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San Juan del Sur Datasheet Spring 2018
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DigitalNomad Offline
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San Juan del Sur Datasheet Spring 2018
Introduction:
I’ve spent a total of about 6 weeks in San Juan del Sur total over the last 2+ years. It’s a nice, cheap little beach town with a relaxed surfer vibe and a great nightlife. Peak season gets going in December, stays really busy to the beginning of February and then picks back up a bit in March and early April. The weather is pretty much consistently high of 30 and low of mid 20s.

Demographics:
Most people visiting San Juan are on their way down from Guatemala/El Salvador and it’s their last stop on the way to Costa Rica. Canadians are far and away the most likely nationality you’ll meet, however there are plenty of Americans, Nicaraguans, Swedish, Costa Ricans, Dutch, Australians, Kiwis, and Germans in the city. Something about the city seems to get everyone in a party and hookup mood. I would rank it in the top 5 easiest places to get laid in the world. One thing to note, Nicaraguan guys have pretty good game and the guys here pull more than you could ever imagine. They, along with the local staff will be your biggest competition.

Getting there:
If you are coming via airplane, you can fly to Managua and take a taxi ($80-$90), shuttle ($20) or chicken buses ($5-10). Depending on the time of day and the mode of transportation it’ll take about 1.5-3.5 hours. You can also fly into Liberia, but that may take a bit longer as the border crossing can be a bit of a pain. If you are doing a central america trip, the most likely places you would be coming from are Granada and Tamarindo, both of which you can find relatively inexpensive shuttles.

Where to stay:
This is definitely a personal preference, but I’ll give all the options so you can make your own decision.

Naked Tiger:
My personal choice… up on the hill about 10 minutes from town, it has a beautiful view of town with a full kitchen and bar. The staff is great and it’s a really relaxed vibe. Anyone can come up to party, as they are only strict with guests after 1am or so. The cons are it is a hike from town and they only have dorm rooms. That said, anything goes in the dorms and people who come here kind of know what to expect. To get to town and back, there are free shuttles every 1 or 2 hours until 1am, alternatively you can take a $5 cab. If hostelworld is sold out, just show up, they can accommodate most of the time as long as it isn’t a Saturday or Sunday. No free breakfast. NO A/C but most of the rooms it isn’t a problem because it’s quite breezy up on the hill. Definitely the best place to stay on Sunday Funday.
Need for wristband: 0/5 daytime, 5/5 night
[Image: 7GAKsrW.png]

Casa de Olas:
Also up on the hill with a good party vibe, this is the rival hostel of the Naked Tiger. They have some annoying pet monkeys and no guests are allowed ever. The do have a great pool and nicer rooms than the Naked Tiger, including privates. Free breakfast and family meals are one of the best things about it. Probably the best ratio of all the hostels in town.
Need for wristband: 5/5 daytime, 5/5 night

Pachamama: The other big party hostel in town, it’s location is right in the middle of where all the bars are. They have privates and dorms, and throw good parties on Thursday and Friday. The vibe at Pachamama I feed to be a bit douchier than the Naked Tiger, but it can be really fun. If you are here to party and the Naked Tiger isn't for you, this is your only other option. I don’t think they list rooms on hostelworld, so either email them or just show up, it’s pretty big and they should be able to find you a room. Free breakfast. Optional AC.
Need for wristband: 0/5 daytime, 5/5 night

Hola Ola:

I would probably rank this #3 for hostels I would stay at in San Juan. It's a little hike away but there are free shuttles into town. They also have a pool and a bunch of good nighttime activities. One of the less strict places as far as bringing guests back.
Need for wristband: 0/5 daytime, 2/5 night

Rositas:
Also well located in town, this hostel is basically only for sleeping as it doesn’t have a bar. It’s probably the most relaxed one in the city with regards to bringing guests back, so if that’s the benefit.
*They don’t have a wristband, but the staff can occasionally question non guests at night.

Surfing Donkey:
Probably the best bet if you want a mix between party and quiet. The bar shuts down at 10pm, but the party can be decent up to that point. It’s a really social hostel with a fun staff and a nice pool. Free breakfast.
Need for wristband: 0/5 daytime, 5/5 night

Prices: Most dorms will be in the $8-15 range and privates $30-40.

