Best beaches in Nicaragua

NicaMotoAdv @ Beach

Nicaragua has 1040km of coastline of which most of it is untainted and underdeveloped. However, some of the most beautiful beaches have been develop and are easily accessible.  Here is the list of the best beaches that you an visit easily. We have organized them in 4 different categories:

  • Best Surfing Beaches in Nicaragua
  • Best Beach resorts in Nicaragua
  • Best Scuba Diving Beaches in Nicaragua
  • Best Party Beaches in Nicaragua

Best Surfing Beaches in Nicaragua:  The mecca of Nicaraguan surfing remains San Juan del Sur with the majority of surf camps and strongholds. While the surfing in San Juan del Sur is not good the town provide access to several near by beaches with great waves.  There several other beaches for surfing including our pick:


Foto: Staying Ahead of the Wave: Bryan McMandon surfs the Outer Reef at Popoyo, Nicaragua’s most famous wave (photo/ NSR)

  • Playa Aserradores: Just northeast of Chinandega with powerful and hollow beach breaks. You have other breaks close by that can be reached by land of boat.
  • El Corinto: One of the best waves in the country with very limited amount of surfers because it can only be reached by boat
  • Poneloya and Las Peñitas: the surfing is not that great but it has the easiest access being less than 30 minutes from León.
  • Puerto Sandino: The stretch from Puerto Sandino to El Velero has half a dozen reef and rocky-bottomed beach breaks
  • Masachapa, Pochomil, Montelimar, Quizala:  Just an hour from Managua there several quality breaks in the vicinity of  these beaches
  • Playa Huehete: good surfing by the point, beach and rivermouth break.
  • Playa Pie de Gigante: there are several great surfing spots here that can be access mostly by boat
  • Playa Maderas: this is a very popular surf spot with easy access from San Juan del Sur with slow waves and also challenging waves close by.
  • Popoyo & Colorado Beach (Tola Region):  In 2012 Colorado Beach hosted the World Masters Surfing Championship and that is for a good reason. In Tola alone there are 17 “named” surf spots, 10 of which are “top quality.” Within 30 minutes from Popoyo or Colorado beach you can reach all this amazing surf points.
Guacalito de La Isla

Guacalito de La Isla

Best beach resorts in Nicaragua: there are several great resorts in Nicaragua including:

  • Rancho SantaAna: Great resort if you are into surfing. The resort boasts 2,700 acres of rolling hills and two miles of rocky and dramatic shore, broken up by five distinct beaches nestled in their own hideaways.
  • Morgans Rock   One of the few (or only) eco-lodges on the pacific beach.  If you like nature and the ocean this is the place for you.
  • Motelimar Barcelo: It is an all-inclusive resort, 1 hour drive from Managua, 3 km of white sand beach and the old Somoza Estate are the main reasons why this is a popular destination. Although reviews have been mixed on the value and quality of the place.
  • Redwood Beach Resort: This is a newer resort located 3 hours from Managua and catering to the adventure crowd. The  reviews so far has been great.
  • Guacalito de la Isla:  It promises will be Nicaragua’s—if not Central America’s—premier beach resort. Check out the website for latest developments.

Little Corn Island

Best Scuba Diving Beaches in Nicaragua: Diving is a relatively new sport in Nicaragua – unless you count the very non-PADI-certified lobster-diving opportunities out there. However, there are some great diving opportunities:

  • Little corn island: This place is a paradise – simply amazing! Some of the best diving in the Caribbean and you spend time on an island that has remained largely untouched by the big business and tourism.
  • Big Corn island: The Corn Islands are surrounded by a barrier reef system which is a unique underwater ecosystem for snorkeling and scuba diving. Divers see a mix of tropical fish as well as larger offshore species including barracuda, mackerel, jacks, pompano & shark.
  • San Juan del Sur: A couple of calm, protected bays in this area are perfect for snorkelers
  • Apoyo Lagoon: cruising past under water fumaroles and saying hello to fish not found elsewhere in the world

Moon Dance Party, New Years Eve 2012, San Juan del Sur

Best party beaches in Nicaragua:

  •  San Juan del Sur: this is the main party beach in Nicaragua. With plenty of tourists, beach side bars and laid back culture there is always party going on here. During peak holiday season there are major party organized with all inclusive alcohol. The biggest ones are for New Years.
  • Poneloya & Las Penitas: If you are looking for more of a local crowed with some tourists then this two beaches are the best bet.
  • Pochomil: There are lot of parties here taking place in private houses but during the holidays you will find large crowds of local people just having a good time on the beach.
  • A long the coastline: For Easter week and New Years the whole Pacific Coast becomes a big party. Do your research, meet a local and you’ll have an unforgettable time.