We condensed it all to the best hostels San Juan del Sur offers to all traveller types. With lots of cheap and safe hostels, backpacking in Nicaragua is easy. On top of that, Nicaragua has fairly short traveling distances that make backpacking enjoyable and cheap!
We review some of the best hostels in the cool town of San Juan del Sur, and we also cover some important details like the hostel’s amenities, location, services, activities, policies, and more.
If you’re looking for a party, you came to the right place, too. You can come here on Sunday for “Sunday Funday” – you do not need to stay here to attend the party. We have even found beautiful hostels to relax and join Yoga. You’re guaranteed to have a good time at each location. Let’s find the perfect hostel for your stay!
This guide is perfect for YOU, when you…
are tired of bad and crappy hostels
want to avoid the "young party kids"
are happy to spend 1-2€ for a better experience
Hostelgeeks collect 5 Star Hostels all around the world. At the end of this article we share more guides to best hostels in Central America.
This article is jam-packed with useful information to make your planning easier and faster.
As always, we put all places to stay in San Juan del Sur on a budget on a map.
Quick Introduction to Hostels in San Juan del Sur
First things first, there is many many hostels in San Juan del Sur. And we are sure, you are by now overwhelmed by the choices you could make.
This is at least how we felt. Therefore, we created this guide to walk you through the process. Let us check how much hostels in San Juan del Sur are and what types you can expect.
Average price for a bed: Beds in a dorm can be as cheap as 7€ up to 21€ per night. This is a rough average to give you an idea. Prices always depend on season and holidays. Always check exact rates on Hostelz.com and Hostelworld.com.
Types of Hostels: You find a huge variety from crappy, cheap places to luxury hostels and everything in-between. Make sure you know what type of hostel you want. The most common are:
super budget hostels – with bad amenities and a cheap price tag
fun backpacker hostels – with average quality but for sure a fun time
quality hostels – a bit more pricey but great facilities, great to meet and usually a better location.
Check-In and Check Out: The average check-in time is from 15:00 (3pm), while the Check Out time is before 11:00 (11am). Hostels usually offer luggage storage in case you arrive earlier or leave later. Make sure you check if luggage storage is free or if there is an extra cost.
Tourism Tax: There is an extra 15% tax on your accommodation. Because not all hostels include them in their rates, it is advisable to bring along some additional cash to cover the tax.
Transport in San Juan del Sur: Taxis, motortaxis, and taxibikes, together with urban and interurban buses, are the primary modes of public transit in San Juan del Sur.
Our first recommendation is the Dreamsea Surf Camp. Dreamsea Surf Camp is an eco-friendly hostel in the San Juan del Sur forest. The main building has three floors, a welcoming atmosphere, a restaurant, bar, lounge, reception, hang out, and on the third floor, space for yoga lessons.
Dreamsea Surf Camp has a variety of 10 elevated cabanas; five are suite rooms with private bathrooms, three are dorm rooms, and two are twins. This party hostel has parking, towels, bedsheets, Wi-Fi (lobby/commons), luggage storage, airport pickup, 24-hour security, and more.
Next to the outdoor pool is the pool bar, making it the ideal spot to relax after a day of surfing and exploring.
If you want to stay further from San Juan del Sur, this hostel is right for you. In Nicaragua, public transportation is difficult, so this hostel provides free shuttles from San Juan del Sur. Taxis can also help you get around, but paid shuttles are available from Granada, Managua Airport, and more; you just need to ask for them.
On arrival, they accept payment in cash, credit cards, or debit cards, but the Diners card is not accepted. In case your card needs pre-authorized beforehand, the hostel can help you.
Taxes are included (always check this!), but they don’t offer free breakfast. Typically, breakfast is around 6.00 USD per person. The hostel is pet-friendly and does not allow smoking. If you think this is one for you, check availability right away. It can be difficult to get a free bed and room here.
We consider Puk’s Palace one of the aboluste best hostels in San Juan del Sur. Puk’s Palace is a simple party hostel for a solo traveler or a partier. Up in the hills, the hostel has one pool that makes a great instagrammable sunset spot.
Take advantage of the free shuttles that go in and out of town. If you need to use a taxi, don’t worry, they are about 5.00 USD. While you shouldn’t need to leave the hostel, you are always welcome to explore San Juan del Sur and its beach, boutiques, and restaurants.
The main reason backpackers visit San Juan del Sur is the famous Party “Sunday Funday”. On Sundays, the hostel offers a shuttle service at 3:30 pm for Sunday Funday.
Puk’s Palace is a very basic party hostel. There are four six-bed mixed dormitories, three private rooms, and a 10 bed dorm. There are large, rustic bathrooms that connect to the rooms and there are plenty of secure lockers to store your stuff.