As you can tell, having a wristband for the hostel you are going back to is pretty necessary. Obviously an airbnb will resolve these issues, but for a solo traveler I’d still recommend hostels. The ratios are pretty decent here, and there is always the beach (see warning below). You can also hop around to different hostels and collect the wristbands as well as meeting all the different people in town. For more tips on getting guests into hostels and dealing with strict wristband policies, please see my hostel data sheet.

Nightlife:
The nightlife is San Juan is really good and quite cheap. You’ll be paying >$2 for beers and rum mixed drinks, and $3 or so for mojitos and fancier mixed drinks. Fireball, Tequila, and Espresso Rum shots are also all in the $2-$3 range. No bars will be charging cover unless there is some sort of special event going on.

To start the night:
Nacho Libre: A burger joint/bar, it’s really social and typically pretty full beginning around 9pm. You can even buy drinks at the convenience store and head over to drink them outside, as most people pour onto the street anyway.

Loose Moose: A canadian themed bar that serves poutine and caesars, as well as $1 tequila shots, it’s also a great place to plant some seeds. Typically a fun stuff and good music, it gets you in the mood for the night to come. They also have the famous shot challenge, 15 seconds, 5 spicy shots, and a free tshirt if you succeed. Sometimes a group of girls will all attempt it, normally resulting in a pretty mess night.

Parlour: One of the newer spots in the city, it’s a bit of a classier bar. It’s on the same street as Loose Moose and Nacho Libre, so you can at least stick your head in and check out the crowd.

Later at night:
Arribas: Located on the beach, it will start getting busy around 12am. More of a club type atmosphere, but it does have a portion of it on the beach where you can chat up girls or just grab a beer and walk down to the beach with them.

LIT: My favorite of the late night places, it’s kind of a bar/club combo. They have a popping dance floor, cages, stripper poles, swings, and a relaxing back patio.

Iguana Bar: This is where to go if you want to meet latina chicks, it’s a 2nd floor tiki style bar. They have a ladies night Sun-Thur where women drink for free for like $2-3 from 10pm-12am. Good spot for a date.

All of the above bars are within 5 minutes walking from each other, so you can always make a lap and just see what is happening any given night, but here is the general game plan for SJDS:

Sunday: Sunday Funday, more on that in a minute
Monday: Quiet night in town after Sunday Funday, if anything, do a datenight at Iguana Bar.
Tuesday: Pachamama Pub Crawl. Tuesday is a big night, it starts at Pachamama at 9pm, then goes to Nacho Libre, Loose Moose, back to Pachamama, Arribas, then Lit. It’s $10 and you get a bunch of shots, although you can just follow it around on your own if you want to save a bit of money.
Wednesday: Similar to Monday, it’s a quiet night, if you are desperate for a party, go to Granada for Weird Wednesday at Treehouse Hostel.
Thursday: Beer Pong Tournament at Pachamama, then Lit.
Friday: Pool Party at Naked Tiger to start the day.. Women drink free from 1-2, 5-6 and 8-9 and men drink free from 7:30-8pm (times may vary). Afterwards hit the theme party night at Pachamama, then Lit at Midnight.
Saturday: Everywhere tends to be pretty decent aside from Pachamama, which closes pretty early. A lot of times there will be a paint party or something like that at Arribas or Lit. Hola Ola/Son of a Beach throw a daytime party that's worth hitting up. The shuttle leaves from Hola Ola at 2pm and returns at about 9pm.

Sunday Funday:
I'll start with a video: https://www.facebook.com/thedronebrother...615781159/

There is no point to even coming to San Juan if you don’t do a Sunday Funday. I would consider it one of the better weekly parties in the world, but probably the best in Latin America. The cost is $30, which includes a tshirt, however if you are staying at Naked Tiger or Pachamama it’s $15, or free if you stay at Pachamama 5 nights. Depending on where you are staying, the party typically gets going at 10am or so. People in town head to Pachamama at about 12pm, and Casa de Olas and Naked Tiger people stay up there until 2:30pm typically, although you can head in on the 12pm shuttle and start at Pachamama if you want to get into it a bit earlier.

