Just because we live in a tropical paradise doesn’t mean we still don’t love weekend getaways and vacations.
We recently enjoyed a three day, two night stay at a luxury vacation villa with our good friends Debbie and Bastin.
Casa Culebra is beautiful 2000 square foot two bedroom, two and a half bath luxury eco-home.
It is one of eleven villas situated in the development of Balcones de Majagual (pronounced ball-cone-ehs-day-ma-ha-wall). This gated community is located just 12 kms north of San Juan del Sur.
At Casa Culebra you experience nature and tranquility without having to sacrifice comfort.
This vacation home has it all — king size beds and quality linens, hot water and wifi, a fully equipped kitchen, ocean views, jungle views, a gas grill, an outdoor shower and an infinity pool!
A thirty minute scenic drive from home — over a bumpy road known as La Chocolata — brought us to the gates of Balcones de Majagual.
Perhaps it was the anticipation and excitement of a mini-vacation, but the drive seemed to take no time at all.
We engaged the four wheel drive on our truck and made our ascent up the hill to Casa Culebra.
After quickly unloading our truck and unpacking our bags we were hot and sweaty. We grabbed some drinks and snacks and walked a few steps down to our 15 meter infinity pool.
The cool clear water was a little chilly, but incredibly refreshing. This was a nice change from the bathtub like water in our pool at home.
Howler monkeys lazed overhead in the trees a few feet away from us, while birds tweeted happily around us.
Much of our chatter centered around how fortunate we were to be “right here, right now” “living the life” in Nicaragua!
As the sun went down and day turned to night conversation ceased. We were hypnotized by a magnificent sunset.
On the menu for night one was fresh mahi mahi that we had purchased in town at the local market. The well appointed, fully equipped kitchen made meal prep a breeze.
A good part of our day on Saturday was spent at two of our favorite beaches, which just so happen to be a five minute drive from the house.
We parked our truck at Playa Majagual and from there walked leisurely across the white sand beach and rocks towards the popular surf beach of Playa Maderas.
In less than ten minutes we arrived at Playa Maderas. We found a quiet shady spot on the south end of the beach where we “set up camp”.
Here we kicked back, relaxed and sipped on a couple litres of Toña (local beer) that we had packed in our cooler bag.
Later on — while surfers ripped on head high waves — we chowed down on fish tacos.
Although we love the beach our walk back to Playa Majagual where our truck was parked was at a much less leisurely pace. We were on a mission as we envisioned a pool and sunset experience similar to the one we had the night before.
Sunset on night two did not disappoint.
After our fun filled day of sun, surf, more pool time, another delicious meal and a game of Dominoes we were spent. Our eyelids started to droop early in the evening as our comfy king size beds called to us.
As I crawled into bed crickets buzzed outside my window. The wind rustled softly in the trees and I was asleep almost immediately after my head hit the pillow.
Sunday came faster than we had anticipated.
Just a bit more time in this calm quiet peaceful environment (and maybe one more poolside cocktail) is all we wanted.
But sadly…as we know…all good things must come to an end.
We throughly enjoyed our time as guests at Casa Culebra and are look forward to returning again one day soon!
Your experience at Casa Culebra can be much of the same as ours — but with one added bonus — you’ll have your very own concierge — which just so happens to be me and Gordon.
We’ll meet you upon arrival in San Juan del Sur. After a quick tour of town and picking up a few supplies we’ll escort you to your home away from home and help you get settled.
We’ll tell you about our favorite sunset happy hour spots and make sure you know where to go for inexpensive and delicious seafood dinners. We can also help with recommendations and reservations for activities and excursions.
Balcones de Majagual
Nightly rates starting at $145 USD.
A 4 x 4 vehicle is required to access Casa Culebra.
Nicaragua is blessed with some of the most beautiful beaches and surfing in the world. Many of which you’ll find in the San Juan del Sur area.
With year round waves Playa Maderas is one of San Juan del Sur’s most popular surf beaches. Three restaurants (Tacos Locos, Los Tres Hermanos and Mi Rancho) offer frosty cervezas and local fare at reasonable prices. Dorm beds, as well as private rooms are available for rent at Los Tres Hermanos. Surf board rentals and lessons are also available here. A 4 x 4 vehicle is recommended for travel to Playa Maderas, especially in the rainy season.
For an afternoon of swimming and sunbathing Playa Majagual is ideal. Grab a cold beverage or some typical Nicaraguan fare at Matilda’s Snack Bar. Basic lodging and camping is also available at Matilda’s. Playa Majagual is just a 5 minute walk North of Playa Maderas, but can also be reached by car from San Juan del Sur in approximately 25 minutes.
Playa Marsella is less well known than her sister bay of Playa Maderas and is the quieter beach. With a long, white sandy beach stretching from one end of the bay to the other, Marsella is strikingly beautiful. At the mouth of the estuary you’ll find Restaurante Rancho Marsella where you can get cold beer and enjoy fresh and delicious seafood. Depending on the time of day you may catch a glimpse of resident crocodile Paco. At the other end of the beach you’ll find the slightly more upscale restaurant El Secreto. Playa Marsella Beachfront Hotel has rustic cabins and rooms for rent. Stand up paddle boards and kayaks are also available for rent here.
Playa Remanso is a small beautiful bay just 15 minutes south of the center of San Juan. On a clear day at Playa Remanso you can see the mountains of Costa Rica which are less than fifteen miles away. Here you’ll find two small beach bar restaurants. Both offer ample seating in the shade, fresh fruit smoothies, cold beers and simple food like fish tacos and chicken nachos, but our favorite is Slaudy Brother’s Surf Bar. Playa Remanso is a great beach for beginner surfers.
Playa Hermosa offers plenty of amenities – washrooms, fresh water showers, a restaurant and bar, sand volleyball court, hammocks galore, quaint thatch roof huts on the sand with tables and chairs for lounging, massage services and horseback riding. Here they even have a turtle release program. At Playa Hermosa there is an entrance fee of $3 USD per person and outside beverages are not allowed. Lodging is available at Playa Hermosa Beach Hotel.
This long beautiful secluded sandy beach is favorited by local surfers. With no amenities and little shade here you’ll want to bring some snacks and plenty of water. Although not absolutely necessary for travel to Playa Yankee a vehicle with higher clearance is recommended. The drive from San Juan del Sur takes approximately 30 minutes. Entrance fee is C$100 ($3.75 USD) per vehicle.
PLAYA EL COCO
A jewel of a beach, spanning nearly a mile long Playa el Coco is great for relaxing, swimming and sunset watching. Restaurante Puesto del Sol, the one and only restaurant in the area offers hammocks and beach chairs. It also has a nice pool. Unfortunately the food and service quality don’t quite warrant the higher menu prices. From San Juan del Sur it takes approximately 30 minutes by car to reach Playa el Coco.
This wide and imposing beach is one of the least visited in the San Juan area, perhaps because of its remoteness, which makes it a tranquil and lonely spot, but if you’re looking to get off the beaten path and go on a little adventure Playa Ostional is worth the trip. Manta Raya Hospedaje is a great place to sit and enjoy the view and a cold Toña or two.