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Cruising Article – 2011-07-07

Find adventure and beauty in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Central America Cruise

Summer is upon us, and though many travelers prefer to head north to enjoy the warm weather, others are more interested in exploring the wonders south of the border. Indeed, an excursion to Latin America can be the experience of a lifetime, and booking a Panama Canal cruise vacation in the region allows adventurers to see more than they likely would through more conventional modes of travel. While there is a wealth of things to see and do throughout the region, travelers can find beauty off the beaten path by visiting the coastal town of San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua.

San Juan del Sur (or San Juan of the South) is a beautiful beach community on the Pacific coast of Guatemala. The city is a popular port of call for cruises, as it serves as a gateway to the Central American nation and an ideal destination for lounging on the beach and relaxing. The beaches are particularly popular with surfers from across the region, thanks to the strong and steady waves, frequent swells and consistent breaks.

The town itself is a sight to behold thanks to its bright and colorful homes and beautiful beaches. Countless small boats bob San Juan del Sur's harbors, and numerous hiking trails throughout the area grant exquisite views of the region – with some leading to exciting zipline tours that allow vacationers to soar through the canopy to explore the local jungle.

For those vacationers looking to explore the country, an excursion to the nearby town of Granada can be a treat. This historic city was founded in 1524 and boasts a number of classic colonial buildings that should make for excellent photo opportunities, including well-preserved churches and a lively marketplace.

If the journey calls for more natural attractions then consider an excursion to Lake Nicaragua. This enormous freshwater lake was originally thought to be a part of the Pacific by Spanish colonists, who named it "La Mar Dulce." Today, it is home to a number of small volcanic isles and some beautiful vegetation that is well worth a visit.

Apoyo Lagoon is another beautiful body of water that travelers will want to spend some time exploring. Resting in a volcanic crater, the lagoon is one of the more beautiful spots on Nicaragua's west coast, a fact that is only made more evident by the daily sunsets.