17 Things to Do in San Juan del Sur (besides surfing)
Posted by Elisha & Gordon MacKay
San Juan del Sur is very popular with surfers. But if you’re like us — and not into surfing — we think you’ll find this list of things to do in San Juan del Sur fun and interesting.
#1 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. $75 USD per person
#2 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 8 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. Don’t miss Name that Tune every Friday night, which is just as much fun!
#3 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!
#4 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
#5 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
#6 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
#7 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.
#8 DO DATE NIGHT AT G&G GOURMET
For a date night of casual fine dining in San Juan del Sur G & G Gourmet is the place to go. G & G offers an excellent dinner menu at affordable prices in a very cozy atmosphere. A couple of our favorite items on the menu include the beef carpaccio and risotto with beef tenderloin. Save room for dessert – their chocolate lava cake is to die for! Open Tuesday to Sunday from 6:30 – 10 pm.
#9 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
#10 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.
#11 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.
#12 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.
#13 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.
#14 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
#15 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
#16 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
#17 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! Our favorite place to watch the sunet? El Timón!
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.
Posted on November 5, 2014, in Sights & Activities and tagged Big Wave Dave's, catamaran cruise, Cha Cha Cha, Da Flying Frog, eat lobster, Eskimo ice cream, horseback riding, La Lancha, Munchies Bluues, Nica Sail n Surf, Nicaragua, pizza in the jungle, Rancho Chilamate, Republika, San Juan del Sur, San Juan Sail Surf and Sport, sunset, The Black Whale Bar & Restaurant, things to do, Tuesday Trivia, ziplining. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.