None of Nicaragua’s recent history really impacted San Juan, which might explain why it’s so popular today (its prettiness probably also helps). Long known to surfers, the tiny town is now being swamped with tourists and expats looking to live it up in newly built beach houses. The expat community here has brought with it a taste for good food and a willingness to pay high prices for it.
To be fair, it’s not only expats that have discovered San Juan. It’s also a big destination for Nicas looking for USAmerican glamour and one night stands. The average Nica (guys and girls alike) here is far hotter than in most other parts of the country, and probably also far drunker and easier.
You can walk anywhere within San Juan del Sur; the beach is never more than a few blocks away. To the north and south are long ribbons of empty beach, big surf, and turtle nesting sites. The many tourist agencies and taxis in town will offer you rides out to any of these, the best way to reach them though is by hitching with resident gringos.