At 2:30, shuttles take everyone from the hill down to Anamar, while the Pachamama people walk over. By 3:30 you’ll have anywhere from 400-800 people raging at a pool party with djs and 3 drinks for $5. Plant your seeds here. Everyone is loose and friendly, just be social, bounce around and meet as many people as possible.
[Image: YtSLkYB.png]
At 5:30 everyone gets shuttled up to Naked Tiger for sunset. Ideally try to be on one of the first shuttles and get near the exit of Anamar at 5:20 or so. If you are staying at Naked Tiger, I can’t understate the advantage of having an extra wristband at this point. You should have prepared your alcohol and any other party supplies in your room, so you can invite a girl for a shot in the room and give her your extra wristband.

Finally at 8pm, everyone that’s still alive heads to Arribas (it’s not unheard for people to die on Sunday Funday, so take that literally). Hopefully by this point you have pulled and you can stay back at Naked Tiger or go for a 2nd one at Arribas. It’s a pretty messy time down there by this point. At 12-1am a lot of people will head back to their hostels, and the party at Naked Tiger has been known to go straight through to 8-9am. I’ve seen orgies, giant naked pool parties, all sorts of shit happen post Sunday Funday, so be ready to get weird. Like I said, Monday nights are pretty relaxed for a reason.

One other thing to note, New Years is really good in town. They have an alternating year festival that is amazing, Moondance 2018 then Beyond in 2019. Put that on the back end of a Sunday Funday and you have one hell of a New Years weekend.

Day Game:
The town is easy enough to chat up girls, just walk around the few main streets. Alternatively dip into some of the hostels in town. Everyone is really relaxed and conversations are pretty easy to start.

What to do:
Jesus Hike: One of the 10 largest Jesus statues in the world, you’ll definitely want to do a hike up the hill to check it out one day. Entry is $2 for foreigners.

Surfing or relaxing at surrounding beaches: Playa Maderas and Playa Hermosa are both located nearby and provide great surfing and relaxation. While there is a beach in San Juan, you are better just hopping on a cheap shuttle and visiting the nicer surrounding beaches.

Enjoy seafood: My 2 favorite places are La Lancha, where you get a 1.5 tails of lobster and sides for $8, and King Curry, where the lunch special is $7 for an entire fried Red Snapper with rice, fried plantains, avocado and a salad. The most expensive people you’ll find will be $10-15 as long as you avoid the touristy restaurants on the beach.

Safety:
Overall it's a really safe city. You'll have no problems in the city aside from an occasional pick pocket roaming Lit or Arribas. The one place you have to watch out for is the beach at night. Don't bring any valuables. The police are cracking down pretty hard lately as well, so don't carry any party supplies with you unless you are prepared to pay a nice little bribe, as they have been randomly patting people down and checking wallets and pockets. Also, I'd probably avoid the pools after Sunday Funday Tongue.

That’s about it honestly, beaches and partying for a fraction of the cost of Costa Rica. Similar feel to Montanitas, Ecuador for those that have visited there.

My Travel Log: Cruisin' the World
My Datasheets: Nashville; Tallinn; Oktoberfest; Hostels; Carnival Rio/Salvador; San Juan del Sur;
Pub Crawls

"The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure." -Into the Wild
03-22-2018 07:39 PM
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jabba Offline
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RE: San Juan del Sur Datasheet Spring 2018
Suppose you want to party but want to stay in a hotel. Are there nice hotels with wifi?

I don’t want to stay at hostels.
03-23-2018 08:56 AM
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burownidl Offline
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RE: San Juan del Sur Datasheet Spring 2018
@DigitalNomad, are there a decent amount of local girls to game? I dont have the up tempo game that does well with Euros/Americans. Also, is this for the younger crowd, as im 41. Im learning to surf, so i would have that to keep me busy
03-24-2018 07:05 AM
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thebassist Offline
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RE: San Juan del Sur Datasheet Spring 2018
(03-24-2018 07:05 AM)burownidl Wrote:  @DigitalNomad, are there a decent amount of local girls to game? I dont have the up tempo game that does well with Euros/Americans. Also, is this for the younger crowd, as im 41. Im learning to surf, so i would have that to keep me busy

If you want to find chill spots where you can surf and meet locals then there are likely much better places to go.

This seems to me to be more the kind of place you go to to enjoy the hostel life- i.e. shittons of drinking in a hyper-social environment oriented towards travellers looking to get loose. Definitely not the place for chilled down-tempo game.

And in general I'd imagine given the amount of tourists visiting compared to the smaller size of the town that the local girls would be much more closed off towards meeting foreigners.

So yeah, there are likely much better options.

