Raising kids in Nicaragua has been far easier than I thought. I have two young children, ages 4 and 6, and one of my biggest concerns when I moved to Nicaragua was, “would my kids have anything to do here?”. The answer is YES!! We live just outside of the beach town of San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua, and have found it beyond welcoming to young families. We have discovered a plethora of activities to keep our kids, and ourselves entertained.
San Juan del Sur is home to not one but two waterslides. The first one can be found at TreeCasa Resort. The resort has a large waterslide that is suitable for all ages and dumps into their enormous pool. There are two pools at the resort, so there is plenty of room for everyone. Surrounding the pool is plenty of seating, and their restaurant recently added many vegan options to their menu. Day passes can be purchased for the use of the pool and the waterslide, or you can select to book a room and stay the night in one of their treehouses.
The newest waterslide in San Juan del Sur is located at Surf Ranch Hotel and Resort. The slide was just completed in April 2021. The slide feels slightly shorter than the slide at TreeCasa but just as much fun. It dumps into one side of the pool, while on the other side of the pool, there is plenty of seating, including a swim-up bar. In addition to the waterslide, Surf Ranch also currently has the only climbing wall in San Juan Del Sur. Their new restaurant concept, Sprout, just launched too, making Surf Ranch an easy place to enjoy with your family for the afternoon.
For those with adventurous kids, Parque de Aventura Las Nubes is a must-see must-do. The adventure park sits atop the highest peak in San Juan del Sur, straddling the Continental Divide, and giving you the best views around. You start your adventure by taking an ATV up to the top of the mountain, where you harness up and enjoy ziplining through more than a dozen platforms anchored in trees high on the forest floor. Children as young as 3 can enjoy this adventure, and for those kids who are a little timid of heights, they can be harnessed to an instructor. After ziplining, have a picnic at their mountain top restaurant and observation deck. Enjoy the children’s playground or visit their Iguana Breeding facility. It is truly a great way to spend an afternoon, and my child has never left disappointed.
Skateboarding has suddenly taken off in Nicaragua, especially in San Juan Del Sur. The town has its first dedicated Skate shop, El Garaje, and 3 different places for kids of all ages to get their skate on. The most centrally located spot is right next to the port. There is a large flat concrete area locally known as the Malecon (or Boardwalk). This is a good area for beginners to get their bearings on a skateboard before venturing to some of the more challenging areas. There is a nice play structure suitable for the younger crowd and a food park in the same area, making it a great place to spend a couple of hours.
Once you have mastered the flatness of the port area, there is a skate bowl at Peace and Cake Bakery and a complete skatepark at Surf Ranch Hotel and Resort. The skate park at Surf Ranch probably has the most to offers skaters of all levels. There are ramps, rails, and a bowl to practice all the tricks. In addition, there is now a kid’s skate class in San Juan del Sur that happens most Saturdays. The location alternates between the port and Surf Ranch. There is a $14 USD drop-in fee that includes two hours of group instruction, board, and pad rental. It is a great choice for those who just want to test out the sport.
The Art Warehouse is a haven for crafty and creative children and adults alike. It is by far one of the best things for kids to enjoy in San Juan del Sur. There are make and take craft classes offered every week for kids of all ages. My kids have taken several classes there over the years, including Pinata Making, slime, painting, and even a hip-hop class. The classes are always changing, and the current schedule can be found on their Facebook page. The Art Warehouse hosts art shows, Thursday Night Markets, and adult classes as well, making it a family favorite in our house. A wonderful restaurant in the front half of the building makes tasty food that nourishes the body with fresh and local ingredients. They serve breakfast and lunch. Dinner is served during their special events. I also look forward to their weekly specials.
Mother Nature makes raising kids in Nicaragua easy! My kids love being outside and running around, so the beach for me is an obvious choice of where to take the kids to spend time together as a family. We have lots of beach days in our house but sometimes it hard to decide which beach to go to. There are more than six beaches that we frequent within 30 minutes of San Juan del Sur. One of my favorite beaches is Playa Hermosa. It is located about 20 minutes south of town. They rent surfboards on-site, and there is a restaurant and plenty of shade which is a plus for the kids. Other beaches that we frequent include Remanso, Maderas, and Escameca. Each of them has surfboard rentals onsite and a restaurant.
Raising Kids in Nicaragua is Awesome!
San Juan del Sur offers wonderful entertainment and educational opportunities for kids and adults alike and these are just a few of the reasons I love it here. If you have questions about raising kids in Nicaragua, please feel free to contact me.