A few included niceties are parking, Wi-Fi (commons/lobby), bedsheets, towels, luggage storage, lockers in the lobby, airport pickup, 24-hour security, laundry, a pool table, board games, and more.
The party hostel has a bar, restaurant area, and a funky arrangement of hammocks and other seating near the pool. Also, the two dogs on-site, Puk and Lala, are quite playful and friendly.
Every evening, there is a “family dinner” for 7.00 USD a night. If you decide to stay at Puk’s Palace, prepare to either venture into town for breakfast, lunch, and dinner or order in from the kitchen for breakfast and dinner; the kitchen is not open for lunch. Luckily, the hostel has a small convenience store that offers a variety of snacks like Oreos and chips.
There are a plethora of activities to do, such as surfing, visiting the Jesus statue (specifically at sunset), ziplining, fishing, viewing turtles, riding ATVs, taking Spanish lessons, horseback riding, or a night out in town at the many restaurants and bars in San Juan.
On Fridays, there are beer pong tournaments at Pacha Mama, so venture into town and enjoy the lively atmosphere before your stay ends.
Many of the working volunteers are also there to party, so prepare for a vivacious atmosphere. Typically, Puk’s Palace throws a party each Saturday to host a few of the best DJs in Nicaragua; tickets are free for guests.
Included in our list of best hostels in San Juan del Sur, the Salt Water Hostel is another place for partiers and solo travelers. Located in the heart of San Juan del Sur, you have access to any store, ATM, supermarket, boutique, or bar nearby. Not only that, but you are close to the beaches, and the hostel offers a shuttle service to ensure safe visits.
The Salt Water Hostel comes with air conditioning, free WiFi (lobby/commons), bedsheets, parking, a BBQ grill, lockers in the lobby, towels, city tours, 24-hour security, laundry, board games, movie rentals, and more. There are many options for sleeping arrangements, such as private air-conditioned rooms or shared rooms with private bathrooms.
Whether you want to relax and read a book from the bookstore or go out and party, the Salt Water Hostel has it all. At the hostel, there is a shared kitchen with a fridge, as well as a lush garden with hammocks looking out to the bay.
If you don’t want to cook or go out for food, the Salt Water Hostel offers a typical Nicaraguan menu. The organic ingredients are sourced from their farm inside the crater of volcano Mombacho.
It has a great location. If you are up to a San Juan del Sur beach, the closest beach is just a 2 minute walk from the hostel.
If you’re interested, book a visit to their farm, where you can dive into natural volcano pools, wander through the coffee fields, explore the vast jungle, or learn about the local fruit.
Travelers love the hostel’s rooftop patio with hammocks and comfy furnishings. On the spacious roof top patio, you can relax in one of the hammocks while taking in the breathtaking view of San Juan Bay.
The stunning view contributes to an ambiance that is one of calm and relaxation.
If you like cooking, the outdoor kitchen is perfect for you. In addition, staff also organise activities so you can meet new friends.
Buena Onda is near beach bars, restaurants, and pubs. A decent bar allows people to converse over a drink or beverage.
Your tired head may rest easy at Hostel Tadeo San Juan del Sur, which is located in a delightful surf and beach town on Nicaragua’s stunning Pacific coast.
It is situated in a rural environment, just 40 meters away from the bay of San Juan del Sur.
The Hostel Tadeo San Juan del Sur is a hostel of a moderate size that has a laid-back environment, all of the needed travel facilities, and a complimentary breakfast. In addition to that, there are three cute dogs that hang around at the front desk.
The beach and the city area of San Juan del Sur are both one block apart from the hostel, which is situated one block south of the downtown area. The surrounding area is mostly residential and maintains a low level of noise. Everything is conveniently accessible on foot because to the fact that this “town” is only extremely tiny.
Selina Maderas is a paradise and it is the perfect spot to chill and relax. This hostel can make you feel special because they have all you need for a worry free vacation.
This hostel can be found about 9 km away from San Juan del Sur and is only a 7-minute walk away from the most popular surf break in the neighbourhood.
All of the rooms and bungalows at this resort are decorated in a tropical Nicaraguan style and have a terrace with a view of the pool and gardens.
In addition to a bar, a yoga deck, a coworking space, and common rooms with games and live music, guests also have access to the outdoor pool. This lovely spot is minutes away from the shore.
At the hostel’s restaurant, guests may choose from a variety of cuisines from across the world, while light snacks and beverages are available at the front desk.
Tours and activities like surfing, horseback riding, ziplining, and even turtle viewing during specific seasons may be arranged through the tour desk for an additional fee. Classes in yoga and massage are available every day.
Casa Oro Eco has a restaurant, a bar, a common room, and access to water sports. This resort has a concierge desk and a terrace for guests’ use. There is a free breakfast, free airport shuttle service, a communal kitchen, and free WiFi at this hotel.
There is a choice between a continental and an American breakfast at the hostel.
Casa Oro Eco Hostel is located about 200 metres from San Juan del Sur Beach, and guests can go to Nacascolo in 2.8 kilometres. The Augusto Cesar Sandino International Airport is 130 kilometres away from the hostel.
For full disclosure, there are a couple of guests that have had bad experiences at this hostel, so we encourage you to check the reviews on Hostelworld.
Just WOW! The Space is a unique boutique hotel that caters to the needs of today’s discerning traveller. They’re here for the curious, the nomadic, and anybody else who loves to travel.
The Space is has variety of amenities, including a restaurant, free private parking, an outdoor swimming pool, and a bar.
There is no better spot to enjoy all that the vibrant surf town of San Juan del Sur has to offer than in the centre of Nicaragua’s jungle, which is on the route to the famous Northern surf beach Playa Maderas. The trip from San Juan del Sur takes around 10 to 15 minutes.
The location is perfect because The Hike to the Lighthouse, Cristo de La Misericordia, and the city’s greatest bars and restaurants are nearby.
They provide a shuttle service that will take you surfing each day. They also have surfing lessons which is quite interesting. Staff are very welcoming and warm.
The kitchen has all the essentials, and having a pool was an added perk. The location is rather quiet throughout the week, but it is full of life during the weekend because of Sunday Funday pool crawl that they organize.
Good to know: Sunday Funday is the biggest Pool Party in Central America. There is a ticket fee of around $30 which is not cheap for Nicaragua, but totally worth it. When staying at Pachamama Hoste, you will get a discount for the party.
Naked Tiger Hostel is known for its wild and crazy parties as well as its regular everyday events and activities. These stunning hostel with a Mediterranean design has a lovely patio and a pool, making it an ideal spot for getting to know your fellow guests.
Bar in the open air that serves a diverse selection of beverages and provides various discounts is perfect for a long day.
The most well-known spot is a lively pool party called Sunday Funday that has a fantastic vibe and is just right for those who live for the party life.
Safety in San Juan del Sur
All the hostels mentioned above are great for relaxing, partying and for solo traveling. Deciding whether you want quick access to the activities in San Juan or if you prefer to take the shuttle for a night out should help you decide which is the best hostel for you.
We understand you want to enjoy your backpacking experience, but do so carefully. You should always be vigilant and keep your personal belongings close to you.
Different countries have different rules, so make sure to do some research and we are confident that you will have an enjoyable trip.
What about the cheapest hostels in San Juan del Sur?
Of course, there are always cheap hostels. But how do you actually find them? When you are traveling on a shoe-string budget and you want to save every dollar, there are ways to find the cheapest places in San Juan del Sur.
Open Hostelz.com with a full list of all hostels in San Juan del Sur
add your dates
Order the listings by price
Simple as that.
Hostelz.com is a price comparison site for hostels. They list every single one in the world and tells you exactly which website is cheaper to use.
Another smart Tip: Check what is actually included, and what is excluded. Take a closer look at the location, too. A further location might mean more costs in transport.
The two most popular booking platforms are Booking.com and Hostelworld.com. They both list numerous hostels and cheap accommodation. We wrote a detailed guide on the best booking sites for hostels.
The coolest App you need for Hostels comes as well from Hostelworld. It comes with super cool features like you can contact your hostel mates beforehand and make plans together. Download the Hostelworld App here.
All 3 Hostels put on a map + sights
Let us have a look at the map. As promised, below, we list all party hostels and the best hostels in San Juan del Sur on a map.
Personally, we love to plan our trips with a map having all sights and potential hostels on it. We thought this map will help you with planning your trip too.
Any questions left? Below you find the most common questions when it comes to hosteling in San Juan del Sur and Nicaragua.
What are the best sites for finding hostels?
We want to throw our hat into the ring: Hostelgeeks.com Our website is focused on bringing you a handpicked selection of cool hostels all around the world. Here you can find all our handmade best hostels in the world guides; from Paris to Tokyo.
Other than our website, Hostelworld and Hostelz.com is always a great resource and booking platform too.
What are the best hostels in San Juan Del Sur?
This is what this guide on Hostelgeeks is all about. Here is it again in a nutshell:
Do you have any questions left, maybe doubts? Then please leave it in the comment below. We are very keen to help you - and actually you would even do us a favor!
Your question will help us to improve this San Juan del Sur guide.
Last note: Our commitment
This is a genuine article to help you travel a bit smarter, and find the best place on a budget! We will never recommend you any place we haven’t evaluated or are not convinced by. We are constantly updating all our guides to keep them as fresh and accurate as possible.
Safe travels, The Hostelgeeks
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