RVF Fearless Coindogger Crew
03-24-2018 07:24 AM
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Savonarola Offline
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RE: San Juan del Sur Datasheet Spring 2018
(03-23-2018 08:56 AM)jabba Wrote:  Suppose you want to party but want to stay in a hotel. Are there nice hotels with wifi?

I don’t want to stay at hostels.

I rented a gorgeous Airbnb house with a private infinity pool at the top of the mountains ringing the city. It was a ten minute walk to downtown, and a five dollar taxi ride back. The house was $120 per night. So the answer is yes. There are many hotels in the city center as well, but you should stay outside of it if possible.
03-24-2018 02:42 PM
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Savonarola Offline
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RE: San Juan del Sur Datasheet Spring 2018
(03-22-2018 07:39 PM)DigitalNomad Wrote:  Introduction:
I’ve spent a total of about 6 weeks in San Juan del Sur total over the last 2+ years. It’s a nice, cheap little beach town with a relaxed surfer vibe and a great nightlife. Peak season gets going in December, stays really busy to the beginning of February and then picks back up a bit in March and early April. The weather is pretty much consistently high of 30 and low of mid 20s.

Demographics:
Most people visiting San Juan are on their way down from Guatemala/El Salvador and it’s their last stop on the way to Costa Rica. Canadians are far and away the most likely nationality you’ll meet, however there are plenty of Americans, Nicaraguans, Swedish, Costa Ricans, Dutch, Australians, Kiwis, and Germans in the city. Something about the city seems to get everyone in a party and hookup mood. I would rank it in the top 5 easiest places to get laid in the world. One thing to note, Nicaraguan guys have pretty good game and the guys here pull more than you could ever imagine. They, along with the local staff will be your biggest competition.

Getting there:
If you are coming via airplane, you can fly to Managua and take a taxi ($80-$90), shuttle ($20) or chicken buses ($5-10). Depending on the time of day and the mode of transportation it’ll take about 1.5-3.5 hours. You can also fly into Liberia, but that may take a bit longer as the border crossing can be a bit of a pain. If you are doing a central america trip, the most likely places you would be coming from are Granada and Tamarindo, both of which you can find relatively inexpensive shuttles.

Where to stay:
This is definitely a personal preference, but I’ll give all the options so you can make your own decision.

Naked Tiger:
My personal choice… up on the hill about 10 minutes from town, it has a beautiful view of town with a full kitchen and bar. The staff is great and it’s a really relaxed vibe. Anyone can come up to party, as they are only strict with guests after 1am or so. The cons are it is a hike from town and they only have dorm rooms. That said, anything goes in the dorms and people who come here kind of know what to expect. To get to town and back, there are free shuttles every 1 or 2 hours until 1am, alternatively you can take a $5 cab. If hostelworld is sold out, just show up, they can accommodate most of the time as long as it isn’t a Saturday or Sunday. No free breakfast. NO A/C but most of the rooms it isn’t a problem because it’s quite breezy up on the hill. Definitely the best place to stay on Sunday Funday.
Need for wristband: 0/5 daytime, 5/5 night
[Image: 7GAKsrW.png]

Casa de Olas:
Also up on the hill with a good party vibe, this is the rival hostel of the Naked Tiger. They have some annoying pet monkeys and no guests are allowed ever. The do have a great pool and nicer rooms than the Naked Tiger, including privates. Free breakfast and family meals are one of the best things about it. Probably the best ratio of all the hostels in town.
Need for wristband: 5/5 daytime, 5/5 night

Pachamama: The other big party hostel in town, it’s location is right in the middle of where all the bars are. They have privates and dorms, and throw good parties on Thursday and Friday. The vibe at Pachamama I feed to be a bit douchier than the Naked Tiger, but it can be really fun. If you are here to party and the Naked Tiger isn't for you, this is your only other option. I don’t think they list rooms on hostelworld, so either email them or just show up, it’s pretty big and they should be able to find you a room. Free breakfast. Optional AC.
Need for wristband: 0/5 daytime, 5/5 night

Hola Ola:

I would probably rank this #3 for hostels I would stay at in San Juan. It's a little hike away but there are free shuttles into town. They also have a pool and a bunch of good nighttime activities. One of the less strict places as far as bringing guests back.
Need for wristband: 0/5 daytime, 2/5 night

Rositas:
Also well located in town, this hostel is basically only for sleeping as it doesn’t have a bar. It’s probably the most relaxed one in the city with regards to bringing guests back, so if that’s the benefit.
*They don’t have a wristband, but the staff can occasionally question non guests at night.

