Nicaragua:  Latin America’s Hottest Sport Fishing Secret is Out

Last updated on September 24th, 2020

fishing san juan del sur, nicaragua

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San Juan del Sur

Quietly Becoming Central America’s Sport Fishing Hotspot

Just a couple of decades ago very few people thought of Nicaragua while planning their next big fishing trip – it just wasn’t that kind of place.

Fast forward to 2015 and things have changed dramatically. It went from being a country that was devastated by a brutal civil war in the ’80s to a democratic transition in the ’90s to an incredible transformation that has turned it into one of Forbes’s most recommended destinations for tourism and retirement today.

Nicaragua is on the rise and for those looking for new and exciting fishing opportunities not too south of the border, look no further.

Four and a half hours from New York and just 2 and a half hours from Miami, Nicaragua is not a world away for most Americans. Another very important factor: Nicaragua was awarded the title of the safest country in Central America in 2014 and it continues to be the safest in the area in 2015.

Economically the future for Nicaragua is beginning to look brighter too if we consider the proposed $50 billion “Nicaragua Grand Canal” project which, not without some controversy, will create many jobs, allow it to compete with the Panama Canal, and help turn a once struggling economy into a commercial shipping power once completed. 

Stretching Your Fishing Dollars in Nicaragua

“Ok”, you say, “but what makes Nicaragua a premier sport fishing destination?”. Well, there are many compelling reasons. First off, the safety factor, as mentioned before, can’t be overstated. In contrast to some Central American countries, you can truly relax here and focus on fishing.

The other attraction, in addition to its incredible natural beauty, is that Nicaragua has the cheapest cost of living on the American Continent. On a budget? Your fishing dollars will go a long way here.

We want to mention that when you travel to Nicaragua you will be pleasantly surprised to know that most of the country works with the American dollar as well as the Cordoba, which is their national currency. You will be able to pay with US dollars in almost every store or gas station, but don’t expect the lady selling Churros on a street corner to take a $20 without frowning at you.

With that out of the way, let’s get to the reason why you started reading this article anyway and that is the fishing.

We are going to start with one of the most popular locations and that is San Juan del Sur. This very popular beach about  2 hours south of the capital of Managua has the largest number of fishing vacation packages, with many of the hotels and resorts in the area offering all-inclusive vacations centered around sportfishing.

You could rent a very simple room with a fan instead of air conditioning and it would be as little as $10 to $20 bucks per night. While you can’t expect luxury at this price, the lodgings will be clean and have all the basic necessities. Of course, you could spend more on more upscale lodgings, but the choice is yours and it depends on the level of accommodations you want.

Nicaragua deep sea fishing

                        flickr photo shared by michael.stockton under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

Vacation Packages for the Travelling Angler

We recommend that you head out to the San Juan del Sur Surf and Sportfishing charter. These guys have been doing this for a long time and they provide an excellent fishing experience for anyone.

They offer charters as well as all-inclusive vacation packages with fishing and lodging as well as surfing. Surf and Sport also offers an array of add-on activities you can purchase such as horseback riding, snorkeling and sunset cruises. In addition, they provide free airport pickup and drop-off.

On the fishing end, they will provide all the advice and the equipment necessary to ensure that you have a great time along with all the required safety measures. They also have a large selection of equipment for the seasoned fisherman who wants to catch something large in these waters.

Approximately 49 miles (79 km) north of San Juan del Sur is Playa Guasacate where you will find another of Nicaragua’s best fishing locations.

Surfari Charters offers fishing, surfing (the area is also known for its surfing) and air-conditioned lodgings with high-speed internet for up to 4 in its beach house. You’ll get 3 meals daily (including drinks) from their own kitchen and also offer free round-trip airport transfer.

Here, as well, you’ll find many other activities such as spearfishing and snorkeling that can be added to your vacation package

Panga Fishing Tournaments and Other To-Do’s in Nicaragua

tarpon fishing in nicaragua

There are also many international fishing tournaments held in San Juan each year and you can expect to be able to catch fish ranging from massive TarponDorado, Sailfish, and Roosterfish to large Black Marlin and Yellowfin Tuna.

There are small boats called “pangas” and one of the most popular tournaments involves these pangas, which is truly one of the most engaging and entertaining ways to experience fishing in a beautiful setting. We recommend La Panga Rosa for fishing trips from Maderas Beach to Marsella Beach.

We also recommend you learn the word “playa” which means beach in Spanish. People will have an easier time helping you find directions to a certain beach if you say “Playa Marsella” instead of “Marsella Beach” but, luckily for you, there are more than enough people who speak English and the owners of most fishing charters are either American or speak English quite well.

Now that you know the basics about fishing in Nicaragua, we invite you to take a trip to this Latin American hidden gem!

2 thoughts on “Nicaragua:  Latin America’s Hottest Sport Fishing Secret is Out

  1. Jon Kass

    Nice article. I’ll be at a yoga resort on playa Escameca with the wife this early March. I know it’s not the best time to fish but I will bring a rod. This is a just a bit south of San Juan Del Sur. I can’t find any info on how I can get a license. Can I get one online?

    1. Dorado

      Thanks, Jon. Licensing in Nicaragua can vary from one jurisdiction to another as is the case in the U.S. and many other countries. If you are staying at a resort they should be able to assist you. Most people fishing in Nicaragua do so through a professional charter or resort/fishing lodge, in which case you do not have to worry about getting a fishing license – it is provided as part of your package.

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