Wednesday, November 21, 2007

San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua
San Juan del Sur is a tranquil fishing village nestled at the head of a horseshoe-shaped bay on the Pacific coast of southern Nicaragua. The lovely bay is peppered with small, private yachts and commercial fishing boats. The inhabitants of San Juan del Sur make their living fishing, diving, and catering to the visitors drawn to the bay's beautiful white-sand beaches, smooth waters, and ecological richness. In and around San Juan, you are sure to find plenty to see and do. Numerous beaches await exploration, the scenery is superb, good surfing can be found nearby, and the sport fishing and sailing are world class. Or you might prefer doing nothing at all-pure and utter relaxation-in one of Nicaragua's most beautiful areas. Come, explore, enjoy.

You cannot miss the main attraction of Nicaragua’s newest cruise call San Juan del Sur – the pure white sand beach stretches for more than two miles. It is perfect for swimming or for just admiring from one of the cafes along the front.
The views are equally spectacular over to the mountains and forests which are the backdrop to this ultra laid-back town (and former pirate haunt) on Nicaragua’s Pacific coast, just 15 miles from the border with Costa Rica.

Although there are the ruins of the William Walker fortress to visit, this is a place really made just for chilling out. For sightseeing, you need to take the tour to Granada, one of the country’s most important cities.

On the shores of 92-mile long Lake Nicaragua and overlooked by the Mombacho volcano, Granada was founded by the conquistadors in 1524 making it the country’s oldest Spanish city. Nicknamed “La Gran Sultana” (the Great Sultan) after its Moorish namesake in Spain, its colonial style cathedral and plaza plus a lovely park (Colon) make it a hugely enjoyable place to walk

Nicaragua has the largest area of primary-growth rain forest north of the Amazon, hundreds of beaches, six active volcanoes, and plenty of sleepy surf towns. Since 2002, the government has created 7 national parks to protect the country's wildlife.

San Juan del Sur, The Pacific Pearl

San Juan del Sur is situated in the Rivas Province. Rivas is an isthmus bordered by the Pacific Ocean and Lake Nicaragua (Cocibolca). 142 km from Managua City, San Juan del Sur is an ideal place for surfers and seafood lovers. It is one of the most popular recreational areas. The beach is sun drenched, clean and loaded with small bars, restaurants, hotels and picnic areas where you can find delicious seafood dinners and pleasant music

A short ride to the southwest of San Jorge is the costal town of San Juan Del Sur. Located only 15 miles north of the PeƱas Blancas border crossing with Costa Rica, this small fishing village becomes very popular during Christmas and the Semana Santa celebrations at Easter time. My wife and I spoke with the German owners of a popular restaurant/bar that claimed to make enough money during these two holiday periods to cover their yearly expenses. San Juan Del Sur offers several beachside hotels and restaurants, and is Nicaragua’s first and only cruise ship port-of-call. It has everything that a typical cruise port offers, like handicraft shops, bars, restaurants, Jet Ski rentals, and tours of the area. A short hike up a hill on the south side of San Juan Del Sur will bring you to the ruined fort of William Walker. Walker was an American adventurer who in 1855 captured and briefly occupied Granada, the former capital. He was defeated by a Central American army made up of Nicaraguans and Costa Ricans shortly after.
Despite the increase in tourism, the biggest craze in this town is real-estate. San Juan Del Sur has several luxury homes that sit atop the hills that overlook the bay; with many more under construction. There are also many condominium and town home communities currently under construction in the surrounding area. The prices are climbing, but they are still very attractive when compared to similar homes only a few miles to the south in Costa Rica. San Juan Del Sur is clearly a town on the rise, and certainly one of Nicaragua’s top destinations.

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