Surfing Donkey:
Probably the best bet if you want a mix between party and quiet. The bar shuts down at 10pm, but the party can be decent up to that point. It’s a really social hostel with a fun staff and a nice pool. Free breakfast.
Need for wristband: 0/5 daytime, 5/5 night

Prices: Most dorms will be in the $8-15 range and privates $30-40.

As you can tell, having a wristband for the hostel you are going back to is pretty necessary. Obviously an airbnb will resolve these issues, but for a solo traveler I’d still recommend hostels. The ratios are pretty decent here, and there is always the beach (see warning below). You can also hop around to different hostels and collect the wristbands as well as meeting all the different people in town. For more tips on getting guests into hostels and dealing with strict wristband policies, please see my hostel data sheet.

Nightlife:
The nightlife is San Juan is really good and quite cheap. You’ll be paying >$2 for beers and rum mixed drinks, and $3 or so for mojitos and fancier mixed drinks. Fireball, Tequila, and Espresso Rum shots are also all in the $2-$3 range. No bars will be charging cover unless there is some sort of special event going on.

To start the night:
Nacho Libre: A burger joint/bar, it’s really social and typically pretty full beginning around 9pm. You can even buy drinks at the convenience store and head over to drink them outside, as most people pour onto the street anyway.

Loose Moose: A canadian themed bar that serves poutine and caesars, as well as $1 tequila shots, it’s also a great place to plant some seeds. Typically a fun stuff and good music, it gets you in the mood for the night to come. They also have the famous shot challenge, 15 seconds, 5 spicy shots, and a free tshirt if you succeed. Sometimes a group of girls will all attempt it, normally resulting in a pretty mess night.

Parlour: One of the newer spots in the city, it’s a bit of a classier bar. It’s on the same street as Loose Moose and Nacho Libre, so you can at least stick your head in and check out the crowd.

Later at night:
Arribas: Located on the beach, it will start getting busy around 12am. More of a club type atmosphere, but it does have a portion of it on the beach where you can chat up girls or just grab a beer and walk down to the beach with them.

LIT: My favorite of the late night places, it’s kind of a bar/club combo. They have a popping dance floor, cages, stripper poles, swings, and a relaxing back patio.

Iguana Bar: This is where to go if you want to meet latina chicks, it’s a 2nd floor tiki style bar. They have a ladies night Sun-Thur where women drink for free for like $2-3 from 10pm-12am. Good spot for a date.

All of the above bars are within 5 minutes walking from each other, so you can always make a lap and just see what is happening any given night, but here is the general game plan for SJDS:

Sunday: Sunday Funday, more on that in a minute
Monday: Quiet night in town after Sunday Funday, if anything, do a datenight at Iguana Bar.
Tuesday: Pachamama Pub Crawl. Tuesday is a big night, it starts at Pachamama at 9pm, then goes to Nacho Libre, Loose Moose, back to Pachamama, Arribas, then Lit. It’s $10 and you get a bunch of shots, although you can just follow it around on your own if you want to save a bit of money.
Wednesday: Similar to Monday, it’s a quiet night, if you are desperate for a party, go to Granada for Weird Wednesday at Treehouse Hostel.
Thursday: Beer Pong Tournament at Pachamama, then Lit.
Friday: Pool Party at Naked Tiger to start the day.. Women drink free from 1-2, 5-6 and 8-9 and men drink free from 7:30-8pm (times may vary). Afterwards hit the theme party night at Pachamama, then Lit at Midnight.
Saturday: Everywhere tends to be pretty decent aside from Pachamama, which closes pretty early. A lot of times there will be a paint party or something like that at Arribas or Lit. Hola Ola/Son of a Beach throw a daytime party that's worth hitting up. The shuttle leaves from Hola Ola at 2pm and returns at about 9pm.

Sunday Funday:
I'll start with a video: https://www.facebook.com/thedronebrother...615781159/

There is no point to even coming to San Juan if you don’t do a Sunday Funday. I would consider it one of the better weekly parties in the world, but probably the best in Latin America. The cost is $30, which includes a tshirt, however if you are staying at Naked Tiger or Pachamama it’s $15, or free if you stay at Pachamama 5 nights. Depending on where you are staying, the party typically gets going at 10am or so. People in town head to Pachamama at about 12pm, and Casa de Olas and Naked Tiger people stay up there until 2:30pm typically, although you can head in on the 12pm shuttle and start at Pachamama if you want to get into it a bit earlier.

