The Best Beaches in Nicaragua
Nestled conveniently between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, Nicaragua’s unique positioning in Central America allows for dual-access to two of the world’s most desirable beach locations. In a country known for the kindness of its locals, premiere surf breaks, and quaint fishing villages, you’re sure to enjoy almost any beach you frequent during your trip to Nicaragua.
To narrow down your options, we’ve rounded up the top beach experiences in the country. Grab your bathing suit, surfboard and appetite for adventure: After you read about Nicaragua’s wonderful shores, you’re sure to begin planning your next trip to paradise!
Located along Nicaragua’s Emerald Coast and situated beautifully where the jungle meets the sea, Mukul has the prime post along Playa Manzanillo. Offering a wide array of adventures, you can partake in everything from surfing to stand up paddle boarding along the property’s private beach. Mukul partners with luxury surf outfitter TropicSurf, and you’ll be in the hands of experts as you learn to surf for the first time or master the waves like a professional at Manzanillo Point. The property is also host to kayaking adventures that range from idling on the water to actually fishing from a kayak: A chef will even cook your fresh catch! For a more leisurely experience, opt to snorkel the calm waters, where you’re sure to spot some of Nicaragua’s most diverse marine life. Mukul provides all of the equipment you may need to make your day at the beach a perfect one!
See More Experiences on Playa Manzanillo
Just north of San Juan del Sur is the tranquil half-crescent beach and fishing village of Playa Gigante. In a town of less than 300 combined locals, visitors and expats alike, the waves rule everything. Erected predominately to fulfill the dreams of surfers chasing the perfect Nicaraguan wave, here you can find a number of surf camps and beachside restaurants that cater to those in search of a grand adventure and the perfect break. Although well-known for its prime surfing conditions, Playa Gigante remains true to its origins: At its heart, the beach is a rustic getaway where you’ll feel a world away from your cares and worries. There’s no need to worry about transportation while you’re enjoying Playa Gigante, as the majority of your needs can be accessed by a short walk. Enjoy eating local fresh catch and spending the afternoon alongside fisherman and fellow surfers.
Located on the Pacific Coast of southwestern Nicaragua and resting just outside of the quaint fishing village of San Juan del Sur is Playa Maderas, a small surf town that’s sure to fulfill your visions of adventure and sun during your visit to Central America. Although the road to Playa Maderas is a bumpy one, it’s well worth trekking up the jungle slopes, as some of the best waves in the entire country wait on the opposite side. Walk the jungle trail down to the beach, and sign up for surf lessons. While you wait, enjoy beach-side tacos at the cabanas that line the ocean’s shore. Stick around for sunset, as the iconic shark-fin rock that shapes Playa Maderas’ shores will glow as the sun turns to shades or orange and pink.
If your idea of fun includes sailing aboard a private yacht and jumping from the highest rungs of the vessel, then a journey to Playa Blanca is for you. Just north of San Juan Bay and only accessible by boat, Playa Blanca is Nicaragua’s only white sand beach. You can walk free and aimlessly, all while enjoying the cool sand beneath your toes. During your visit, you’re likely to be the only travelers to this hidden piece of Nicaraguan paradise: It will quickly feel like it’s all yours. Pack a lunch before you head for land. Jump from the ship to reach the shore, where you can enjoy a beach-side picnic.
Along the Playa Popoyo shores you’re sure to find amazing surf, but sometimes the best fun is had in-between each break. Playa Popoyo is home to small, rustic ranchos that serves everything from cold brews to ceviche: Enjoy a snack as you peer out on one of Nicaragua’s most beautiful vistas. You will soon notice that Playa Popoyo isn’t as populated as other beaches. Here you can truly enjoy rest and relaxation amidst the beach’s towering rock formations and long stretch of sand. And make sure to stay for sunset: You won’t regret it!