Celebrating Thanksgiving in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Nicaraguans don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be turkey in San Juan del Sur today. For those expats, travellers and tourists looking to get their turkey fix there are plenty of options.

From 5 pm BIG WAVE DAVES will be serving roast turkey and all the trimmins’ at a cost of C$300 ($11.53 USD) per person.

Thanksgiving Dinner at Big Wave Daves

CHA CHA CHA is hosting their 1st Annual Thanksgiving Dinner today. Their traditional dinner comes with a slice of pumpkin pie. It’s an extra special one at Cha Cha Cha today because brothers and owners Steven and Glenn are spending Thanksgiving with their parents – something that hasn’t happened in a long time!

Thanksgiving at Cha Cha Cha

For those looking for a finer dining experience PALERMO HOTEL AND RESORT is a great place to go, but at $25.00, plus tax per person it is the priciest option.

Thanksgiving at Palermo

PELICAN EYES HOTEL AND RESORT is offering appetizing choices at a price of $19.99, plus tax per person.  

Thanksgiving Menu: Pelican Eyes

And last, but not certainly not least SAN JUAN DEL SUR CERVECERIA is also hosting Thanksgiving dinner. Smoked turkey, deep fried turkey or ham, buttermilk mashed potatoes, cornbread stuffing, crispy onion green beans, gravy, jamaica glaze and homemade pie and ice cream for dessert all for just C$400 per person ($15.38 USD).

San Juan del Sur Cerveceria

Since we were in Mexico for Canadian Thanksgiving, we are especially happy to be celebrating American Thanksgiving today at our friend’s home with 10 of our close expat pals.

What’s funny and interesting about this American Thanksgiving celebration is that there will only be 4 Americans seated at our table. Today we have representation from Canada, Holland, Ireland and New Zealand. Sharing unique holiday celebrations from around the globe is just one of the many reasons we love living in San Juan del Sur.

Wherever you are in the world we’d like to wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Snapshots: Playa Maderas, Nicaragua

18 Things to Do in San Juan del Sur (besides surfing)

San Juan del Sur is very popular with surfers. But if you’re like us…and not into surfing…and planning a trip to the pacific coast of Nicaragua…we think you’ll find this list of things to do in San Juan del Sur very interesting.

Spectacular Sunsets

#1 EAT PIZZA IN THE JUNGLE AT MUNCHIES BLUUES

Enjoy real Italian brick oven pizza? Interested in a unique dining experience? Munchies Bluues is a must! Located 15 minutes from the centre of San Juan del Sur on the road to Marsella Beach Munchies Bluues offers a truly unique pizza dining experience. Open Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Dining by reservation only. Doors open at 6:30 pm. To avoid disappointment make your reservation a couple of days in advance by calling Sergio at (505) 8814-8530. $6 – $8 USD per pizza

#2 CRUISE ON A CATAMARAN WITH NICA SAIL N SURF

Climb aboard a 39-foot luxury catamaran in the bay of San Juan and set sail to the beautiful white sand beach of Playa Blanca. Return in time to catch the sunset from the bay. Local beer, rum and snacks included. $60 USD per person

http://www.nicasailandsurf.com

#3 TEST YOUR TRIVIA SKILLS AT BAR REPUBLIKA

On Tuesday nights at Bar Republika teams of 5 compete for the title of trivia champs and a big bottle of Flor de Caña rum. Game starts at 7:30 pm. Get there early to grab a seat and a bite to eat. In addition to frosty cervezas you’ll also find a fun and friendly crowd at this popular expat hangout.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bar-Republika-Nicaragua/628635447193898

#4 FEAST ON LOBSTER AT LA LANCHA

You’ll be hard pressed to find 3 lobster tails with sides anywhere else for $6 USD. La Lancha is not a fancy place, but the food is delicious!

http://www.comedorlalancha.com

#5 GO HORSEBACK RIDING WITH BLUE AT RANCHO CHILAMATE


Horseback riding is a great way to get up close and personal with Nicaragua. A tour with Rancho Chilamate includes transportation to and from San Juan del Sur, western boots, hat and good tack, a photography shoot of your ride, strong healthy loved up horses, an English speaking trail boss and fun and rum, with a total of 3 hours in the saddle. A portion of every ride goes to the local community development fund. $69 – $79 USD per person

http://ranchochilamate.com

#6 HIKE UP THE HILL TO SEE JESUS

The Christ of the Mercy statue was erected in 2009 and and has quickly become an ionic landmark and geographical reference point for the town of San Juan del Sur. At 24 meters it is the largest statue of Christ in Central America and one of the 10 largest Jesus statues in the world. Visiting hours 8 am – 5 pm. $2 USD per person

