San Juan del Sur – Nicaraguas Surf Mecca
When we were invited to San Juan del Sur by the Surfing Donkey Team the prospect of five days of Surfing, Toñas and Tacos seemed too good to be true. After visiting the Nicaraguan pacific coast we know: We were wrong – our expectations were by far exceeded.
Located in the southwest of Nicaragua, San Juan del Sur is well known beyond the borders of Central America as a mecca for those looking for great surfing and even better parties. The Surfing Donkey Hostel is the ideal port of call for those of you looking for a fun time in the coastal town – it is also the place to stay if you are hoping to experience some of San Juan's best night-life: the team at Surfing Donkey will make sure you don't miss out on “Sunday Funday Pool Crawl”, "Fight Nights" where expats train for months before beating up their friends, the San Juan pub crawl starting at the fantastic "Loose Moose" Canadian bar and other events around town.
Although the coastal town is famous for surfing you won't find anyone surfing waves in San Juan's bay. Instead surfers staying in the town take shuttles to nearby beaches before returning in the evening to go partying. The most popular beach is “Maderas” located half an hour away from San Juan del Sur. Leaving our base at the fantastic Surfing Donkey Hostel we took an early shuttle out of town to catch some waves before the masses would arrive around noon. Maderas Beach has great waves and is the ideal surfing spot near San Juan del Sur, even though it can get very crowded. Our tip is to head out to Maderas with a shuttle at 7:30 – this will get you about 3-4 hours of crowd-free surfing.
For those looking for a secluded surf spot without tourists (or even many locals) we can recommend a visit to Ostional Beach. Our friend Bastien from San Juan's “O'Shop” (a surf board hire, tour and shuttle shop) drove us to the beach and the village belonging to it – a sleepy collection of fishermen's houses. Ostional isn't a fantastic beach for surfing (though beginners will love it), it is the perfect place, however, for those trying to escape the pumping party atmosphere of San Juan. When we describe Ostional as being secluded we mean it – visitors will even struggle to find anywhere to eat.
A trip to San Juan del Sur is an amazing experience full of surfing, partying and great people. If you decide to visit the town on Nicaragua's Pacific coast you should visit our friends at the Surfing Donkey Hostel, O'Shop and San Juan fashion label Hug Life - don't forget to say hi from us!