First time to Nicaragua? Not sure what to expect? Please see our FAQ below and as always, contact us directly if you have concerns or need special arrangements.
What's the best time to visit?
There is no bad time to visit San Juan del Sur. The most popular time to visit is during the holidays (Christmas - New Years and Easter). The dry season runs December through April, where temperatures are warmer and rain is scarce. The wet season is May through November, refreshing the green landscape and cooling the temperatures slightly. Even during the rainy season, rains only last a short while and does not prevent your fun in the sun.
Is Nicaragua safe?
Nicaragua is the safest country in Central America and its people are friendly. As a traveler, you should always exercise caution and common sense. Opportunistic theft is an unfortunate side effect of tourist areas. Do not leave your clothes, bags, or valuables on the beach unaccompanied. Do not leave your wallet or camera sitting out on the table. Avoid dark streets, alleys and beaches late at night. Our rooms at Elementos del Sur are equipped with safes that we highly suggest using for your valuables. We also have keypad-controlled locks and security cameras on property for extra precaution.
Can I use my credit card there?
Rooms at Elementos del Sur are booked in advance using credit cards. We kindly request cash for on-site purchases or incidentals. While in town, cash is king, as many restaurants and bars do not accept cards. There are ATMs located in multiple locations in town. Almost all vendors accept US dollars, but expect change in Nicaraguan Cordobas (check here for current exchange rate).
How do I get there?
There are two international airports that you can fly in to when visiting Elementos del Sur: Augusto C. Sandino International Airport in Managua, Nicaragua (MGA) and Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport in Liberia, Costa Rica (LIR). There are direct flights into each airport from several U.S. cities, depending on the airline. Both airports are 1.5 - 2 hours from Elementos del Sur; however, expect additional time on the journey if flying into Liberia due to the required border crossing to enter Nicaragua.
We have partnered with several transportation companies that can help get you to/from the airports. Please be sure to contact us in advance to help arrange transportation for your group. If you prefer to arrange on your own, there are plenty of taxis and shuttles available at either airport.
Do I need to rent a car?
A rental car is not necessary to reach Elementos del Sur! All roads to our destination are paved, so any taxi or transport can easily get you here. We are located walking distance from town, tide-permitting, and taxis are inexpensive due the proximity. Off-road vehicles are required to get to many of the beaches; however, there are plenty of transportation options in town to get you there without your own vehicle.
If you want a car to explore on your own, there are major rental companies located at the airports, as well as a few rental options in town. Please be sure to tell us what adventures you're looking for and we can recommend appropriate transportation options for you!
What precautions can I take to stay healthy?
* Tap water is not advised for drinking, but is perfectly fine for showering and cleaning. Purified drinking water is available at Elementos del Sur and is what we use for cooking and ice. Bottled waters are also provided in your room.
* Be sure to thoroughly wash all fruits and vegetables before use. If you pick up some fresh snacks at the market, take time to wash them before consumption. You can rest assured that all food we prepare at Elementos del Sur has been carefully cleaned.
* Follow tips to avoid exposure to mosquitos. Wear bug spray containing DEET, consider pants or long sleeves if you are trekking in undeveloped areas or jungles, keep screens and doors closed when indoors. Mosquito-borne illnesses do exist in this area, but proper prevention techniques should lessen your chances of exposure.
* If illness or injury does occur, please know that Nicaragua has sufficient healthcare and medication options available to you. You are an extension of our family when you stay at Elementos del Sur, and your safety and care are our top priorities.