Everybody had told me to go to San Juan del Sur. “It has the best beaches!”, I heard over and over again.
I am always suspicious of the “best beach EVER” claim. I mean, every beach is nice, especially in this part of the world—the atmosphere, on the other side, is everything.
But I had to check out San Juan.
I wasn’t sure I could make it in one day from León as there was no direct way to head back south. I walked to the bus station, hopped onto a bus to Managua (a 90-minute ride), changed bus, and headed to Granada (another 90-minute trip). In Granada, I got off on the Panamericana and stop by the supermarket to use the bathroom and pick up some water and a snack, then I walked across the town with my backpack to take a chicken bus to Rivas, the state capital and nearest transportation hub. Once I Rivas, I realized I could probably make it to San Juan, so I took a collectivo and, lo and behold, arrived at destination.
Like most beach towns, San Juan is just two or three streets of restaurants, tour operators and hostels by the waterfront, all mostly catering to gringos. I headed to the beach, where nobody was swimming but everybody was drinking Toña, the local beer.
I walked everywhere and then sat here, watching the sunset.
I wasn’t expecting much from San Juan so I wasn’t disappointed but I didn’t feel like staying much longer. There were nice beaches around to explore, unfortunately you had to charter an expensive taxi to get there and walking was not an option—it wasn’t recommended for safety reasons and most beaches didn’t connect anyway. I couldn’t picture myself walking the same beach for a few days, and the same three streets in town.
I stopped by the local comedor where I had the usual Nica dinner (plantains, rice and beans and chicken) and decided to sleep and figure it out the next day.
You can see the complete set of Nicaragua on Flickr.