Every beach in Nicaragua has something different
From vibrant colonial towns and trendy laid-back surf towns to volcanoes, waterfalls, rainforests, endless surf spots and hidden secluded coves where you can have entire beaches to yourself, Nicaragua, a country located between the Pacific Ocean and the Pacific Ocean in the Central American countries. There really is something for everyone on the Caribbean coast.
But when it comes to Nicaraguan beaches, the southern coast where Vida is located has some of the best beaches in the country, and they are a wide variety. White sand, black sand, private and secluded, lively and lively, wild and untamed, empty or surrounded by a few restaurants and shops...everything you can think of, Nika has it.
So whether you prefer to bury your toes in the sand, relax with a cold beer, watch the sunset, catch the waves, relax with your family by crystal blue waters or stroll along unspoiled sandy beaches, there is not a second soul, these are the hardest choices. One choice you have to make when visiting our shores is which beach to visit each day.
To help, we've listed our personal favorites:
Grande Ecamerca Strand
We'll admit we're biased, but we think Playa Ecameca Grande is the best beach on Nicaragua's Pacific coast. It is a quiet and peaceful place where the only sound of lapping waves, howler monkeys and other bizarre creatures is heard amid the quiet chatter and laughter of people enjoying the beach. There is also a really good surf spot that you can share with some super enthusiastic locals and other hotel guests. We promise there will never be a queue here! With consistent off-shore winds and reliable beach breaks, this is our favorite surfing spot, but most tourists don't know it. So if you're looking for relaxing, fun surfing without the crowds, you'll find it here! This surf spot is great for beginners, but more advanced surfers also love the waves here.
Located at the southern end of the light sandy beach is the Rio Ecameca Grande, a beautiful estuary, home to countless birds, monkeys and fish, including snapper and snook. You can rent paddleboards from us and paddle out on the water, or follow the paths along the river and up the hills to Playa el Coco.
We are also part of the delicious local food at Rancho Tortuga on the beach. Chef and owner Nery and her team make delicious fish tacos, ceviche, some of the best food you will ever taste and many other delicacies. Our favorite dish is the fried fish platter, served with tostones, and the stewed tomato and onion, perfect accompaniment to the tender fish. It's only available when Neri can pick up a fresh whole fish in Ostinal, a small fishing town to the south of us, but fortunately that happens quite often.
Vital Actions also runs a turtle sanctuary here. You will find Tim and his team tending several turtle nests and it is not unusual to be on the beach at sunset to see baby turtles being released.
There is so much to explore in our own backyard. Best of all, it's right outside your cottage's front door and easily accessible via our fantastic hiking trails.
Another beach within walking distance of Verdad is Playa el Yankee, a favorite surfing spot for locals. There is never - and when we say never, we mean it - there is never a crowded line here. Featuring a faster, stronger left wedge popular with shortboarders, the Playa Yankee is for the more adventurous traveler. There are no surfboard rental shacks or restaurants to be found on the beaches here, and the surrounding area, though dotted with a few hillside houses, is wild and unspoiled. This can be quite a challenging wave so we don't recommend it for beginners.
Take a walk along the beach and you'll notice how dramatic the coastline is, with long stretches of light sand fringed by jungle and jagged volcanic rock rising from the seabed. If you go at low tide, there are several tide pools where you can cool off with a dip along the way. Local fishermen also come here on foot to catch their dinner on the rocks at either end of the approximately half kilometer long beach.
Unlike Yankee, Playa Coco's waves are super gentle, making it a great beach for kids. There is an added bonus - wild animals. There is a small turtle sanctuary run by Vital Actions, along with parrots, iguanas, sloths, howler monkeys and more.
You can access this beach from the path south of Verdad (the hike is somewhat challenging, either over the mountain side or over the rocks only at low tide) and you will reach the quiet beach with rock formations and vegetation. Playa Coco is another one of the most amazing beaches in the area, you can really find everything there: rental houses, small hotels with swimming pools, restaurants, protected marine parks, preserved flora, amazing. The sandy beaches and fun waves are perfect for body surfing. Respect for Nicaragua's rich wildlife and flora is especially evident here - with local communities working together to preserve this exotic beauty.
Considered by many to be one of the best beaches in Nicaragua, Madras Beach is also the most popular surfing spot in a series of bays that stretch north from central San Juan del Sur. There are several places to rent surfboards on the beach, as well as several restaurants. As the waves are layered, there is something for every level of surfer. Beginners can enjoy the smaller surf areas closer to shore, while the outer areas are more challenging and better suited to more experienced surfers.
The beach is also known for its distinctive shark fin-shaped rock formations and sheltered jungle coves, which offer beautiful views at sunset - especially with a refreshing drink in hand! Above all, however, Madras stands out for its atmosphere. Despite its proximity to the city of San Juan del Sur, it retains a true jungle charm. At the end of each day, you'll have salt in your hair, sand on your skin, sunscreen and sweat on your forehead, and you're sure to have a smile on your face.
Less famous than its sister beach, Playa Maderas, Playa Marsella is a much quieter place. Marsella has a long, white sandy beach that stretches from one end of the bay to the other and is stunningly beautiful. The iconic large volcanic rock formations in the distance are also familiar sights.
