The town itself consists of about 300 locals, a handful of expats, a couple of surf camps, and a couple of beachfront restaurants. It is located on a beautiful bay which is great for swimming, and located directly south of some excellent surfing beaches, accessible by foot.
The cheapest way to get to Playa Gigante is by public bus. From Rivas, take the bus toward Las Salinas. Get out at the first entrance to Gigante. From there you can either walk the 7km into town, or if you are lucky, thumb a ride. There are also a few local businesses who offer a bus stop pick-up.
A cab from Rivas should cost no more than $15. The last 18km of the journey is unpaved so be prepared for a bumpy journey.
To return to Rivas, a school bus leaves from Gigante Monday-Saturday at 6am, cost C$50 and drops off at Tola. You should be able to get a collectivo to Rivas for a further C$20. (prices Mar 2012). It goes back from Tola to Gigante at 12:30pm weekdays and 4:30pm on Saturdays so you may also be able to get in this way.
Everything you could ever want to see in Playa Gigante is accessible by foot. Some local businesses and fishermen will rent their pangas for a day of surfing or fishing as well. Kayak rental is available in town.
English is quite widely spoken in the town, more so than is typical for Nicaragua, although Spanish will help of course.
Options in and around town include :
Several options in the town. Prices are not as low as in some parts of Nicaragua (typically C$120-C$300 for a main dish as of March 2012) but food is generally very good in El Gigante and it's hard to go too far wrong whichever restaurant you choose.