San Juan del Sur in Splashes of Color

Red RoseIn addition to the relaxing atmosphere that has me calling it my happy place, and its status as a gateway to some pristine beaches in Nicaragua, San Juan del Sur is a charming little town in and of itself. I love the color splash, and there are loads of flowers on every block. Even though SJdS is tiny, all of the little details make walking around a fascinating afternoon. I’ve been so many times, thanks to it being where I headed for visa runs when I lived in Costa Rica, making it one of the few places that I haven’t lived yet I go again and again. More and more travelers are discovering this relaxing bay town as a more affordable alternative to some of the more touristy parts of Costa Rica, but it hasn’t been overcrowded yet.

I just love it!

I went on this little girls getaway with three friends from Coco: Tatiana, Melissa and Cheryl, who I’ve known for years. We had plenty of sun, beach, lobster and wine — but Melissa and I also took some time to stroll through the charming, colorful town center.

Abby Tegnelia, Tatiana Gogolova, Melissa Christensen, Cheryl Grant


I love places where my camera can’t seem to grab a moment’s rest, because there are just too many sights to take pictures of. Bright colors, sun-splashed town blocks, heaps of flowers, comfy hammocks… SJdS has it all.

San Juan del Sur | Daydream Away travel blog

San Juan del Sur | Daydream Away travel blog

Red Berries | Daydream Away travel blog

Hammocks | Daydream Away travel blog


Town San Juan del Sur


Surfers and backpackers flock to SJdS for its ample affordable accommodation options. I remember the days, many years ago, when I would arrive someplace with my backpack and walk the streets looking for a nice play to stay.

Casa Romano


There are a few good stores in town — We stayed in this little gem, La Posada Azul, for quite some time.

The Best Tienda


More Souvenirs


The famous ubiquitous El Castillo chocolate of Nicaragua. I usually buy some at the border. These bars, made of organic cacao, are hard, dark chocolate in various flavors. The best part — they don’t melt! You can even take a tour of the factory several hours from SJdS.

Chocolate Cacao

I’ve never seen one of these cacao bars melt, even in the intense Central American heat.


Central America is known for painting its buses in bright hues and cool designs. Different countries have nicknames for its local buses. And they will do just about anything to keep them running — including using loads of duct tape.

San Juan del Sur bus | Daydream Away travel blog

SJdS tape

What’s a little duct tape to keep the buses moving?


The main church is a bright yellow beacon that you can’t miss. The colonial San Juan Bautista (Saint John the Baptist) was one of the parishes that served as a home base for the missionary work of the Spanish priest Gaspar Garcia Laviana. He later fought as a soldier with the Sandinistas on behalf of the poor during the Revolution against Anastasio Somoza. He died in battle in 1978.

San Juan del Sur church, San Juan Bautista | Daydream Away travel blog


It’s only a matter of time before I return!

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I'm a life-long travel junkie journalist who works hard to find adventure in everyday life after two years of travel and expat living.

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  1. Oh I just looooove these pics! GORGEOUS!!!

  2. It was so easy to shoot! Thank you. 🙂

  3. Hmmm…chocolate that doesn’t melt you say? 🙂

  4. It was truly remarkable!!

  5. What fun having all that color around. I will never forget my in-laws coming to the U.S. and noticing how bland our color choices are compared to theirs in Brazil.

  6. We seem so downtrodden after visits to places like Brazil and Central America! Nothing makes me happier than sun-drenched color.

  7. Hi Abbey, you mentioned more images of San Juan del Sur in your previous post, so I was looking out for these. Bright sunny colors definitely seems to be the theme – found in benches, buses, hammocks, houses, signs, souvenirs and even the chocolate wrappers.

  8. I’m so glad you came back! These were my favorite pictures from there. 🙂

  9. So many Nicaragua posts around the blogosphere these days. I am dying to go!

  10. Amazing amount of color – everywhere; buildings, nature, nick-knacks and edibles. Whoo-hooo!

  11. Take me with you next time!

  12. Love all the COLOR!! The duct tape repair of the bus is too funny. Thanks for sharing!

  13. I love all the colours! Looks like a fun little destination for a girls weekend. 😉

  14. You can’t help but be happy surrounded by all that color!

  15. Wow, those pictures are beautiful!
    I love all the bright colors!

  16. Thank you, Kristen!!!

  17. Man, I just love all the bright hues in Central America, and I think Nicaragua may tie Costa Rica as my favorite country down there!

  18. Brings back good memories.

  19. Who wouldn’t love all these colours playing with your eyes? Ordinary but I felt the happiness of this place. I got my eyes on that chocolates, so interesting. This is a great post, thank you.

  20. Glad you felt the happiness like I did! You really can’t help it!!

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