VIVA NICA : Our time in San Juan del Sur

San Juan del Sur, our home for about 4 weeks during our trip. There is so much to say about the place. In the tour books, they still have SJDS labeled as a quiet fishing village, clearly there hasn’t been an editor in the area for awhile. Fishing is still a part of this community but so is surfing, partying, beaching and cruises. Quiet is hardly the word I would use to describe this place. Its full of people out and about at all hours. The hostels are full during tour season, the bars are hoping and the beaches populated. Don’t get confused, this isn’t Miami, there are secret niches hidden throughout this favorite place of ours.

 

Our first week here we stayed at La Terraza Guest House. What a treat. The guest house isn’t exactly backpacker budget friendly but it was so worth it. There are 2 floors available, both with a bed + private bath and 2 other rooms that share a bathroom. Each mini-condo has a living room, pictured below, a full kitchen and a beautiful balcony. I absolutely loved staying here. We cooked our own food and watched people walk by from above. Another perk, the terraza itself. The top of the building doesn’t have much going for it except that it is front row seats for the great sunsets we have ever seen.

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Every evening we would find ourselves a Tona and a place to watch the magic. This was our first sunset in SJDS and we were so happy to be there. We’ll get to the sunsets later 🙂

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Right next to the guest house is the plaza. In the plaza, there is the church. At the church, they celebrate. On October 29th, they celebrate San Juan del Sur’s birthday. This was started with a parade with a full brass band and marching drums at 4:30am, followed by fireworks at every half hour, for the rest of the day. I had come to the conclusion that the fireworks were not set off at any particular schedule, they just waited for the car alarms to be turned off from the last blast and would fire off another… and the car alarms would begin again. Where we were staying seemed be to be perfect distance downwind from the launch spot, and with it starting at 4:30am, we didn’t really sleep that morning. The party didn’t stop all day.

 

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This was not the first nor the last parade/plaza party we witnessed while in town. The night before the birthday celebration was the first day SJDS starts their day of the dead/halloween traditions. I cannot for the life of me remember the name of the pseudo-holiday. A huge party is thrown in Masaya every year for it. Day of the Dead follows closely on November 2nd.  This specific night was celebrated by a parade, of course. Music, floats, and a mass of people dressed as grim reapers. I think its safe to say, if you want to celebrate this time of year with the local culture in mind, leave your sexy nurse costume at home.

We would see another parade a couple weeks later and I still don’t know what it was for, but the kids were pretty stoked to be throwing out candy and were dressed up cute. I couldn’t help but snap a bunch of pics.

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On our travels previously, we visited the resort Pelican Eyes for a day to use the pool and have some cocktails. This time was no different. We headed up to the resort within the first couple nights were were in town. You almost always have elevated front row seats for the sunset from their bottom infinity pool. They ran a deal this summer that they hadn’t before. $15 gets you access to the pool, 5 beers and hot wings. What a deal. We met our new friends we met at Apoyo up there for sunset festivites, check them out on instagram as they are still on the road. @webbsgoworldwide

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We had no idea what this place would end up meaning to us. Dave had been here many times over the years to escape the heat, last year I spent a fantastic day here with my now lost best friends. We had a fantastic night with the Webbs and made new friends during that night in the pool. We had no way of knowing that we would be invited to stay there with 2 of the most fantastic people we have met on our trip, or any trip for that matter. Dave, as usual, met some other Seahawks fans on a Sunday football mission and we still couldn’t guess how big their hearts were. Paul and Melea would become a huge part of our lives the next couple weeks, fellow football fans and ultimately, our roommates.

I thought I had more pictures from our time staying with Paul & Melea at Pelican Eyes but I think we were all too busy exploring the area every moment we had that I spaced on taking pictures of how beautiful this property is. Just google it, Pelican Eyes, and you will see how insanely lucky we were to be allowed to stay here.

DSCN1631Star fruit tree out front of Casa Guanacaste. Amazing.

I would end up getting sick while staying here, nasty sinus bug that I probably caught from water in one of the bays. Thank god a bunch of medicine, including antibiotics, only cost us $8.

We went out a lot for food but again, we found ourselves with an amazing kitchen at our fingertips. After a long day at one of the many beaches, we scored fresh lobster before heading back to town. Yes, I know, they are small… but this is Nicaragua!! Say goodbye to fishing regulations and seasons, you take what you can get. A local sold these bad boys to us right on the beach after exiting the water. We baked them with garlic and butter, just like they should be baked and settled in for a home cooked lobster dinner.

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Paul and Melea were in the area to research a possible move to the area and business start up ideas. While there they volunteered with a local foundation, the Jean Brugger Foundation, and were kind enough to introduce us to the many people they had met throughout their stay. The foundation helps with local kids and families in the area and is well known for its good doings in the community. We happened to be in town for a race event the foundation was holding and Dave was excited to stretch his legs.

 
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Dave ran the 6K and came in 3rd! I borrowed this picture from our friends, Dan and Cesar, I hope they don’t mind. Their website is full of wonderful pictures from their travels, I highly recommend checking out their eye candy! Thanks for snapping this pic guys!!

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There is so much to say. I don’t know how to completely cover everything. I will be posting a few picture entries just to show the sheer beauty of Rivas coastal region, a whole article covering the beached in the area and of course, an overview of the food and drink in the area. To end it all, there is another very special someone in San Juan del Sur and she will get a whole entry to herself. For now, here is another picture of a sunset… ruined by a cruise ship. How can we boycott these nasty big boats?

 

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Wow, looks and sounds like a great trip!

  2. Geared Up says:

    That man is flying!!

  3. Chantell says:

    Beautiful! I was in Nicaragua earlier this year but only went to Granada and Managua. Hopefully I will have a chance to go back in 2016 and will for sure visit San Juan. Thanks for sharing!

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