San Juan Del Norte

San Juan del Norte is a small town and municipality in Rio San Juan department of Nicaragua.


San Juan de Nicaragua (a.k.a. San Juan del Norte or Greytown) is a small port town of 1500 people, on the Caribbean coast of (south-east) Nicaragua. It has a long history as a port town but its glory days are long over. Back in the middle of the 19th century its strategic location at the mouth of the Rio San Juan made it the starting point of one of the only feasible transcontinental crossings of the Americas. Cornelius Vanderbilt invested here and people such as Mark Twain have passed through and written about it. But after the USA built a railroad to California in 1869 the town slowly fell into a slumber it seems to not have awaken from until now. However as the jungle just out of town and the fish in the river might draw an adventurous traveler, the Nicaraguan government decided to do something and recently built a new airport which makes the ride in a small lancha from San Carlos a thing of the past and replaces it with a smooth scenic flight across half the country with views of Ometepe and the river.

Get in

Despite being technically connected by land to the rest of Nicaragua, there is no form of overland transport short of you hiking through the jungle

By plane

There is an airport with regular flights to and from Managua via San Carlos. For more see La Costeña's website

By boat

You can get there from San Carlos with a 6-hour boat (fast one, slow one 11 h) which leaves San Carlos Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 6 am.

You can reach San Juan del Norte from Bluefields once a week as well. This boat leaves San Juan del Norte for Bluefields on Wednesday 8 am. However, this schedule is very liable to change, as the boat is the same that also connects Bluefields and Big Corn Island and may be down for maintenance or out of order without prior notice.

Future plans are to connect San Juan del Norte with Puerto Limon and Tortuguero in Costa Rica.

Get around

The town is entirely walkable and everywhere, where you can't walk you will have to take a boat.


You can also visit the indigenous Rama living in the Indigo Maiz.


San Juan del Norte is popular with fishing tourists.


If you like seafood, you're in luck, almost all restaurants offer at least one variety of camarones (shrimp) or fish. A Caribbean specialty that can be had here as well is rondon. Try it.


There are some cheap family hostelitos around 150 Cordobas

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Tuesday, January 26, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.