At 2:30, shuttles take everyone from the hill down to Anamar, while the Pachamama people walk over. By 3:30 you’ll have anywhere from 400-800 people raging at a pool party with djs and 3 drinks for $5. Plant your seeds here. Everyone is loose and friendly, just be social, bounce around and meet as many people as possible.
[Image: YtSLkYB.png]
At 5:30 everyone gets shuttled up to Naked Tiger for sunset. Ideally try to be on one of the first shuttles and get near the exit of Anamar at 5:20 or so. If you are staying at Naked Tiger, I can’t understate the advantage of having an extra wristband at this point. You should have prepared your alcohol and any other party supplies in your room, so you can invite a girl for a shot in the room and give her your extra wristband.

Finally at 8pm, everyone that’s still alive heads to Arribas (it’s not unheard for people to die on Sunday Funday, so take that literally). Hopefully by this point you have pulled and you can stay back at Naked Tiger or go for a 2nd one at Arribas. It’s a pretty messy time down there by this point. At 12-1am a lot of people will head back to their hostels, and the party at Naked Tiger has been known to go straight through to 8-9am. I’ve seen orgies, giant naked pool parties, all sorts of shit happen post Sunday Funday, so be ready to get weird. Like I said, Monday nights are pretty relaxed for a reason.

One other thing to note, New Years is really good in town. They have an alternating year festival that is amazing, Moondance 2018 then Beyond in 2019. Put that on the back end of a Sunday Funday and you have one hell of a New Years weekend.

Day Game:
The town is easy enough to chat up girls, just walk around the few main streets. Alternatively dip into some of the hostels in town. Everyone is really relaxed and conversations are pretty easy to start.

What to do:
Jesus Hike: One of the 10 largest Jesus statues in the world, you’ll definitely want to do a hike up the hill to check it out one day. Entry is $2 for foreigners.

Surfing or relaxing at surrounding beaches: Playa Maderas and Playa Hermosa are both located nearby and provide great surfing and relaxation. While there is a beach in San Juan, you are better just hopping on a cheap shuttle and visiting the nicer surrounding beaches.

Enjoy seafood: My 2 favorite places are La Lancha, where you get a 1.5 tails of lobster and sides for $8, and King Curry, where the lunch special is $7 for an entire fried Red Snapper with rice, fried plantains, avocado and a salad. The most expensive people you’ll find will be $10-15 as long as you avoid the touristy restaurants on the beach.

Safety:
Overall it's a really safe city. You'll have no problems in the city aside from an occasional pick pocket roaming Lit or Arribas. The one place you have to watch out for is the beach at night. Don't bring any valuables. The police are cracking down pretty hard lately as well, so don't carry any party supplies with you unless you are prepared to pay a nice little bribe, as they have been randomly patting people down and checking wallets and pockets. Also, I'd probably avoid the pools after Sunday Funday Tongue.

That’s about it honestly, beaches and partying for a fraction of the cost of Costa Rica. Similar feel to Montanitas, Ecuador for those that have visited there.

I would *like* to cosign everything here, but when I visited in July the town was dead dead dead. The tour companies couldn't even get 4 tourists together to go see the turtles laying their eggs. I was with my girlfriend so no biggie, but if you're rolling single, go in Nov-Feb.

I've never liked the go-go-go super-high-energy two-brain-cells-left drug-fuelled type of hostel travel (not even when I was early 20s). BUT, if you're into it, San Juan del Sur is definitely that scene.

One caution: Be CAREFUL. I was told by multiple people, including family members, that it's more dangerous for tourists there than other parts of Nicaragua, mostly because of the drug trade and the company it attracts. In fact, even in a dead town, I got hassled by a group of 12-yr-olds on the street. Keep in mind I'm 6'2" and muscular and speak fluent Spanish. They didn't care.
03-24-2018 02:48 PM
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RE: San Juan del Sur Datasheet Spring 2018
Looks like I know where I’m spending New Years now
03-24-2018 05:41 PM
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oilbreh Offline
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RE: San Juan del Sur Datasheet Spring 2018
I'll add my observations. I went during the spring, I was there to surf more than to party, but still went out for a bit most nights.

