Nicaragua is Latin America’s treasure, bordering the renowned tourist attraction of Costa Rica. This hidden gem in Central America has 570 miles of magnificent coastline divided between two coasts – the Caribbean and the Pacific. It offers travelers the beauty of clear blue seas and excellent surfing options. Check out this 5 best Nicaragua beaches list if you’re seeking a piece of paradise away from the crowds.
Discover the best Nicaragua beaches
Does Nicaragua have good beaches?
The top beaches in Nicaragua cater to both the adventurous and contemplative tourists, ranging from wild and untamed to secluded and soothing. If you’re considering a trip to this nation of lakes and volcanoes, you should know that one of the finest things to do in Nicaragua is to explore its lovely coastline.
Are there white sand beaches in Nicaragua?
This archipelago of 12 cays located 20 miles off the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua has dazzling blue seas, white sandy beaches, and coastal rainforest. The Pearl Cays, which are only accessible by boat, are home to some of Nicaragua’s nicest beaches.
Can you swim in the sea in Nicaragua?
There are some rock outcrops in the ocean, but they are easily visible. The water temperature is comfortable. But it’s the Pacific, and the waves are colossal. It’s good for swimming, but it wouldn’t work if you don’t like waves.
1. Rancho Santana
Rancho Santana, located on the Emerald Coast of Nicaragua, has 2,700 acres of beautiful green hills, five great beaches, a variety of dining options, and spectacular beach activities.
This is not just a world-class, high-end, and tranquil Nicaragua resort. The Rancho Santana luxury resort also has five of the best Nicaragua beaches: Playa Santana, Playa Rosada, Playa Escondida, Playa Duna, and Playa Los Perros. That’s already a good number of beach-related activities that you can’t possibly squeeze into a single day!
Rancho Santana’s five beautiful beaches are particularly popular with vacationing families with little children. This Nicaragua resort features the inlet-protected, safest beach for kids, Playa Los Perros, and it also has a Kids Club, babysitter services, and engaging kiddie events.
2. Playa Yemaya, Corn Islands
This beach destination is actually formed out of two islands: Big Corn Island and Little Corn Island. Both of them are located around 50 miles away from the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua.
Yemaya Beach on Little Corn Island is popular with visitors looking for a relaxing island escape surrounded by blue seas, beaches with white sands, and magnificent coral reefs. In this area in Central America, you can also enjoy lots of daring activities, like scuba diving, snorkeling, and kayaking.
The best method to get to Little Corn is to fly to Big Corn Island from Managua, then go on a boat ride. You’ll spend around 20 minutes crossing from one island to the other.
The voyage is seldom taken by many travelers, so Yemaya is still a magnificent hidden treasure on Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast.
Nicaragua beaches tip:
Travel to Little Corn Island and Big Corn Island during lobster season, which runs from July to March.
3. Playa Maderas
One of the most popular Nicaragua beaches, Playa Maderas is an all-year-round surf destination only a 20-minute drive away from San Juan del Sur. It’s also a three-hour drive away from Managua.
Playa Maderas is distinguished by unique rock formations shaped like shark fins by a secluded rainforest cove, allowing for a stunning sunset vista.
Because the waves break in layers, Playa Maderas appeals to all kinds of surfers. Newcomers may enjoy the gentler areas closer to shore, while the outer part is more demanding and appropriate for advanced surfers.
Nicaragua beaches tip
You can get to Playa Maderas with the beach shuttle that leaves San Juan del Sur daily. Look for the shuttle next to Casa Oro.
4. Redonda Bay
Redonda Bay, on Costa Esmeralda, is approximately 85 miles away from Managua. This private Nicaragua beach is located on the Pacific Coast and it features white sandy beaches as well as tranquil, crystal blue seas.
This Nicaraguan beach is ideal for swimming, snorkeling, paddle boarding, sea kayaking, and fishing, but it’s not suitable for surfing.
Hikers should go to the cliffs located between Playa Redonda and Playa Gigante. These sandstones offer a scenic view over the bay.
5. Playa El Coco
Playa el Coco is only 12 miles away from San Juan del Sur.
This golden beach in Nicaragua is well known for the Olive Ridley Turtles who lay their eggs here. For everyone who wants to volunteer, go to La Flor Wildlife Refuge. This natural sanctuary helps thousands of newly hatched turtles to get safely into the waters of the Pacific Ocean.
Playa El Coco is the ultimate Nicaragua beach vacation destination: it’s the perfect combination of a surfer’s paradise and wildlife adventures.
Mirela Letailleur is a Romanian travel blogger living in the South of France. She writes on The Travel Bunny travel blog about affordable travel in Europe, creator of unique free travel guides, local travel expert. Problem solver. Wannabe coffee guru.
After a visit to the best Nicaragua beaches, check out
Visit Limón Costa Rica: 5 best attractions in Limon
30 best things to do in Costa Rica on vacation
Best Guatemala food that you don’t want to miss