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Celebrating Semana Santa 2016 in San Juan del Sur

Semana Santa in San Juan del Sur equates to the biggest party of the year in Nicaragua. To avoid the crowds and craziness this week long celebration brings many resident expats and locals prefer to get out of town, while on the other hand, many of us choose to stick around.

This year, like previous years, Gordon and I decided to round up some friends and get in on the action. 

Heineken Semana Santa 2016: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

The Heineken stage has always been a favorite spot of ours so it became the meeting place for our motley crew. With upbeat music pumping, the sun shining and cold inexpensive Heineken flowing our Semana Santa expat gathering was off to a great start!

~ Heineken Reps: Semana Santa 2016, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

~ Heineken Reps: Semana Santa 2016, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

- Semana Santa SJDS Expat Experience 2016

~ Celebrating Semana Santa 2016 with Expat Friends: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Unlike major festivals and events in Canada or the United States — where drink prices usually double or even triple — here in Nicaragua it’s the complete opposite.

Whether it’s beer, rum or Micheladas you’ll be hard pressed to pay much more than $1 USD for a drink. One place was even selling litres of Victoria Classica beer for just $1.25 USD.

Next we made our way a few steps down the street to the Claro booth. Local beer (Toña and Victoria Frost) were available for just $0.89 USD.

Needless to say more frosty cervezas were enjoyed by all!

Claro Semana Santa 2016: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

~ Semana Santa 2016: Claro Tent, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Claro Building: Semana Santa 2016, SJDS, Nicaragua

~ Semana Santa 2016: Claro Tent, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua (PHOTO CREDIT: DanCesar.com)

Victoria Frost Reps: Semana Santa 2016, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

~ Semana Santa 2016: Victoria Frost Reps, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Claro: Semana Santa 2016, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

~ Semana Santa 2016: Claro Tent, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

There was no shortage of cold (and even cheaper beer) at the Victoria Frost tent, which is where we found ourselves next. Here we paid just $0.71 USD per can.

High above us nubile young women representing one of Nicaragua’s big name beers gyrated to the beat of the music.

Victoria Frost Semana Santa 2016: SJDS, Nicaragua

~ Semana Santa 2016: Victoria Frost Tent, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Celebrating Semana Santa 2016: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

~ Semana Santa 2016: Victoria Frost Tent, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua (PHOTO CREDIT: DanCesar.com)

We made our way through the crowded dance floor and out onto the beach. The cool mist that sprinkled down on us and was a welcome reprieve from the heat.

Victoria Frost Semana Santa 2016: SJDS, Nicaragua

~ Semana Santa 2016: Victoria Frost Tent, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Here in the Victoria Frost tent — as with all the other venues we visited — purchasing multiple beers meant you were eligible to receive free swag. Our friend Everett scored a cap with a built in bottle opener.

- Our new expat friend Everett Sturge sporting his Vic

~ Celebrating Semana Santa 2016: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Victoria Frost Tent: Semana Santa 2016, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

~ Victoria Frost Tent: Semana Santa 2016, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

It’s fair to say that by this time many of us were feeling no pain! From here we wandered up the beach through the crowds of people in search of something good to eat.

The Bay of San Juan del Sur: Semana Santa 2016

~ Semana Santa 2016: The Bay of San Juan, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

After enjoying a little snack of fried chicken we made our way back to where we started – the Heineken stage – for a couple more cold ones, further people watching and — for some of us — a bit of dancing.

Papas Fritas con Pollo

~ Fried Chicken & French Fries: Semana Santa 2016, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Semana Santa 2016: Heineken Stage, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

~ Semana Santa 2016: Heineken Stage, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Semana Santa in San Juan del Sur is definitely not for people who don’t like crowds or loud music. For me it’s best experienced a couple hours at a time.

Having started this particular party at 2:30 in the afternoon I was impressed that I lasted as long as I did; it was 8 o’clock when Gordon and I finally decided to make our way home.

There’s no denying the fact that today I’m missing the flavours of turkey, ham and mashed potatoes with gravy…not to mention those oh so sinfully sweet Cadbury Creme Eggs…and more importantly time with family…but I can say I’m grateful to have enjoyed another day of fun in the sun with good friends celebrating Semana Santa here in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua.

Have you experienced Semana Santa in San Juan del Sur? What did you think? 

A Unique Place to Stay in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua: The Luxury Vacation Villa Casa Culebra

A Unique Place to Stay in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua: The Luxury Vacation Villa Casa Culebra
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.

THE PROPERTY

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 Unique Place to Stay in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua: The Luxury Vacation Villa Casa Culebra

– Large sliding screened doors and windows keep the jungle outside while still allowing you to feel a part of nature.

A Unique Place to Stay in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua: The Luxury Vacation Villa Casa Culebra

Imagine gazing out over the Pacific ocean…savouring a fresh cup of locally grown coffee…a good book in hand…all you can hear are birds singing in the trees and the deep growl of howler monkeys off in the distance.

OUR EXPERIENCE

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.

A Unique Place to Stay in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua: The Luxury Vacation Villa Casa Culebra

– Balcones de Majagual: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

We engaged the four wheel drive on our truck and made our ascent up the hill to Casa Culebra.

A Unique Place to Stay in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua: The Luxury Vacation Villa 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.

A Unique Place To Stay in San Juan del Sur: The Luxury Vacation Villa Casa Culebra

– Soaking in a pool…surrounded by jungle…with a view of the ocean…with a cold Toña in hand is pretty hard to beat!

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!

A Unique Place to Stay in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua: The Luxury Vacation Villa Casa Culebra

– A stay at Casa Culebra is better with friends!

As the sun went down and day turned to night conversation ceased. We were hypnotized by a magnificent sunset. 

A Unique Place to Stay in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua: The Luxury Vacation Villa Casa Culebra

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 Unique Place to Stay in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua: The Luxury Vacation Villa Casa Culebra

- A Jamie Oliver recipe -- Baked white fish (mahi-mahi) with olives and tomato sauce served with creamy mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli.

– This Jamie Oliver recipe — Baked white fish with olives and a simple tomato sauce — is now one of our favorites.

A Unique Place to Stay in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua: The Luxury Vacation Villa Casa Culebra

– Comfortable furniture is generally hard to come by in Nicaragua, but not at Casa Culebra.   

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.

A Unique Place to Stay in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua: The Luxury Vacation Villa Casa Culebra

– Cold beverages and typical Nicaragua fare can be purchased at Matilda’s Snack Bar.

A Unique Place to Stay in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua: The Luxury Vacation Villa Casa Culebra

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.

A Unique Place to Stay in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua: The Luxury Vacation Villa Casa Culebra

– Cheers to good friends, Casa Culebra and another day in paradise!

Later on — while surfers ripped on head high waves — we chowed down on fish tacos.

A Unique Place to Stay in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua: The Luxury Vacation Villa Casa Culebra

 Low tide: Playa Maderas, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

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.

A Unique Place to Stay in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua: The Luxury Vacation Villa Casa Culebra

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!

A Unique Place to Stay in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua: The Luxury Vacation Villa Casa Culebra

YOUR EXPERIENCE

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. 

BOOKING INFORMATION

Casa Culebra
Balcones de Majagual

Suze Menary
casaculebra.balcones@gmail.com
(650) 452-2460

Nightly rates starting at $145 USD.

A 4 x 4 vehicle is required to access Casa Culebra.

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