Surfing - Its a bit of a pain unless you have a motorbike. The beach in town is more of a harbor so you don't get real waves. All the surfing is done on beaches 10-20 min away where you have to book a shuttle to get there. Most of the shuttles only run for the tourist "learn to surf" guys. That means its pretty hard to get an early morning shuttle for a session before the sun starts cooking your skin like an omelet. You also have no way of knowing what the wave conditions are until you get there. Nicaraguans have a weird way of describing waves. 8-10ft is usually a 4ft wave in my book. Id stay at a town on the beach if your only goal is to surf (you will be surrounded by 90% dudes).

Locals - I disagree that they have any form of game. They are all pretty chill and as one guy described their "game" is casting a net and seeing what they pull. Aka they usually just hang out with a beer until some drunk girl throws herself on them. Most of the girls that are in town "long term" have been burned by a local, and have some bitter tales about local guys, but its your typical wall hitting bitching. More on the girls later. Local girls are poor, get married young, and dont have the luxury of plastic surgery and make up alterations the finer sisters in miami get.

Housing - The non party hostels are a lot cheaper, more lax with guests as its usually some 15 year old kid at the counter at night. As long as you build a rapport with them they wont cockblock you. There are lots on places not advertised. I found a room from a surf store in town that was $10, with a key to the front door, 1 block from the bars. I dont know if there is much of an advantage to staying in a hostel. The guys I met staying at Naked Tiger where kinda unhappy (probably because it was on the low season end) and they seemed to get frustrated as the week went on (they were in shape and had game). All that frustration usually boils over and they ended up in some drunken fight one night.

Girls - Most are high off the attention. As you can see in the pics posted there is a guy hitting on them constantly, its like real life tinder. As the night gets sloppier, they will go from chewing on your chest to running off screaming they want to dance, to making out with another bloke. Seems like the local guy game of just standing and waiting works on some level. At some point you will notice some girl bumping into you too many times. Make your move and try to get out of the venue (to the beach, another bar etc ASAP). If she wants to keep partying just move on. The girls from Quebec are usually with a group and don't really put out but will waste your time gladly.
There is a whole group that also looks down on the whole party scene, you can meet them on a beach shuttle . Grab their number, text to meet up for lunch or dinner, then invite them back to smoke in your room.

Meeting people - Not hard, just head to a bar and talk to people. The entire functional part of the town is an area of 2x2 blocks, so you will always run into people you have met before, and expand from there.



Don't know how I feel about Sunday Funday. The people that run it are in someway connected to all the drugs in town. About once or twice a month somebody dies at those parties. If I was 18 I would probably enjoy it but at this point its not my scene. It does brings girls to a surf town that would typically be a sausage fest, so im not complaining. The issue is that at the day the waves are subpar to other spots in Nica, so you have to balance what you want.

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03-25-2018 01:14 PM
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Savonarola
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RE: San Juan del Sur Datasheet Spring 2018
(03-24-2018 02:48 PM)Savonarola Wrote:  I would *like* to cosign everything here, but when I visited in July the town was dead dead dead. The tour companies couldn't even get 4 tourists together to go see the turtles laying their eggs. I was with my girlfriend so no biggie, but if you're rolling single, go in Nov-Feb.

I've never liked the go-go-go super-high-energy two-brain-cells-left drug-fuelled type of hostel travel (not even when I was early 20s). BUT, if you're into it, San Juan del Sur is definitely that scene.

One caution: Be CAREFUL. I was told by multiple people, including family members, that it's more dangerous for tourists there than other parts of Nicaragua, mostly because of the drug trade and the company it attracts. In fact, even in a dead town, I got hassled by a group of 12-yr-olds on the street. Keep in mind I'm 6'2" and muscular and speak fluent Spanish. They didn't care.
Anywhere Nov-April is the time to go. July is the time to visit the beach towns in Europe where the local women are actually attractive.

With regards to go go go super high energy, it's odd that you got that sense considering how dead the town was when you were there. Sure there is a bit of drug usage that goes on, but that's anywhere in central, south america. What you make it sounds like is Ibiza or something, when in reality it's a surfing beach town with a bunch of relaxed beach bars and you spend your entire day relaxing on the beach or at the pool.