#7 GET A  MASSAGE BY GABY

Located 1/2 block East of the central market Gaby’s Spa offers a full range of deluxe spa and aesthetic services including couples massage, deep tissue massage, facials, manicures, pedicures and waxing. The spa is air-conditioned with hot water showers and wi-fi in the lounge. To book an appointment call (505) 8711-8943. $35 USD for 60 minutes

http://www.gabysspa.com

#8 SAMPLE FOLKLORE MUSIC & DANCING AT EL TIMÓN

On Thursday nights at El Timón young people from San Juan del Sur demonstrate their culture in full, colourful costumes and professional dances from all parts of Nicaragua. Bilingual commentary on the performances enhances the experience. Show starts at 7:30 pm. Stay and dance ‘till 10 pm to the live marimba band. 

http://www.eltimonsanjuandelsur.com

#9 EAT DINNER AT CHA CHA CHA

With so many great menu choices it’s sometimes difficult to decide what to order at Cha Cha Cha. Our favourites include the chill nachos, the pork burrito and the banana cheesecake dessert. Take advantage of Happy Hour food and drink specials every day from 3 to 6 pm and enjoy live music in the evening in the Beer Garden. Open from 12 noon – 10 pm.

https://www.facebook.com/ChaChaChaSJDS

#10 ZIP THROUGH THE TREES

Experience some of the best views of San Juan del Sur on Da Flyin’ Frog’s 16-platform, two kilometer ride through the trees. The longest cable is 328 meters (1050 feet) and the highest passes over a 70 meter (225 feet) deep canyon. Open Monday thru Saturday, 8 am to 4 pm. $30 USD per person

www.daflyingfrog.com

#11 SUNBATHE AND SWIM AT PLAYA MAJAGUAL

Playa Majagual is one of the most easily accessible white sand beaches in the San Juan area. Although it’s just a 10 minute walk from the busy, bustling (and very popular) Playa Maderas, it’s a world apart. If you’re looking to relax on a beautiful beach Playa Majagual is worth a visit. Cold drinks and inexpensive typical plates of food can be purchased at Matilda’s Snack Bar.

#12 ENJOY AN EVENING OF LIVE MUSIC

No matter what night of the week it is there is usually at least one venue in town where you can enjoy live music. El Timón on Monday, Big Wave Daves on Wednesday and the Black Whale on Friday and Saturday — are just a few to mention. Check out the entertainment section of our local paper the Del Sur News for up-to-date listings.

#13 EAT ESKIMO ICE CREAM EVERY OTHER DAY

At a price of $1 USD for two scoops, Eskimo ice cream is an inexpensive tasty treat that’s sure to you cool off when you need a break from the heat of the sun in San Juan del Sur. Enjoy flavours like coffee, pistachio, fig, pitaya (dragon fruit) and coconut. My go to? The mini-banana split — two scoops of ice cream, banana, caramel sauce, whip cream, peanuts and a cherry on top!  Next in line to Toña (local beer), Eskimo ice cream is my Nicaraguan addiction.

#14 VOLUNTEER WITH THE SAN JUAN DEL SUR MOBILE LIBRARY PROJECT

Three times a week, library staff and volunteers load bins of books onto a pickup truck and venture into the countryside surrounding San Juan del Sur. At each site, library patrons are able to browse and exchange books. For those individuals who are limited with time, but want to make a difference volunteering while in San Juan del Sur the Mobile Library Project is the perfect volunteer opportunity.

http://www.sjdsbiblioteca.org/sjds-mobile-project/

#15 PLAY A ROUND OF FRISBEE GOLF AT MARSELLA VALLEY NATURE CENTER

This 12-hole, 640 meter course is enjoyed by young and old; visitors and locals alike. Cold refreshments with carrying case available. Contact Vince at (505) 8805-6951 for a tee time. $2.50 USD per round

http://www.marsellavalley.com/golf.html

#16 RAPPEL DOWN A 45-METER WATERFALL

Expand your knowledge, reach new heights and experience nature in a totally new way with Aracne Rappelling Tours. Round trip transportation to and from your hotel, rappelling, amazing views, an extreme hike and exploration of petroglyphs with a bilingual guide are included in this excursion. Call Javier Baldovino at (505) 8887-6255 to book your tour today! $30 USD per person

