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Gordon MacKay of InNicaNow.com – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Night time on the beach at San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingSan Juan del Sur is a town with about 20,000 – 25,000 people in total. A half an hour drive south of the town of San Juan del Sur is the Costa Rican border. Along that drive, there are nine or ten pristine beaches along the way, as well as some small home developments.
 
North of San Juan del Sur is a little bit more developed. If you drive a half an hour north you’re looking at another seven or eight beaches along the way. Some of them have quite a bit of development, and some of them have nothing at all.
 
Closest to San Juan del Sur is the capital of our department of Rivas. There are about 120,000 people in Rivas. Rivas is the commercial center. If there’s something I couldn’t find in San Juan del Sur, I would go to Rivas to find it.
 
San Juan del Sur is a small beach town about six blocks along the beach, four blocks away from the beach. San Juan del Sur is comprised mainly restaurants, surf shops, coffee shops, and little bars in the center. As you get out to the edges of San Juan del Sur a little bit more, you’ll find nothing but homes- no high rises here. The tallest buildings in San Juan del Sur are four stories high, and there are only a couple of these buildings around town. Most of the buildings in the town are one to two stories high and are made of the wood construction from beach town days. You can still see the remnants of what it used to have- a railroad through the stations still exists, and it’s now a hotel. The tracks have been long gone. 
 
There are housing developments on the outskirts of San Juan del Sur. Each of these housing developments probably wouldn’t have 50 or 60 lots in them, and infrastructure is just getting started in these developments. These housing developments are all very small and privately owned. There aren’t large, gated communities or anything like that on the outskirts of San Juan del Sur. In San Juan del Sur, you live in an area where there are going to be expats and locals around you almost anywhere you live.
 
(Night time on the beach at San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, pictured.)
Suyen Vargas of Aurora Vacation Rentals Nicaragua – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
hill overloooking san juan del sur – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingYou get to the town of San Juan del Sur and at the entrance, you reach one of the big local neighborhoods. It is actually a new neighborhood because many of the expats who bought property in town to open businesses or have lived there and sold their houses moved to that new neighborhood. There’s only one gas station in in town but there is also another neighborhood where the health center is.

You get into the neighborhood in the middle of town, which is two blocks where all the local businesses are. There are little bars and stores and then you get to the street along the beach that has all the restaurants. San Juan del Sur is a small town.
 
As you move north, then you get to the nice neighborhood developments such as Pacific Marlin, up on the hill.  The nicer new developments such as Pacific Marlin are on the hills outside of town.  The houses are modern and some can have six and seven-bedrooms.

Pacific Marlin is one of the nicest hills in San Juan del Sur.  It has a view of the whole bay and the Jesus statue is there. This area is very touristy.  Everybody who goes to San Juan del Sur goes all the way up there to look at the view from the Jesus statue.
 
(Hilltop neighborhood overlooking the bay in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, pictured.)
 
Eugenio Cortez of Hacienda & Ecolodge Morgan´s Rock – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
main cities, towns, communities, and developments in San Juan Del Sur Nicaragua Morgan's Rock Ecolodge – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe main town is San Juan Del Sur. Here is where you will find bars, restaurants, stores, shops and a port. Then when you go south, the next big development you will get to is Playa El Coco, which is about 8 miles away from San Juan Del Sur by car. There are a couple of hotels in Playa El Coco and a lot of Nicaraguans have beach houses there. Keep going south and you will hit La Flor, which is almost an hour drive away from San Juan Del Sur. It is close to the Costa Rican border. There you will find a national park and a few houses around the area.
 
When you head north from San Juan Del Sur, the next beach you’ll reach is Playa Marcella, which 15 minutes away from San Juan Del Sur. It is more known for local beach houses. Then there is also Playa Maderas (25 minutes away), which is a surfing community. The next is Playa Majagual (30 minutes away from San Juan Del Sur by car), which is great for swimming and family outings. There are also small local residences there. If you keep heading north, also 30 minutes away from San Juan Del Sur by car is Morgan’s Rock (photo above), which is a top of the line  eco-lodge right on the beach. The next resort is Playa Mukul, which is about an hour and a half away from San Juan Del Sur by car or 40 minutes by boat.  It has a 5-star hotel and resort with beach houses and a golf course.
 
If you go by boat to all these beaches that I described above, you will cut your travel time by half. That is because if you are driving in San Juan Del Sur, you have to go out of your way and the roads could be in bad shape, so you have to go slow and be careful while driving. If you are going by water, you could just go full throttle and you’ll reach your destination faster.
Daniel Snider of Snider's Realty Nicaragua – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
San Juan del Sur beach – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingWithin the main San Juan Del Sur city boundaries, there are four places that are notable. One is the downtown area of San Juan Del Sur, which borders the coast. That would be where you would find most of the commercial spots, restaurants, different types of businesses and different types of houses owned by local Nicaraguans. There you would find a lot of commercial places with a few different neighborhoods in the bordering areas with nicer homes but that would be the busy neighborhood of San Juan Del Sur. 
 
Right to the north, over the river, and still bordering the coast, there is a neighborhood called La Talanguera. There is not a lot of businesses or commercial spaces over there but this is a neighborhood where a lot of wealthier Nicaraguans have their vacations homes. La Talaguera is not gate-guarded so it is open for people to walk around.
 
On the hill, right to the north of La Talanguera (5 minutes away from downtown San Juan Del Sur by car), is a development known as the Pacific Marlin. This is where a lot of upscale, high end homes are located. Pacific Marlin is a gated community so you have to own a property there or you should at least be renting there in order to get in. It has a hilly topography so you get really nice views of the ocean from the homes in Pacific Marlin. The average lot in Pacific Marlin would be anywhere between 1/3 of an acre and 3/4 of an acre. The homes can be as small as 2,500 square feet and over 6,000 square feet – pretty big homes.
 
At the back part of San Juan Del Sur, away from the ocean, there is a development called Palermo. This is gate-guarded and is mostly similar to Pacific Marlin. It’s a little further back from town but it’s on a hilly terrain with a good view of San Juan Del Sur and great sunsets.
 
Generally, these places are very safe but of course I wouldn’t recommend walking in the wee hours of the night just as I wouldn’t recommend for anybody to do that anywhere else in the world. But for the most part, it is pretty safe to walk around these places.
 
Going north of San Juan Del Sur towards Rivas, there are several beach communities that border San Juan Del Sur such as Hermosa and Maderas which are about 20 minutes away by car. Some of the beaches here are open to the public and some are private.
 
One public beach you could go to is Majagual. They have several different homes both for vacation and rentals. Maderas and Maderitas are also public beaches where foreigners like to go to during the day to get away from the hustle and bustle of San Juan Del Sur. There are homes and businesses in these areas, too.  People come here to explore and to surf. There are patches of beaches where you will find pristine virgin beaches that are not densely populated. You will also find areas where expats have set up their houses.

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