When people talk about the party town of San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, they rarely describe the place as a seriously romantic destination. However, after spending a couple months in the small beach town located closely to the border of Costa Rica myself, I am happy to report back that yes indeed, there is romance somewhere in the air. Yet, you might want to step outside of San Juan del Sur to get to the most romantic spots.
Here are three of my favorite romantic getaways in and around the small party town of San Juan del Sur, which is increasingly becoming a must-see for travelers and romantics from around the world.
1) Escaping Sunday Funday
My first evening in San Juan del Sur was a Sunday. The town is known for its famous (or infamous) Sunday Funday, a 12-hour excursion where tourists hop from hostel to hostel, pool party to pool party, indulging in drinks with friends and strangers alike. On one of these Sundays, my date and I escaped the scene for a nice dinner tucked away in a quaint backyard, enveloped by trees and dimmed lights dangling above us. Don’t get me started on the filet mignon. We still enjoyed some cheap drinks, but by not participating in the Sunday Funday shenanigans we knew we would find some romantic calmness away from the tourist route. Far from the frequented bars and clubs, we had the town almost entirely to ourselves.
2) Laguna de Apoyo
Since San Juan del Sur Is flooded by backpackers during the weekends, we escaped one Friday to Laguna de Apoyo, a former volcano-turned-lagoon enclosed by rolling hills and boasting the bluest of waters. We stayed at Hotel SelvAzul, which had private suites themed by various countries and excellent breakfast, lunch and dinner. Where we stayed, the lagoon itself was largely unoccupied and tranquil, and we were even able to choose which room we wanted and which country to experience: of course, we chose one which offered both a private hammock and pool in an exotic wonderland.
3) Isla de Ometepe
Isla de Ometepe is an island located within Lake Nicaragua, about a half-day trip away from San Juan del Sur. The island has two volcanoes to hike, a natural spring to bathe in whose water comes from one of the volcanoes, and plenty of mopeds to taxi you and your partner around the island. My personal highlight of the stay was the eco finca El Zopilote. The farm doubles as a hostel with camping grounds, dorms, hammocks and private huts. The crowd tends to be older and more relaxed than the average San Juan del Sur-backpacker, and you can enjoy spontaneous jam sessions, fire dancing and acro-yoga performances from the volunteers on many evenings. Being immersed with your partner in a place so connected to nature can be transformative, and this place is one of the best to feel this connection.
Yes, San Juan del Sur is a party town, for both twenty-somethings and retirees alike. But there’s also a beauty which comes along with this former sleepy fishing village. Many of the locals and expats who run the hostels and hotels are gentle and attentive, and do what they can to ensure visitors a comfortable stay, offering not only an exciting, new way of life – but peace, relaxation and a little flourish of romance.
This is a guest post by Amber Morgan.
Amber is a writer and documentarian, who travels the world to share stories of people, place, ideas and culture. She is the founder of the new and growing travel collective Conscious Wanderlust. Find her on Instagram and Twitter @miss_marieamber.