San Juan del Sur History

Hotel Estrella San Juan del Sur

The tranquil fishing village of San Juan del Sur is located 140km from Managua, the capital of Nicaragua. San Juan del Sur is a surfing beach town on the Pacific Coast within the Rivas department. Surrounding world-famous San Juan del Sur Bay are 19 other bays which can be reached by boat, rented truck or occasional shuttles. The town of Rivas is 30km away. The border with Costa Rica is 40km away at Peñas Blancas. San Juan del Sur is a small town with approximately 15,000 inhabitants, including about 1,000 permanent and part-time international residents.

San Juan del Sur was discovered by the Spanish explorer Andrés Niño in 1522 while looking for the legendary union of the two oceans, Atlantic and Pacific.The town had several name changes throughout its history, but finally the name “San Juan del Sur” was given to this lovely city to distinguish it from San Juan del Norte, a Spanish port on the Atlantic Ocean side of Nicaragua.

San Juan del Sur has been an important historical port, particularly in 1849 when Cornelius Vanderbilt and Nathaniel Wolf formed a company, “American Atlantic and Pacific Ship Canal Company,” and with the government’s permission, transported people from the Atlantic Ocean to San Juan del Sur (via Rio San Juan and over land from La Virgen directly to San Juan del Sur) and then on to San Francisco. Over 75,000 travelers enjoyed this passage between New York City and San Francisco over the 16 years it was open. Since then, San Juan del Sur has remained a fishing town and port. Today a tourist economy and real estate sales dominate over agriculture and fishing as the main money makers; they provide more jobs but threaten the culture of Nicaragua.


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Del Timón me gusta mucho la calidad de su gente, la forma en que viven innovando, mejorando para sus clientes. Me fascina el pescado entero frito con la salsa secreta de doña Frida. El carpaccio de pescado del Timón es delicioso, también el de pulpo. Desde el Timón se observan los maravillos...

Aug 27, 2013