After our chaotic border crossing, well more Cheryl’s than mine! lol You can read about it here: Backpacking to San Juan del Sur… Crossing the border
We arrived to San Juan del Sur!!!
San Juan del Sur is a fishermen & surfing village on the South Pacific coast. It reminds me of Tamarindo, Costa Rica. In terms of architecture, however, it has a completely different style. The best way to describe it would be:
“A variety of typical Nicaraguan houses painted in different bright colors.”
Beside the bright houses, San Juan has also some cool Spanish Colonial style buildings just like this one.
I really like the mix between the two styles. It makes this little town so cozy and welcoming.
Another cool thing about San Juan is that you do not need a car to go around. Everything is walking distance. Cheryl and I explored the town in less than an afternoon. As most Latin American towns, San Juan does not have any street names, so although it should have been easy, we had some trouble finding the cathedral. But we finally did.
Beside the nice architecture, cozy streets and welcoming people, San Juan has a variety of hostels, surf shops, stores, restaurants and bars which make it a perfect vacation town for the young crowds.
Our favorite restaurant was Pizzeria San Juan de la Playa, a typical Italian restaurant right on the beach. I felt like I was in Italy at a family owned Trattorria. They probably have the best thin crust pizza I had in Latin America and according to Cheryl the best tiramisu. The service is spectacular – the staff is fast and attentive and best of all it’s super cheap. We paid less than $20 for a pizza, a salad, a glass of wine, a coca light, a tiramisu & an espresso. I highly recommend this place. I cannot say the same about Vivian Restaurant – it has a nice setting, it’s on the beach, but jeezzz the food is terrible.
For our late night shenanigans we hit Iguana Bar. This is where all tourists and locals go for drinks and to party. We had some pretty awesome nights there. We met many travelers, made friends with the bartenders and danced with the locals to some good rhythms. Every time I go somewhere a song sticks with me and I always associate it with my trip. For San Juan – this is the song that I will always remind me of our escapade.
Last but not least, for a Latin American beach town, San Juan felt really secure. Even at night when we walked we felt very safe. I mean, you will have the casual group of Nicas whistling or telling you “Hola Mami” or “Que Ricas” but all in all, it’s safe for female travelers.
So long San Juan… we will be back soon!!!
Here are my tips on how to cross the border by foot ~ Costa Rica – Nicaragua