Visas: Citizens of the following countries are allowed 90 days’ stay with no visa: US, Canada, EU countries, Norway, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Japan and some Eastern European countries. Other visitors might require a visa. Guatemala is part of the Central America-4 border control agreement, so the 90 days applies to Nicaragua, Honduras, and El Salvador as well. To apply for a visa extension of 90 days, you will need to go to the Migración (Immigration) office in Managua. After those 90 days, you must leave the region (this means going to Costa Rica, basically) for 72 hours, which automatically renews your visa.
Local transportation: The town is small, so walk to get around. Motorcycles and 4x4 are available for rent, but be careful while riding them as roads are frequently in bad condition. To get to the border of Costa Rica, you can take a taxi for about $20.
Where to buy a SIM card: Movistar and Claro are the two most popular cell phone networks in Nicaragua and both have an office in San Juan del Sur. Phone calls within the same network are cheaper than those made between the two networks so try and choose the same network as your local contacts.
Banks and ATMs: San Juan del Sur has four banks (BAC, BANCENTRO and BANPRO and BDF) and four ATM machines (cajeros automáticos) where you can withdraw Nicaraguan Cordobas or US Dollars. There is also a local Western Union office. Traveller’s checks are not widely accepted.
Popular areas: San Juan Del Sur Town, Playa Maderas
Located in Southwest Nicaragua on the Pacific Coast, San Juan Del Sur (or SJDS for short) is a small town with a party reputation. This is a surfing hub, and many travelers use SJDS as a hub to surf, party, and to explore nearby beaches. Its proximity to the Costa Rican border makes it easy for you to do visa runs.
Internet is widely available in San Juan del Sur so you shouldn’t have to do much hunting around for it. Most hotels, hostels and an increasing number of restaurants offer Wi-Fi for guests.
This is a popular tourist destination, hence it is also the most expensive area in Nicaragua. However, it is still much cheaper than neighbor Costa Rica. Accomodations can be had for USD10-25 a night or USD150 a month, while local food cost USD3-5 and western food around USD5-10. Power outages are common (around one day a week), and internet speed is not the fastest, although many cafes and hotels offer free wifi.
Avoid the beach at night, hanging around the nightclubs or loitering in less trafficked parts of town.
The best time to visit San Juan Del Sur is from November to March, which is the dry season. April to May is the hot season, and June to October is the rainy season. If you plan on surfing, the best time to visit is from May to December.