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Things to do in Rivas

Top recommendations from locals

From sightseeing to hidden gems, find out what makes the city unique with the help of the locals who know it best.
Bar
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“This beachfront restaurant and bar is a big hit on the weekends at night. Tourists and locals alike flock to Iguana's for some late night drinks and dancing. ”
  • 25 locals recommend
Seafood Restaurant
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“One of the best seafood places in in SJDS with a gorgeous view of the sunset. A must visit for any traveler!”
  • 32 locals recommend
Natural Feature
“Playa Maderas is always hopping! Unbeatable surf, incredible sunsets and beach suitable for swimming as well, awesome restaurants and bars.”
  • 29 locals recommend
Bar
“Here you'll find craft beer on tap. You'll also find a ping pong table and a beer garden. A lovely place to enjoy a pint or two. Want to try something a little different? Their bartender Marlon makes a mean Michelada. ”
  • 20 locals recommend
Lodging
“A 2-minute walk from the beach, this laid-back hotel offers views of the Pacific Ocean, and is 2 km from the Christ of the Mercy statue. Just a cool place to chill out!”
  • 16 locals recommend
Natural Feature
“Wonderful, low key beach with hammocks and food/drink service as well as secure lockers. For first-time beachgoers in Nicaragua, this should be your first stop. Surf rentals/lessons available onsite. ”
  • 15 locals recommend
Lodging
“Magnific Rock in Popoyo is a favorite of ours! With a stunning 360 view of the hills to the east and the panoramic views of the ocean, it's a must during your visit to Nicaragua. They are open daily; for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They have great happy hours and often have live music and weekly parties. We can help you arrange local transportation if needed.”
  • 11 locals recommend
Place to shop
“Looking for a little adventure? Zip-line through a canopy of trees and return in time for lunch. ”
  • 7 locals recommend
Transportation
“Alamo will deliver and pick up vehicles to and from your rental property in Hacienda Iguana for a $40 fee. They bring their vehicles up from San Juan del Sur so a reservation is required.”
  • 2 locals recommend
Grocery or Supermarket
“The Miscelánea Sánchez stores are our go to shops for any imported food items we want to buy. Items like sesame seeds, coconut oil, brown rice, quinoa and extra virgin olive oil can be purchased here. Planters peanut butter, Heinz ketchup and Kraft mac & cheese are part of the regular inventory. If you want imported cheeses like cheddar, feta, gorgonzola and parmesan this is the place to go. Miscelánea Sánchez also carries a good selection of spices.”
  • 14 locals recommend
Natural Feature
“A great full day hike that starts right in our kitchen. Guide required. Ask us if you'd like us to recommend an informative, bi-lingual guide. Take sturdy shoes and at least 3 liters of water. You can take a dio un the lagoon at the top. Watch out for the elves! ”
  • 8 locals recommend
Lodging
“One of the best days in San Juan del Sur! Horseback on the beach and a great day - highlight of many guests trups.”
  • 9 locals recommend
Place to shop
“Doña Lola is our preferred vendor at the Municipal Market located in the center of town. In addition to fruits and vegetables she sells chia, fresh cocoa and flax seed. She also has fresh mint, culantro and parsley. ”
  • 12 locals recommend
Nature
“A very popular hike people take here is up to the Jesus statue that towers over the San Juan del Sur bay. To access the steep road leading up to the statue you can either walk the beach and take the set of stairs at the far end or you can go through the neighborhood below, following the signs that read “Jesus de la Divina Misericordia”. If you do decide to go through the neighborhood, and you have a 4×4 vehicle, you do have the option of driving most of the way up the hill. There’s a flat dirt area where you can park and then just walk the arduous steps that lead to the top. There is a $C50 (less than $2 at this time) cost to go to the top, but the views are more than worth it!”
  • 14 locals recommend
Spa
“Beautiful handcrafted local gifts to take home with you. Local artists display their paintings there as well.”
  • 3 locals recommend
Restaurant
“Pili's is located on Playa Colorados at Iguana's Beach Club. Pili is always warmly welcoming and her staff the same. The vibe is excellent. She has incredible food and a fun bar with delicious smoothies and cocktails. People usually gather in the afternoon, often playing volleyball while enjoying our most beautiful Nicaraguan sunsets.”
  • 6 locals recommend

Top restaurants

Seafood Restaurant
“One of the best seafood places in in SJDS with a gorgeous view of the sunset. A must visit for any traveler!”
  • 32 locals recommend
Bar
“Here you'll find craft beer on tap. You'll also find a ping pong table and a beer garden. A lovely place to enjoy a pint or two. Want to try something a little different? Their bartender Marlon makes a mean Michelada. ”
  • 20 locals recommend
Restaurant
“Pili's is located on Playa Colorados at Iguana's Beach Club. Pili is always warmly welcoming and her staff the same. The vibe is excellent. She has incredible food and a fun bar with delicious smoothies and cocktails. People usually gather in the afternoon, often playing volleyball while enjoying our most beautiful Nicaraguan sunsets.”
  • 6 locals recommend
Restaurant
  • 2 locals recommend
Restaurant
“You can visit Juntos bar, they have live music every other Friday and brick oven pizza night. ”
  • 4 locals recommend
Restaurant
“Yolanda is everyone's Nicaraguan grandmother. Homemade dishes served fresh with a smile and a hug. Great prices with authentic food.”
  • 2 locals recommend
Restaurant
“Delicious food with a great view and atmosphere. Iguana Renters can only go by reservation between 5pm-9pm.”
  • 2 locals recommend
Restaurant
“You've gotta try the homemade ginger rum! Gotta try friday night 'name that tune' ..everyone is a winner. Staff are pleasant and quick to serve.”
  • 8 locals recommend

Get to know Rivas

Guidebooks from local hosts

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Experiences in Rivas