The pretty ocean-side town of San Juan del Sur is the center for surfer culture. The best surf breaks in the country are within 20 miles of this village, and people come from around the world to try them. Playa Maderas is the surfing beach closest to town, and the most popular. It is said to break best at medium to high tide. Another beach with excellent barrel waves, Playa del Yankee, is much less crowded.
San Juan is not just for surfers though. It is also an authentic small town, set on a beautiful curve of beach. There are open air cafes facing the ocean, where people gather to eat fresh seafood and chat. There are quaint streets, with local vendors and small shops. Snorkelers, divers, and jet-skiers also enjoy San Juan del Sur, because it's not crowded or overdeveloped yet.