the "Sarong Goddess" - Vicki Skinner's Info Guide
The "Sarong Goddess'" (aka Vicki Skinner's)
SAN JUAN DEL SUR, Nicaragua  •


I'm in the process of turning this site more of a
"How to get to Nicaragua" site & I'll be updating & enhancing the info here on the "GETTING THERE" page with bus & other transport information on going from Costa Rica to Nicaragua.
& the "Where to Stay" page will be renamed - "BORDER CROSSING" with "a Step-by-Step Guide to CROSSING THE BORDER from Peñas Blancas Costa Rica - into the Frontera Nicaragua"

For more info on
check out my page with LOTS of info on what's happening in & around SJDS & Nicaragua, specials, etc.

& make sure to check out my
that are being created in "NOTES"


I've created & geared this "info site" towards the MANY "gringos"/expats living in Costa Rica that aren't yet residents (or like myself, don't fall into a category yet to get residency) that GET to leave Costa Rica every 90 DAYS for my "Forced Vacation" (aka a Tourist Visa Run)!!  PERSONALLY, I will NEVER mess with this law!!  I ALWAYS leave BY Day 89 as you never know what could transpire/happen/come up!!!  I feel we're VERY BLESSED to live in this WONDERFUL country (Costa Rica) so why blow that opportunity!!!  ESPECIALLY NOW as they are REALLY starting to crack down on people not leaving.  And do NOT NOT NOT get your passport stamped illegally!!  One of my GOOD FRIENDS & her boyfriend got kicked out for that (because a former "friend" got pissed off at her & turned her in!  WATCH who you tell what to!!) & could not come back to Costa Rica for 5 years!!!


Also - check out my Facebook group with info on what's happening around San Juan del Sur or other parts of Nicaragua:


I'm in the process of re-structuring my pictures but for now you can see a list of the various albums at:

(Would you like to add your pictures to this compilation?  E- Vicki at


Please tell the people you visit that you heard about them from 
Vicki (or the Sarong Goddess) on this site!!!




Like Costa Rica - phone numbers are now 8 numbers (plus the Country Code [505]).  They have added a "2" in front of all land lines & an "8" or "4" in front of cell lines (the challenge is, no one's been able to tell me how you can tell what is a cell & what is a land line)


Do you live in Costa Rica & need a 90-day Tourist Visa Renewal Run or just a special vacation & want a SPECIAL Beach Town fairly close to the Costa Rica border - on the Pacific Ocean?

Try SAN JUAN DEL SUR, Nicaragua!!!!

In the past I ONLY did Bocas del Toro, Panama (10 times! [email me for a copy of my Bocas Guide]) but in December of ‘08 - there were HORRIBLE floods on the Caribbean Coast (December & January are the peak of their rainy season [opposite of the rest of Costa Rica]) & the Sixiola Bridge/entry into Panama was closed & they were helicoptering in things to Bocas so last minute (literally the day before) so we had to make a quick decision between another town in Panama (David was a choice but I/Vicki NEEDED a sunny/WATER fix!!).

I had heard VERY mixed things about Nicaragua & honestly, I had NO desire to go to Nicaragua (the main negative "impressions" I had were around "safety" especially since I tend to do my visa runs solo but MAINLY because I had heard that the Border Crossings could EASILY take 1-4 hour & as those that know me know - patience is NOT a virtue of mine!!!) - but we were in a jam if we were going to honor the "We MUST leave Costa Rica EVERY 90-Days" when we're living in Costa Rica on a Tourist Visa & I NEEDED a water & warm weather fix as I've NEVER lived as far from "water" as I do now.

We took a quick look around of our options when we decided on SAN JUAN DEL SUR, Nicaragua - a quaint, TINY (about 7 blocks by 5 blocks) bay front village located about a 40 minute taxi from the Nicaraguan/Costa Rican border (fyi - the road is now NICE, new & paved for those that visited ages ago!!).

So on Dec. 3-6, 2008, a group of 5 friends & strangers that needed their 90-Day Tourist Visa Run from Costa Rica decided impulsively (the day before) to go to SAN JUAN DEL SUR, Nicaragua.

My bud Josh played Leader/Tour Guide since he’d been there once before (& had HORRIBLE experiences in BIG part because of his accommodations & other situations) leading Jeannie, Jonny, Lavinia & myself - Vicki Skinner!!

San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua is located within a bay on the Pacific Coast. Being a bay - the water is calm (with one small wave when we were there) BUT the water wasn't as clear as it was outside of the bay (it didn't necessarily seem dirty brown from what I observed) & it was on the colder side. A BIG PLUS is the Pacific Ocean outside of the bay (we went north on a panga tour) didn't seem to have the Rip Tides Costa Rica's Pacific Coast is known for!!!

I had a VERY challenging time finding very DETAILED info on San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua - especially direct phone numbers for hotels hence I started this blurb (soon it will be more of a "website"!!). Below is just the start of my MUCH MORE DETAILED report to hopefully help you have a WONDERFUL Trip to SAN JUAN DEL SUR, Nicaragua - now one of my FAVORITE water destinations!!!


Vicki Skinner
(aka THE "Sarong Goddess" in Escazu, Costa Rica)

+506-8378-6679-WhatsApp & the BEST way to reach me - via text
(U.S. # that rings to my Skype but I rarely have it on)  /  (506) 8378-6679
(Costa Rica cell)   /    SKYPE:  VallartaVicki
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