We planned our last stop in Nicaragua to be on the coast, to top up our tans and relax a few days before border crossing to Costa Rica.
Originally we had planned to go to San Juan del Sur and had found a nice hostel online that we liked the look of. However, after arriving from Ometepe the hostel in question didn’t have any availability. We were annoyed with them as their policy was on a first come first serve basis yet they had taken bookings. We had tried to book but they never replied to our emails.
After looking around the town a little disheartened we couldn’t find anywhere we liked the look of so after reading some leaflets we realised there were more mini beach resorts a short way from San Juan del Sur, in particular Playa Maderas.
Playa Maderas seemed to have the most selection in terms of nearby eateries and places to stay. With this in mind we stumbled upon a poster for Casa Maderas, an eco-lodge with free breakfasts, free shuttles services, restaurant, swimming pool and a 10 minute walk from the beach. Upon arrival we also discovered it had a communal kitchen which was a bonus.
It was a little expensive for our normal accommodation coming in at $US36 per night, but when we considered the fact we could take free shuttles to and from the beach and San Juan del Sur whenever we needed to we thought we would give it a try.
Casa Maderas turned out to be a nearly finished resort of sorts. Opened just under 6 months ago it feels too small to be considered an actual resort but too expensive to be classed as a hostel, despite the dorms and communal kitchen, instead it seems to sit somewhere in the middle.
To say we were pleasantly surprised is an understatement. The peace and tranquillity of the place was phenomenal. The only “noises” were from the chorus of frogs at night and the howler monkeys in the nearby trees in the morning.
The beaches themselves are not really for swimming as the waves and currents are too strong, but if you’re into surfing then it’s the area for you. There are plenty of surf board rental places, both from Casa Maderas and on the beach along with surf lessons.
If like us you just want some downtime you can just walk along the beach to the many semi hidden coves, or if even that is too strenuous for you then there is always the pool!