Planning a Nicaragua beach trip? How do you choose where to go? Here I have put together my favorite beaches in Nicaragua. It was fairly tough to narrow the list down, but it will do for now. I’ve been traveling regularly to Nicaragua since 2009. I remember my first trip so clearly… how fascinating everything was, how friendly everyone was, and how beautiful the countryside and beaches were.
While I was putting together this article my external harddrive died(?) and while I can see the images on my harddrive I am not able to upload to WordPress…. sad day. It might be time to get a new external. In lieu of posting my own pics I scoured the web looking for images that capture each of the beaches most authentically. I know that there are many other beautiful beaches in Nicaragua, so don’t shoot me for only including these five. 😉
Top 5 Beaches in Nicaragua
1. Corn Islands for that deserted island feel.
The Corn Islands boast some of Nicaragua’s most idyllic beaches: white sand, turquiose water and palm trees galore. The hardest part about visiting these pristine Nicaraguan beaches is the transportation. You must fly into Managua and then book a separate flight to Big Corn Island on La Costeña. If you have more time than money you could go overland and by boat to Bluefields and then jump on a local boat out to the islands (I will emphasize more time than money)… this option will take a bit of pre-planning. To get to the best beaches you will then take a panga over to little corn… be prepared to get wet! The channel between Big Corn Island and Little Corn Island can get pretty rough.
2. Playa Remanso for that chilled out surfer vibe.
Playa Remanso is located about 15 minutes south of San Juan del Sur Nicaragua. The beach is surrounded by two rocky headlands and boasts a peaky beach break. The lineup at Remanso isn’t nearly as stacked as it is at the more popular beaches. It’s a great place to learn how to surf. Surfers in the know head here for its chilled out vibe and shady beach bars that serve up ice cold Toñas, passion fruit mojitos, grilled fish and yummy tacos.
Where to eat at Playa Remanso: You have two options on the beach: Beach Shack #1 (on the left looking out to sea. It has decent grilled fih and snacks and ice cold beer) or Beach Shack #2 ( on the right looking out to sea. It has good tacos & passion fruit mojitos)
3. Playa Maderas for loads of people watching.
Playa Maderas is about 25 minutes north of San Juan del Sur Nicaragua. It is probably the most crowded beach in Nicaragua (don’t worry there is still plenty of space) and for good reason. The surfing is spot on, there are locals that can provide lessons, a funky little beach bar/resto right on the sand and loads of dare I say sexy travelers. Sexy young surfers and yogis seem to flock to Maderas to strut their stuff… and I suppose why not? Tan bodies, sun bleached hair, chiseled abs and yoga bums. Needless to say the people watching is pretty epic, the surf can be really great, and the atmosphere is fun and lively.
Where to yoga at Playa Maderas: Best View: Buena Vista Surf Club Cool Shala: Maderas Village
4. Redonda Bay for a family friendly private beach.
Aqua Wellness is the sole resort on Redonda Bay. Aqua Wellness and Redonda Bay are situated on a private cove just south of Playa Gigante. This eco-lux resort is stunning, no lie… infinity pools, spacious decks, and a white sand beach. Cool down and refresh with a delicious fresh juice at their beach bar, enjoy lunch at their beautiful full service restaurant or a yoga class overlooking the bay. This is the place to go if you want to get away from it all. There may also be snorkeling here in the bay. I didn’t go snorkeling while we were there, but we did see a handful of snorkelers swimming around.
Where to Stay at Redonda Bay: Aqua Wellness Resort
Where to Eat at Redonda Bay: Aqua Wellness Resort
Where to Practice Yoga at Redonda Bay: Aqua Wellness Resort
5. Playa El Coco for a local, low key vibe.
Playa El Coco is another of Nicaragua’s pristine beaches. Coco is one of the southern most beaches on Nicaragua’s southwest coast and is about 45 minutes to an hour from San Juan del Sur down a bumpy dirt road, but it’s totally worth it. This place is chill. I mean super chill. There is a nearby turtle sanctuary and Paso Pasifico has an office here that can help arrange outings to the turtle hatchery or to the mangroves. Coco has just a handful of restaurants and sweet little places to stay. This is rural Nicaragua, so expect the power to go out occasionally, slow internet, and also happily a slower pace of life. I’m sure this little gem will grow up quickly.
Where to Stay at Playa El Coco: La Veranera is the best deal in Playa El Coco and it’s right on the beach. If you will be heading down to Coco with a group of friends you might like to rent a villa via Airbnb although I think most of the villas are a bit overpriced for what you get.
Where to Eat at Playa El Coco: Food options are limited, but there is one quiant option right on the beach serving up fresh fish, typico, and western dishes.
Where to Practice Yoga at Playa El Coco: You will likely solo practice here, so throw your mat down on the deck and enjoy the view as you flow. The teachers from Zen Yoga are also available to come down for a private class. Inquire at Zen Yoga in San Juan del Sur for current rates.
Well yogis that’s my round up for the best beaches in Nicaragua. Do you have a favorite beach in Nicaragua that should be added to the list? Shoot me a message! I’m happy to add it. Happy travels.
Love and Light,