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Playa Gigante

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Playa Gigante

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Playa Gigante is a small fishing pueblo located north of San Juan del Sur on the Southern Pacific Coast region of Nicaragua.


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.

Get in

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.

Get around

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 :

  • Hike to the top of the Giant's Foot (1 hour at most, easy climb)
  • Surf Playa Amarillo, Playa Colorado, Panga Drops, (all within walking distance)
  • Hire a boat and surf Manzanillo or other more distant breaks
  • Go on a howler monkey hunt
  • Rent kayaks and head to the jumping rock
  • Rent a bicycle or unicycle and explore
  • Go snorkeling
  • Go spear-fishing
  • Go swimming in the beautiful bay
  • Have lunch at one of the beachfront restaurants
  • Stay at one of the surf camps with your buddies and surf your brains out
  • Play pool with the locals at the local pool hall (2 cord per game)
  • Take a drive to the local hot springs (15 mins away)
  • Go on a nature walk


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.



  • Giant's Foot Surf [1] is located at the southern end of the beach abd offers all-inclusive surf tours from March-September. During other parts of the year, they operate as a beachfront hotel and take walk-ins.
  • Casa Amarilla [2] rooms, double room apartment ($75) or whole house. Nicely furnished and air conditioned. Enquire at Camino del Gigante hostel.
  • Camino del Gigante - located at the southern end of the beach, hostel with private rooms available ($33/night with private bathroom, fairly basic and with fan only) Good breakfasts with free coffee in the mornings, lots of hammocks and comfortable seating overlooking the sea with wonderful sunsets.


  • Party Wave internet cafe about half way along the bay, C$45 for wifi code which changes each day. Serves coffee, juices, cake and snacks.

Get out

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