Nicaragua is a small country of only about 6 million people. When you take into account that you cannot drive through the eastern 2/3 of the country, you realize that you can really SEE Nicaragua on a short trip. On our first visit, we drove from Leon to Chinandega to Asseradores in the northwest, to Matagalpa, Granada, and San Juan del Sur on $26 in gas! So when you’re planning your trip, make sure to take in some of the sights:
San Juan del Sur is a small tourist town in southwestern Nicaragua. With 22 nearby beaches, and 5 surfable beaches within 20-30 minutes, it’s become a hotspot for families, backpackers, surfers, and retirees. Great food can be had in town for half (or less) of a comparable “first world” meal, fresh seafood comes into the port daily, adventure seekers can try zip lines and horseback riding and volcano hikes, and the views are amazing from any number of locations. Take a boat trip, walk around the small town, journey to a nearby beach – which you just might have all to yourself.
El Pacifico Hotel is located in a residential neighborhood on the north side of the bay, a 15 min walk from town and a 15 min walk to the famous statue of Jesus overlooking San Juan Bay. We offer quiet and relaxation, a great vibe, cold drinks, hot breakfast, security, a crystal clear pool, and plenty of hammocks… Just the place to be *near* town without having to listen to it all night long!
High season here is December 26 through Easter, or Semana Santa Week. (Which is a craziness all its own!) Then it was pretty quiet… And then summer came. What a great time to visit San Juan del Sur! Why?
Everything is GREEN and beautiful!
From some time in November until some time in late April or May. It doesn’t rain. AT. ALL. So everything is brown and dry and dusty. Still pretty – the contrast of the blue green bay and the brown hills is quite lovely. But once the rain starts, everything turns green IMMEDIATELY, and starts to grow. The dust is washed away. It cools off. And prices are lower!
The surfing and fishing are great!
Fishing in the area begins to get good in May, and improves all summer. August is THE MONTH – mahi, wahoo, marlin, snapper… Great fish and a great time fishing. What more can you want? San Juan del Sur also gets over 300 days of great surf a year. Everyone can benefit – there are beaches that are great for beginners, and experienced surfers can catch swells that can reach 10′.
It’s not so hot!
Nicaragua is in the tropics, there’s no getting around it. After windy season, and before rainy season (mid-March through mid-May), it’s hot. Yes, the water is still cool, and low season rates during that time are some of the best of the year. But summer time has a perfect combination of breeze, the occasional rain (and very few days that are rained out), cooler nights, and sunshine.
It’s mid-season prices with high season activities!
Same hotels, same restaurants, same Sunday Fun Day, same Happy Hour Sunset on the Beach specials, same boat trips, same schedules… But 20% or more LESS than high season. Plus all the benefits above. Seriously… Have you made your reservation yet??
We love good food at El Pacifico, especially good baking. That’s how we came up with the Accidental Bakery – people discovered that Jennings baked fresh daily, and that they were, well, DELICIOUS! Soon we had people coming from around the neighborhood, then around the town, then we were supplying a local coffee shop. All while making sure our guests and staff had a fresh baked goodie each day. (And btw, Jennings can’t eat gluten… So she comes up with all these recipes and uses Chuck as a tester. So far the combination has been a winner!)
San Juan del Sur has a lot – A LOT – of outdoor activities. Most of life is outdoors here, and you can learn all sorts of new skills or polish your old ones with inexpensive lessons and rentals. While we love our quiet, lazy hammock days, sometimes you just have to get out in the sun and do something! And Nicaragua is a small country, so you can get to a lot of cool places in a short amount of time. Fish, take a sunset booze cruise, walk a deserted beach, surf, hike a volcano (or two) on Ometepe, visit Vulcan Masaya and see the lava flow, SCUBA dive, spear fish… So much to do, you may have to extend your stay!
One of the best things about El Pacifico Hotel is the great people who come and stay with us. We have met people from all over the world: USA, Canada, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Norway, France, Italy, Spain, Siberia, Latvia, Ireland, Britain, Germany, Switzerland, New Zealand, Australia, and all over Central and South America. And one of the VERY BEST things is when they meet each other, come together, play games, drink, watch movies, or cheer their favorite sports teams on TV.
We love having an ever-flowing community of great guests and interns, and are at our happiest when there’s lots of laughter in the rancho. Come visit, meet some great people, and play a few games in between surfing and hiking. You’ll be glad you did!
Hola! Thank you for visiting our new website. We’re obviously still under construction, but we wanted to have a way for you to find us while we’re in transition – so here’s our very basic “entry level” site. ?
Great things are happening at El Pacifico! Here’s the short list, and I’ll blog more as time allows. (Turns out that buying a hotel is a lot of work!)
- Bar is open for business, and we’re getting a lot of local and walk-in traffic as well as from our guests. No big parties, just great laughs and cold beer (or other adult beverages!).
- The restaurant is also open – we have a full menu for breakfast in addition to our fresh-baked-daily continental. Lunch and dinner are “by request” and we’re serving quite a few each week. The last couple of Sundays we’ve had a group dinner, which has been great fun!
- Activities are starting to ramp up: Sunday dinner and game nights, plus a weekly writers workshop.
- Painting has started now that the wind has died. Stay tuned for some before and after photos!
Thanks for your support – we hope you’ll come visit us in beautiful San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua!
Most of our guests are from out of Nicaragua, so like to help them find things to do around the San Juan del Sur. Sure, there are some great tour guides around that can give you an amazing day… But part of the fun of coming to Nicaragua is the sense of adventure, right?
Semana Santa, or Holy Week, was NUTS. We had dozens of guests in a 10 day period, town was crazy, the beach was trashed… For some, it’s why they come to San Juan del Sur. For us, we were ecstatic when it was over! (We did learn some business things for holidays in the future, through, as they say, the School of Hard Knocks!)