(03-24-2018 07:05 AM)burownidl Wrote:  @DigitalNomad, are there a decent amount of local girls to game? I dont have the up tempo game that does well with Euros/Americans. Also, is this for the younger crowd, as im 41. Im learning to surf, so i would have that to keep me busy
Locals maybe not so much, but Nicaraguans and Costa Ricans on vacation yes. 41 will be on the older end, but I was hanging out with a 50 year old American that was doing just fine with mid 20s girls.

(03-23-2018 08:56 AM)jabba Wrote:  Suppose you want to party but want to stay in a hotel. Are there nice hotels with wifi?

I don’t want to stay at hostels.
I'd probably recommend Airbnb instead.. those are pretty cheap in town. It wouldn't hurt to book a big dorm simultaneously as well so you have a wristband and and in to meet some of the girls at the hostel.

(03-25-2018 01:14 PM)oilbreh Wrote:  Surfing - Its a bit of a pain unless you have a motorbike. The beach in town is more of a harbor so you don't get real waves. All the surfing is done on beaches 10-20 min away where you have to book a shuttle to get there. Most of the shuttles only run for the tourist "learn to surf" guys. That means its pretty hard to get an early morning shuttle for a session before the sun starts cooking your skin like an omelet. You also have no way of knowing what the wave conditions are until you get there. Nicaraguans have a weird way of describing waves. 8-10ft is usually a 4ft wave in my book. Id stay at a town on the beach if your only goal is to surf (you will be surrounded by 90% dudes).
Agreed, I know a few people who stayed at the beach towns and popped into town at night, definitely an option. The motor bikes are pretty inexpensive as well if partying is also a priority.

(03-25-2018 01:14 PM)oilbreh Wrote:  Locals - I disagree that they have any form of game. They are all pretty chill and as one guy described their "game" is casting a net and seeing what they pull. Aka they usually just hang out with a beer until some drunk girl throws herself on them. Most of the girls that are in town "long term" have been burned by a local, and have some bitter tales about local guys, but its your typical wall hitting bitching. More on the girls later. Local girls are poor, get married young, and dont have the luxury of plastic surgery and make up alterations the finer sisters in miami get.
The local guys roaming the streets are one thing, but the guys working at the hostels, surf instructors, tour guides, etc, they absolutely kill it. There are a fraction of scumballs on the streets picking up drunk girls, but that's everywhere in central/south america

(03-25-2018 01:14 PM)oilbreh Wrote:  Housing - The non party hostels are a lot cheaper, more lax with guests as its usually some 15 year old kid at the counter at night. As long as you build a rapport with them they wont cockblock you. There are lots on places not advertised. I found a room from a surf store in town that was $10, with a key to the front door, 1 block from the bars. I dont know if there is much of an advantage to staying in a hostel. The guys I met staying at Naked Tiger where kinda unhappy (probably because it was on the low season end) and they seemed to get frustrated as the week went on (they were in shape and had game). All that frustration usually boils over and they ended up in some drunken fight one night.
Offseason I could definitely see that being an issue. In peak season I don't think I've ever seen a fight and even though the middle of the week is quiet, most people are cool with it since they are ready to relax after a hard weekend.

(03-25-2018 01:14 PM)oilbreh Wrote:  Don't know how I feel about Sunday Funday. The people that run it are in someway connected to all the drugs in town. About once or twice a month somebody dies at those parties. If I was 18 I would probably enjoy it but at this point its not my scene. It does brings girls to a surf town that would typically be a sausage fest, so im not complaining. The issue is that at the day the waves are subpar to other spots in Nica, so you have to balance what you want.
That's not true, the people that run it are the people that own Pachamama and Naked Tiger. That death figure is completely false, there have been a handful of deaths total over the span of 6 years. If 2 people were dying a month you don't think it would get shutdown by now?

--------------------------------
Anyway the point is, if you want a place to party and have short commutes to good surfing, it's a great spot. Is it a bit sketchier than Costa Rica, sure. Is it half the price, yes. Is the surfing just as good in the nearby beaches, yes. Is the partying better, yes. Pick your poison I guess. And maybe don't go in the off season, I know I wouldn't, regardless of whether I was bring sand to the beach or not.

My Travel Log: Cruisin' the World
My Datasheets: Nashville; Tallinn; Oktoberfest; Hostels; Carnival Rio/Salvador; San Juan del Sur;
Pub Crawls

"The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure." -Into the Wild
03-31-2018 01:25 PM
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