Best Nicaragua Beach Towns

There are many great beach towns in Nicaragua.  San Juan del Sur, Masachapa, Poneloya are each unique and have something different to offer tourists and locals alike. 

Beach Towns in Nicaragua

San Juan del Sur
Masachapa
Poneloya
San Diego

San Juan del Sur is by far the most popular and well known beach town.  San Juan del Sur targets mostly foreigners and wealthy Nicaraguans.  The town offers a variety of great restaurants and beautiful hotels.  The most of the local restaurants are located along the beach but many of the fancier restaurants are tied together with hotel.  One can get great seafood for an affordable price at a number of the restaurants at the beach.  For a more extensive menu with international cuisine one can try one of the restaurants owned by foreigners.  One example would be the restaurant that belongs to the Pelican Eyes Hotel.  Their menu is more expensive but they will offer a wider menu selection in addition to great seafood. 

Masachapa is just one hour drive from Managua and is a great option for locals who want a great beach option close to the capital city.  Masachapa gets few foreign tourists that come through but one can get fresh seafood to eat for lunch and dinner.  Because Masachapa is geared towards local Nicaraguans, foreigners can find lodging at very affordable prices for any budget.  Just down the beach is the Pochomil beach where there are numerous hotels and restaurants to choose from.  Both Pochomil and Masachapa have wide sandy beaches and one can walk for miles on the sand.  The current and riptide can be strong in the water on these beaches so if one is not a strong swimmer they could be pulled further out than they are comfortable with.  Not something to worry about but just to be careful with.  Beyond Pochomil there is a beach development under construction that will have condos, homes, hotels and a golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus.  The best place to go for a walk is in Pochomil Viejo which is a few kilometers from Masachapa.  As you’re walking on side you have beautiful private homes and on the other side there are tide pools with rocks where waves come crashing in.   It’s a beautiful site and a must see if you are in the area.

The most popular beach town in northern Nicaragua is Poneloya and Las Peñitas.  Both are located less than thirty minutes from León and a popular beach destination for locals in the area.  The beach can be steep and rocky in area but with a unique beauty of its own.  The shore is lined with restaurants, hotels and private home.  The beach homes and hotels are not as upscale as ones you will see in San Juan del Sur but they have their own charm.  Like most beach towns in Nicaragua visitors can get delicious seafood for almost any meal.  Best thing to do is to ask around upon arriving for the best restaurants and hotels on the beach.  The Juan Venado Island is nearby and a great place to see some of nature at its best.  A variety of birds, reptiles and other animals can be seen on this nature reserve.  Poneloya and Las Peñitas is a great starting point for touring the northern Nicaraguan coastline.

San Diego is a small beach town about an hour from Managua.  To get there one must go on about 14 kilometers of dirt road.  The dirt road is pretty well maintained due to the Gran Pacifica beach development nearby.  San Diego is an affordable option to those looking to enjoy these great beaches.  There are numerous local hotels as well as a few surf camps that are base out of San Diego.  San Diego has many great surf breaks nearby, making it an ideal surf destination for the central Nicaraguan coastline.  Aside from the Gran Pacifica development nearby San Diego is much less built up than the other beaches in the list but that may be just what you are looking for.

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