September 21, 2015
It’s another short ride from the ferry dock at San Jorge, Nicaragua to San Juan Del Sur on the Pacific Coast. San Juan is just north of the Costa Rica border, and it is catching the overflow of ex-pats that perhaps got in late on the Costa Rica beach life.
The hills facing the beach in San Juan Del Sur look like Malibu, with million dollar homes built in a California-looking style. The stark contrast between these mansions and high-end condos, and the typical Nica house is startling. Going from sitting at a table at a restaurant in Granada and having young children approach me, point at my food or water, then point to their mouths, to seeing the excesses just a couple of hours away but in the same country, is also a bit disturbing.
I’m not staying in San Juan Del Sur. It’s not in my price range. About 11 km up a dirt road is Playa Maderas, a small beach with a serious surf attraction. The waves here are not large, but they are consistent, and smooth, and perfect for learning and or just enjoying. The surf hostel is right on the beach, and in fact, aside from the Tacos Loco restaurant next door, is the only thing here. I walked up the beach a bit less than a kilometer to the next beach, and Camping Matilda. I considered staying here, but it’s a bit hard to reach due to the closing of the coast road north of Playa Maderas to suit some new homeowners.
The beach is so nice I’d like to stay here several nights, but it’s on the edge of my budget and I have to keep moving towards Costa Rica and Panama.