Why San Juan Del Sur Didn’t Win me Over

Let’s get this out-of-the-way, I don’t surf. I tried it once and swallowed more saltwater and got stung by more jellyfish than the seconds of me standing up. That said, I did like it. My back, however, says otherwise. I would like to say that is why San Juan Del Sur didn’t win me over but truthfully; it was the Villas de Palermo Hotel and Resort that kept me from truly enjoying the area. Here’s why:


Hillside Retreat

After spending 3 muggy and lazy days in Granada we made the trek to San Juan Del Sur and the Villas de Palermo Hotel and Resort. This stop was to be our beach retreat but after checking in we found the resort tough to leave. This hillside retreat offers large homes to rent for travelling families, or groups of friends. Our unit came complete with a full kitchen, two large bedrooms, 2 large bathrooms, and a living room with a TV and DVD player. What else do you need in a vacation rental? A pool maybe…

What really kept us from truly exploring San Juan Del Sur was the hillside pool. With happy hour specials and plenty of sunshine, it was hard to leave.

ALSO, these sunsets



Within Reach

When we finally did leave the Villas de Palermo Hotel and Resort we found that San Juan Del Sur’s downtown core was a short ride away. Although we didn’t tick off many of the 101 things to do in San Juan Del Sur, we did cover the bars and restaurants in town. With plenty of ex-pats calling San Juan Del Sur home, there are plenty to choose from and no shortage of fun to be found. The Canadian themed Loose Moose serves up a mean Caesar and the San Juan del Sur Cervecería, Nicaragua’s 1st craft brewery, made me feel like I was home. The random booms and crackles of children’s fireworks exploding in the streets brought me back to reality.


Along with surfers, this backpacker hub is also teaming with barefoot hippies, yogis, and yuppies on a gap year. Not sure where I fit in it but is good to know that everyone can fit in here.


On our last day in San Juan Del Sur we did peel ourselves away from the pool and headed for the secluded Playa Hermosa. Although the private beach costs $3 USD per person, the laid-back bar, seclusion, and made it worth it, surfer or not.

Return to Nica

I left San Juan Del Sur relaxed and refreshed but also with a sense that I didn’t give the town a fair chance. Friends of mine visited San Juan Del Sur shortly after I did and they loved it. I didn’t get it, but then again I was busy enjoying the resort too much to try. Perhaps on my next visit, I will take in a baseball game, Nicaragua’s national sport and pass time, check out some other beaches, and party in town.




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For more reviews from Central America and beyond see HERE.

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Although I was provided a reduced rate at the Villas de Palermo Hotell,
the experience, opinions, and choice to pass on San Juan Del Sur are my own.

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