- Where to Go
- The Best of Nicaragua
- Nicaragua’s Best Surfing
- Hiking Nicaragua’s Ring of Fire
- Nicaraguan Arts & Crafts
- Nicaragua’s Great Green North
- Sportfishing in Nicaragua
- Down the Río San Juan
- Nicaragua’s Celebrations & Fiestas
- Volunteering in Nicaragua
- Diving & Snorkeling in Nicaragua
- Managua’s Revolutionary Driving Tour
Royal Chateau Hotel (one block east of the market, tel. 505/2568-2551, www.hotelroyalchateau.com) is Nica-owned, and their friendliness, the security of the compound, private parking, a big wooden porch with traditional adobe-tiled roof, and a filling breakfast make the Royal Chateau an easy pick for the midrange hotels. Rooms run $46 double with fan, private bath, and TV, and $53 with air-conditioning, including tax.
Opened in 2009, The Irish House (two blocks north of the market, across from Gato Negro, tel. 505-8973-7855, irish.house2009 [at] gmail [dot] com, $50) offers Guinness at the downstairs pub and four apartments with TV, fan, kitchen, and safety box.
A few doors down, Secret Cove Inn (tel. 505/8672-3013, rjesq [at] aol [dot] com, www.secretcoveinn.com, $28) is a little American-owned bed-and-breakfast with Wi-Fi, bicycles, and services like massage and manicures and pedicures for guests. One of the owners is a yoga instructor and can help you find classes; they also offer sailboat tours and weekly rates.
Azul Pitahaya (from the park, one block west, one block north, tel. 505/2568-2294, www.hotelazulsanjuan.com, $38) offers six spotless, brightly-colored rooms with cable TV, air-conditioning, and private bath with hot water; breakfast included.
Hotel El Pacifico (tel. 505/2568-2557, www.el-pacifico-hotel.com, $25 d with fan, $46 d with a/c, plus tax) is located across the river in the wealthy neighborhood of Barrio El Talanguera, well removed from the hustle and bustle of the city. Get there via the Chocolata road turnoff at the entrance to town or walk about 15 minutes across the amazing new, Golden Gate–esque suspension bridge at the north end of the beach. The nine remodeled rooms are comfortable, with private bath, parking, pool, Wi-Fi, cable TV, restaurant, and bar.
Lastly, for travelers less inclined to the beach-party scene, Camino del Sol (Km 137.5 Carretera San Juan del Sur, tel. 505/8400-0255, www.caminodelsol.com, $48 d) offers quality rooms in a quiet setting 3.5 km out of town, yoga classes, shuttles into town, and home-cooked meals ($7).
© Randall Wood & Joshua Berman from Moon Nicaragua, 4th Edition