After many stays at Caribbean “all inclusive” resorts, we decided to try something out of the ordinary for the occasion of our 25th wedding anniversary. We opted to give San Juan del Sur Nicaragua a try and found Las Palmas Bed and Breakfast during a search of reviews here on the Trip Advisor site. We are so glad we did!
Steve and Yasmin impressed us with their prompt and informative responses to our initial questions about their B&B, the town of San Juan del Sur, various things to do and see, as well as Nicaragua in general. We booked a twelve night stay in mid-March and before our arrival, our hosts arranged for a very good (and reasonably priced) shuttle service to take us there from the Managua airport and helped us plan many of the things we chose to do and see while in Nicaragua.
Upon our arrival, we were greeted by the hosts, who were incredibly helpful and friendly from that point until the day we regretfully had to leave and return home. Las Palmas is located just outside of town in a good safe neighborhood up on a hillside overlooking the bay. We had the second floor King Suite, which had a nice wide balcony directly off the bedroom, providing us with a most incredible panoramic view of the town, ocean and mountains. We’d seen photos of the scenery prior to our arrival, but a two dimensional photograph just cannot do the breathtaking view justice. It is truly something that you have to see in person to fully appreciate! Along with the spectacular view, the location is such that it’s far enough away from San Juan del Sur itself to be without the activities of the downtown area (but close enough to still hear the ocean waves rolling in), which is only a fifteen minute walk at a casual pace. Taxi cabs for the return uphill trip are very reasonable (4 to 5 dollars US).
Our room, which along with having the aforementioned view, was spacious and spotless, with a very comfortable King Size bed and got good regular housekeeping attention by staff during our stay. It’s air conditioned, although we opted for just using the ceiling fans and had a fresh breeze through the screen doors on the balcony. There’s a big screen TV with a great variety of cable channels in both Spanish and English, but it got little use, because there was always something new to see from the awe inspiring view from our double balcony doors. On one morning, we unfortunately missed viewing a pod of whales passing by during their migration.
Each morning, we were treated to a very well prepared delicious breakfast, which was always a delight for the eyes and stomach. Every day involved something new and unique, with a great variety of food and it always included a very good assortment of local fruit, which was a real delicacy for us! The highlight of the culinary breakfast pleasures was Nacatamales, which are a local type of tamal stuffed with chicken, corn masa, rice, various vegetables and a variety of delicious seasonings and wrapped in a banana leaf, then steamed. Nicaraguan coffee was a welcome accompaniment and there was always plenty of it offered. Along with the included breakfast, you as a guest are always welcome to join the hosts for additional meals on site, which are at a very reasonable cost.
The grounds on the property are beautifully landscaped and immaculately kept. The pool, which is 44 feet long, is always very clean, has some shade at all times and is a great place to relax and cool down, all the while still enjoying the tremendous view. There’s a fridge outside that is kept stocked with refreshments that you can sign for on the honor system and you’re also welcome to use it to store any drinks you’ve purchased elsewhere. Both dogs (Atlas and London) on the premises are very friendly with guests, but you wouldn’t want to tangle with them if you were a “bad guy”. They too were fun to be with.
We took in a lot of side activities, including an overnight stay on Isla Ometepe, zip-lining at the “Flying Frog” just outside of San Juan del Sur, horseback riding at Rancho Chilamate (a must do), tours around active volcanoes, a boat excursion around Las Isletas on Lake Nicaragua and several beaches outside of town. Steve and Yasmin can provide transportation (again at a very reasonable cost) to some of your destinations or assist you in arranging alternatives. We accompanied them on some trips they were taking to beaches outside of town and they were always really enjoyable company! They also came with us to some very good local restaurants, such as El Colibri, Maurizzio’s and El Timón, along with suggesting others to try, which we enjoyed as well. While in their company, we were introduced to several locals who are friends of theirs and always were made to feel very welcome.
We had a fabulous vacation and as we have indicated, our expectations were far exceeded! Las Palmas is a wonderful B&B to stay at and we certainly want to return there. Nicaragua is a beautiful country and we certainly got far more enjoyment out of it gleaning so much knowledge from our two new friends than if we’d embarked on the adventure by ourselves. Steve and Yasmin always made us feel very comfortably at home the whole time there. We look forward to returning!
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