a popular resting place for American gold prospectors headed to California in the 1850s. Correspondingly, San Juan del Sur served as a hub for Cornelius Vanderbilt Lines. Nowadays, it has been the set for hollywood movies and TV shows, such as Survivor.


San Juan del Sur’s streets are lined with charming homes and store fronts built of wood and painted in vibrant colors. Mornings are greeted with the sounds of roosters and church bells, and the town market comes alive where fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables are brought in for sale. Taxi and bus drivers congregate on Market Street, where they whistle and announce the next departure for Rivas or Managua, or offer their services to drive you to a local beach for the day.

The crescent shaped bay is speckled with local fishing boats, sail boats, sport fishing yachts, and on some days, a large cruise ship bringing visitors in for a day. Thatch-roofed or “palapa roof” bars and restaurants line the long, sandy beach and serve cold drinks, fresh seafood, and traditional Nicaraguan cuisine. At sunset, both locals and visitors gather at the water’s edge to relax and watch children play soccer on the beach.


Almost all tourists and travelers who visit San Juan Del Sur, usually end up staying for years after, or come back to visit. There seems to be an attractive aura and a special charm to the town. More often than not, you will meet the locals & local expats who have stayed and have been living in San Juan Del Sur for years. Once you meet them, you will be introduced to a new circle of lifelong friends.


"I have traveled the world & San Juan Del Sur is on the top of my list" - Jack L.
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