Playa El Remanso is a charming little bay no more than 300 meters long, located 8 km south of the international tourist destination and Nicaragua’s surf mecca, San Juan del Sur. The drive to Playa Remanso takes generally 15 to 20 minutes and maybe the best way to get there is by hoping on one of the shuttles departing regularly from the various surf shops or hostels in town; it’s lots of fun and it’s also a good way to meet people if you are traveling alone!
Playa Remanso used to be known by the name “El Sucio”, which in nautical terms means “a rocky shore or ocean floor with reefs” but if translated literally “El Sucio” becomes “The Dirty One”; not a very attractive name for a tourist destination! So it is no surprise that the local homeowners eventually decided to rename the beach Playa El Remanso, which means “an isolated or peaceful place”.
It is obvious that a certain care is being taken in preserving Playa Remanso’s natural beauty despite its growing popularity amongst tourists and the increasing number of surfers coming to enjoy its world famous surf break. The two little restaurants on the beach have even built their tables with what looks like recycled fallen trees and branches from the surrounding jungle, giving them a beautiful and exotic rustic look.
The location and landscape of Playa Remanso’s general area are perfect for people looking for quiet living, making the neighborhood a vibrant real estate market with interesting developments such as Las Lomas Verdes. Las Lomas Verdes, a gated resort community project that used to be called “Congo Hills”, covers 90 acres of hills and offers magnificent views of the surrounding mountains and beaches. It is situated more or less 1km east of El Remanso with access via public road and boasts a serious interest in environmentally friendly building and development practices. The club house at Las Lomas Verdes is occupied by Oshea’s, a popular Irish pub and restaurant and the community pool offers a beautiful vista of the jungle all around.
There is also long time established Remanso Beach Resort, a gated community facing the sea, located directly on the beach and considered by many, one of the best investment in Nicaragua. It offers lots with quick access to the beach and 360 degree views including mountains, beaches, the town of San Juan Del Sur and parts of Costa Rica.
The surf break at Remanso is an exposed beach break that offers lefts and rights. It generally works best around mid to high tide and if the size and direction of the swell are right, you might be treated to a left and sometimes right point break going off each side of the bay. The surf at Playa Remanso is very consistent and it is a good spot for both beginners and more experienced surfers. The perfect swell direction to catch some fantastic, peeling waves at this surf spot is south-southwest and it holds pretty well when the waves get huge and are closing out everywhere else. As for most surf beaches in this area of Nicaragua, the wind usually blows offshore so no need to worry about blown sessions.
Of all the beaches in the Nicaragua province of Rivas, Playa El Remanso is one of the most popular today probably because of its relaxing atmosphere and excellent surf, but it wasn’t always so. Not too long ago, it was that gorgeous, secluded bay where hardly anyone ever went despite its peaceful charm and world class waves. But over the last few years, Remanso seems to have finally found its voice amidst the more famous beaches like Playa Hermosa and Maderas. It is now becoming a cool place to go surfing and stay afterward to enjoy the sun and the good company of friends. The surf being very close to the shore, Playa Remanso is also a great place to hang out and just watch the surfers rip, a refreshing cold beer in one hand and a delicious taco in the other.