http://www.aracnerappel.com

#17 CATCH A BIG FISH

Dario and his team at San Juan Surf and Sport are ready and available to provide you with the ultimate Nicaraguan fishing experience in San Juan del Sur. If you’re looking to hook a sailfish, marlin, dorado, mackerel, yellowfin tuna or rooster fish call Dario at (505) 8402-2973 and let him know when he should be expecting you. 1/2 day packags starting at $275 USD

http://www.sanjuandelsursurf.com/nicaragua/fishing_tours.php

#18 SEE SOME SUNSETS

Sunsets in San Juan del Sur are pretty spectacular. In our opinion a trip to San Juan del Sur wouldn’t be complete without enjoying at least one or two. You don’t have to go far, just wander down to any one of the beach bars in the bay, pull up a chair, grab a drink and get your camera ready!

Have you been to San Juan del Sur and taken part in one…two…or a few activities on the list? What was your favorite? Most memorable? Most enjoyable? Have an activity you’d like to add to the list? Leave a reply in the comments section below.

From San Juan del Sur to Mexico City: In Nica Now Takes a Vacation!

A Blog Post NOT About Nicaragua

- Overlooking the main plaza of Mexico City

Being semi-retired and living on a fixed income means vacations don’t happen as nearly as often as they used to. In fact, it’s been 3 1/2 years since Gordon and I enjoyed a proper holiday together.

When we lived in Canada we dreamt of vacations where we basked in the sun while sipping cold cervezas on beautiful beaches. Now that basking in the sun while sipping cold cervezas on beautiful beaches is a regular occurrence an ideal vacation for Gordon and I is something entirely different.

After much discussion, quite a bit of research and consideration of recommendations from friends we decided to take a trip to Mexico City.

AFFORDABILITY FACTOR

Now that we aren’t working full time we don’t have extra cash to spend on vacations like we did when we lived in Canada. One of the reasons we chose Mexico City was the affordability factor.

We flew from Managua to Mexico City with a quick layover in El Salvador. Round trip tickets through Avianca cost just over $500 USD per person, but beginning in December AeroMexico is offering direct flights from Managua for even less.

We booked a two bedroom apartment through Airbnb. After applicable fees we ended up paying $75 USD per night.

Food and drink cost a bit more in Mexico City than it does here in Nicaragua, but much less than in Canada. Average cost of a beer in a bar was $3 USD, with a typical sit down lunch or dinner in a restaurant priced between $8 and $10 USD.  At $2 USD a full meal from a street or market vendor was much cheaper.

If you’re an expat living in Nicaragua longing to see something new a trip to Mexico City might just work you.

HIGHLIGHTS

We covered a lot of ground while in Mexico City. With so much to do and so many cool sites to see it wasn’t hard to fill two weeks. 

Some of our trip highlights include…

…riding bicycles on Paseo de la Reforma…

- Two thumbs up for FREE bicycle rentals on Paseo de la Reforma

 Paseo de la Reforma is a wide avenue that runs diagonally across the heart of Mexico City. Every Sunday the road is closed to traffic.

- Paseo de la Reforma is a wide avenue that runs diagonally across the heart of Mexico City. Every Sunday the road is closed to traffic.

…visiting the pyramids… 

Teotihuacan

- The ruins of Teotihuacán: Greater Mexico City, Mexico

…eating lunch in a cave…

La Gruta Restaurant: Mexico City, Mexico

La Gruta Restaurant: Teotihaucán, Mexico

…spending time with our friends Tom and Hannah…

- Saturday afternoon cervezas at a popular cantina in Coyoacán

- Saturday afternoon cervezas at a popular cantina in Coyoacán

…strolling through incredible parks…

A Blog Post NOT About Nicaragua

- Parque España: Mexico City, Mexico

A Blog Post Not About Nicaragua

- Parque Mexico: Mexico City, Mexico

- Parque Coyoacán

- Parque Coyoacán

…and going to the movies.

Yes, that’s right going to the movies!

Oh and how could I forget?

…eating sushi!

We really enjoyed our time away and I especially enjoyed having some new sights to photograph (and in turn be able to share them with you).

BUT…

…it’s good to be back.

Back to our miniature schnauzer Maggie…back to our friends…and back to our home and slow paced life on the Pacific coast of Nicaragua.

For a view of Mexican City — through my eyes — I invite you to check out my image gallery below.

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers:

%d bloggers like this: