Want to check out the best beaches in Nicaragua?

The Central American nation of Nicaragua has it all—surf, wildlife, volcanoes, and endless miles of spectacular coastline. This coastal enclave is a tranquil and exciting place for travelers looking for an unplugged getaway. In addition to its lakes and volcanoes, Nicaragua offers a paradisal assortment of lush beaches—arguably some of the best in the world. With its amazing combination of Pacific and Caribbean coasts, Nicaragua is a beach lover’s dream.

Best Beaches in Nicaragua — Little Corn Island, Yemaya Island Hideaway

While it’s a trek to get to Little Corn Island—located 50 miles off the coast of Nicaragua—it’s well worth the trip. One of Nicaragua’s best-hidden gems is the tropical paradise of the Corn Islands—made up of two islands, Big Corn and Little Corn. Both are exceptional islands but what makes Little Corn the standout destination for tourists is the relaxed island getaway of Yemaya—a beachfront resort. Named after the African goddess of the sea, Yemaya is surrounded by crystal clear waters, white-sand beaches, and impressive coral reefs.

Playa Maderas, San Juan Del Sur

A surfer’s paradise, Playa Maderas is one of the most famous Pacific beaches in Nicaragua. Surfers recognize it as the best place for waves in Central America but it’s also popular with tourists who just want to enjoy its beautiful waters, tropical sunsets, and idyllic atmosphere. Playa Maderas is located in the southern part of the country, a 20-minute drive from the resort town of San Juan del Sur. The once tranquil fishing village is now one of Nicaragua’s greatest tourist destinations—known for having some of Nicaragua’s most enchanting beaches.

Playa el Coco, San Juan Del Sur

Just 12 miles south of San Juan del Sur, is Playa el Coco. This natural delight is surrounded by thick jungle and is coveted for its wildlife, namely the Olive Ridley Turtles that come to lay their eggs on the sandy shores. Playa el Coco is a little over a mile away from Playa La Flor, one of the most important turtle sanctuaries in Nicaragua. Tourists mostly visit Playa el Coco for the turtles and waves but it’s also a great place to get to know some of the locals, as there are nearby villages you can hang out in.  

Pearl Cays, Pearl Lagoon

The Pearl Cays is a group of 18 uninhabited coral reef land masses located about 35 km from the town of Pearl Lagoon off the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua. The secluded islands offer a great place for a relaxing day trip where you can enjoy lush greenery, pristine white sand beaches, and breathtaking views of the coast. Only accessible by boat, Pearl Cays is perfect for travelers looking for some of the best snorkeling and diving spots in Central America.

Las Peñitas, León

The fishing village of Las Peñitas is on the northwestern coast of Nicaragua, about 20 minutes away from the city of León. Located on a three-mile-long stretch of beach, Las Peñitas is lined with cafes and bars. The beach community is a great place to grab a drink and enjoy the incredible views of the coastline. Las Peñitas is popular with locals and tourists alike; With one of the most popular pastimes being volcano boarding. Head to the nearby Cerro Negro volcano and slide down its ashy side on a volcano boarding tour.

Playa Popoyo (aka Playa Guasacate)

The once sleepy village of Popoyo is becoming a hotspot for tourists because of its popularity with worldwide professional surfers. Competition-level waves make Playa Popoyo one of the most popular destinations for surfers. However, the colossal waves aren’t the only attraction. Playa Popoyo also has natural hot springs, tidal pools, and a nature reserve.

Punta Jesus Maria, Ometepe Island

​​Named a biosphere reserve by UNESCO, Isla Ometepe is home to Punta Jesus Maria, a thin stretch of black volcanic sand that extends out into Lake Nicaragua. As you swim and relax on the beach make sure to take in the panoramic view of three volcanoes: Mombacho, Concepción, and Maderas. And if you’re feeling extra adventurous you can even hike up one of the volcanoes and take in the spectacular views from the top.