Nicaragua: San Juan Del Sur

Breakfast at this little hostel (potentially named Mismo Aqui but I’m not certain) is pretty bomb. We are served a fresh beet/carrot/orange juice blend, with beans, rice, toast, eggs, and a little tomato salad. It’s included in the price of our stay, so I wasn’t expecting much more than toast. Nice little surprise!
Ilona and I check out and walk a few blocks to the bus terminal. It’s just an empty lot with a few parked chicken busses, where men are shouting town names and pointing to different busses.

We get on the one bound for Rivas, and are lucky enough to snatch a seat. We have yet to stand for one of these journeys, which is extra nice when they’re 2 hours long. The ride costs us 31 Cordobas ($1.10).

They’re supposed to leave every 20 minutes, but I am not exaggerating when I say we wait a full hour before it actually pulls out of the lot. Vendors come by selling everything from fake watches and gold chains to flashlights and lollipops. By the time we’re ready to leave there are easily 60+ people on this bus, and I’m sweating buckets. Once we get moving there’s a bit of a breeze but that hour spent sitting idle was so painful. Now it’s just another 2 hours to Rivas and 1 hour to San Juan Del Sur. We should be on the beach by 3pm.

There’s a famous backpacker party held every Sunday in San Juan, referred to as Sunday Funday. Sounds like it’s basically just a pub crawl to a lot of places with pools. Like a low tier Full Moon Party. We were sort of trying to make it on time for that, but it’s already noon and I’m honestly not too bothered about attending something like this anyway. It would be interesting to see, but we can have our own “Funday”. It’s also $30 which is, in my opinion, absurd; you still have to buy your own drinks.

In Rivas we immediately transfer to another bus bound for San Juan Del Sur. I desperately need to use a bathroom but there are none nearby. I toy with the idea of chancing it, just running over and praying the bus doesn’t leave without me but the risk is too high. It’s only another hour drive, I can do this.

But we don’t leave for another half hour. It’s just impossible to know. By the time we actually make it to San Juan, I’m dying. We meet a nice Aussie guy on the bus who’s been smart and booked accom in advance, so we go with him to the hostel and check in for a $12 dorm. Here there is a washroom, and I am saved. Next stop – food.

We hit a little food truck/window that serves tacos, burritos, fajitas etc. I get a pretty good chicken quesadilla for 90 Cordobas ($3.20).

We’ve definitely missed the official Sunday Funday group by about a mile, but we end up having some drinks at the hostel with some other backpackers and then wandering down to a beach bar which is the final stop for the Sunday Funday crew. It’s absolutely packed and pouring out onto the street in front and the beach behind. There’s even a fire dancer! He’s great, but I’ll never see one as good as the guy in Railay Beach, Thailand.

We dance the night away. San Juan is definitely the party central of Nicaragua, but not in the way that I expected. Don’t get me wrong, there are tons of wealthy vacationers and backpackers that are only out here to get wasted; but there’s also some cool people and more to do than just drink. Tomorrow, we will look into getting to some nearby islands, or learning to surf.

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