It is worth noting that Marcella Beach has very few surfable waves. Rather, it is considered a beautiful beach to enjoy swimming, walking, kayaking, horse riding or a starting point for a panga boat trip to admire all the coves along the coast from the often crystal clear water so you can see the sandy bottom.
There are also two restaurants on the beach here. The one on the right is definitely one of our favorites. This is a family-run business with a focus on local seafood. They make delicious fish and rice dishes similar to paella, as well as seafood-filled fish stews that are rich in flavor and unique to Nicaragua. Get ready to eat with your hands because there is no way this dish is delicate! Surrounded by lovely handmade wooden deck chairs, the owners welcome you out for a swim or an afternoon nap after dinner.
Majaguar Beach og Matilda
Playa Majagual isn't that hard to get to - it's less than 20 minutes from San Juan del Sur's main hub - but it's one of the area's best-kept secrets. There are usually no more than 10 people on the beach at any given time. If you like a secluded, unspoilt, off the beaten track, then this is the beach for you. This is total isolation from the noise and total immersion in nature.
just a little bitlille ranchPlaya Mathilda, Majagual's sister establishment, offers simple but decent food. The two beaches are only separated by a rock formation and the entrances to the two beaches are separated by a block. We like to bring a small picnic and spend the day relaxing along these waters.
Playa Remanso is another great option to enjoy splashing waves and is probably one of our favorite places to hang out after surfing to enjoy the sunset and catch up with friends. This is a great beach for beginners to learn and is also known as the best longboarding spot in Nicaragua. There are small, family-run, ranch-style restaurants serving all of Nicaragua's specialties, from ceviche to tacos, and of course, all kinds of cocktails!
The views and sunsets from this bay are truly beautiful - on a clear day you can even see the mountains of Costa Rica! Of all the beaches in Nicaragua's Rivas province, Playa el Remanso is one of the most popular today, thanks to the friendly, relaxed atmosphere among locals and tourists, and the great surf. This is definitely a hotspot for clients of a surf school in San Juan del Sur, so you won't want to rest here.
One of the best maintained beaches in the country, Playa Hermosa literally means "beautiful beach" in Spanish, offering visitors crystal clear blue waters and beautiful scenery. Known worldwide for its great surf, this is the place to be if you want to catch fun, strong and uncrowded waves.
This is where most surfing competitions in Nicaragua are held. But if you thought Hermosa was only for surfers, think again! The beach covers more than a kilometer of coastline and, as the name suggests, it is beautiful. This area is an excellent destination for those looking for a quiet place on the beach where they can relax and enjoy the warm tropical sun while admiring the natural beauty of Nicaragua.
There is also a hotel on the beach with a restaurant, bar and a range of facilities including outdoor showers and hammocks. You will be charged a nominal fee per person at the entrance and then drive along a dirt road through the jungle to the beach.
Fun fact: the road is always there, but whensurvivor nicaraguaFilming took place here and the road was widened and "improved" to accommodate the crew. 😉
Farthest from Verdad on our list, Playa Popoyo is known as the surfer's headquarters of the south coast, with competition-grade waves for those who dream of catching the 'big wave' that is said to have great appeal. But be warned, this is not a beach for beginners. Even our own surf experts will 'eat it' here during the high tide season.
The beach itself is also incredible, but if you are not a surfer you should be right
State of mind to enjoy your visit to Popoyo. Nicaragua has many crowded places with lots to do, but this is not one of them. Popoyo is not a surf town, but a small string of hotels, surf shops and houses at the back of the beach. There are a few restaurants around, but they are spread out over the wide stretch of beach. It is also popular to buy fresh fish from local fishermen on the beach and have them grill it for you for just a few dollars extra.
About half an hour's walk from the surf spots, Nicaragua's coastline just became even more magical. The beach is especially stunning at sunset with a series of rock formations that reveal stunning tide pools at low tide.
South San Juan Beach
Last but not least, no talk about Nicaragua's beaches can be complete without mentioning the cool surf hub of San Juan del Sur. San Juan del Sur is undoubtedly the most popular coastal town in Nicaragua and the center of community life in southern Nicaragua. The kilometer-long beach is soft, wide and flat. Once a sleepy fishing town, it has changed a lot over the years. There are several bars and restaurants along the waterfront and you can find a table on the sand. You will find everything from traditional local dishes to pizza, pasta, sushi and even burgers or Chinese food. Its central location makes it an excellent base for exploring both the northern and southern beaches.
It's the place to people watch and maybe splash in the ocean with local families or weekenders from Managua, but not for a relaxing day at the beach. Come Happy Hour, you'll hear a steady beat from the speakers at the waterfront restaurant late into the evening, while the bar can get a little rowdy on the weekend. The parties here can go beyond that, with a mix of local and international audiences all watching it all.
Joggers and dog walkers are out early in the morning, there are often volleyball, soccer matches and a friendly mix of locals, expats and tourists enjoying the sights and sounds of the day.
No matter which beach you've been to during the day, we look forward to relaxing with you in Verdad when you return!