The Old Lighthouse Hike in San Juan del Sur | Always A Foreigner

The Old Lighthouse Hike in San Juan del Sur

The Old Lighthouse Hike in San Juan del Sur | Always A Foreigner

Caren and Cazzie

Hi, We're Caren and Cazzie and we're Always A Foreigner. Welcome to our travel blog! We hope you find it useful. We love waterfalls, street eats, and anything to do with travel and adventure. We met while volunteering in India, and since then have made it our goal to travel to as many places as we can. Join us on our journey!

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The Old Lighthouse Hike in San Juan del Sur

We spent a lot of time in San Juan del Sur, and were constantly looking for new things to occupy our time. While it’s mostly known as a surfing town for good reason, if you climb the surrounding hills you’re offered up fantastic views of the area. The old lighthouse hike in San Juan del Sur was our favorite thing to do during our time there, and we usually got away from all the crowds while surrounded by epic views.

The Bay of San Juan del Sur

We had heard of the Old Lighthouse hike in San Juan del Sur, but was never able to find much actual information about it. We were told the trail head started by the old Fish Market near the port on the opposite side of the bay than the Christ statue, so one day we went to check it out.

Here’s how you can find the Old Lighthouse hike in San Juan del Sur too.

We went poking around the Fish Market near the port in town one day and sure enough, we saw a small dirt trail behind it heading up through a small Fisherman’s village.

Bingo! We found it!

Fisherman’s Village

Walking through the fisherman’s village is an eye-opening experience. The village is a collection of small shacks and huts, with houses made from corrugated metal sheets. In a place like San Juan del Sur, the disparity of wealth is a lot to take in. Next to giant mansion villas with infinity pools and full maid staff, you have entire families living in dirt floor lean-to housing just trying to make a living for their families.

lighthouse hike in san juan del sur

Please be respectful of these people’s land and property. While apprehensive at first as to why we were walking through their village, we always waved hi and asked how the locals were doing, and they warmed up instantly.

After you walk through the village, you’ll reach a grass clearing. There are a couple of different directions it looks like you can take. We went in every direction, and there’s only one obvious way that the trail continues forward.

lighthouse hike in san juan del sur

If it has recently rained a lot, the grass in this clearing can get a little wild and over run. It’s gorgeous, but can make it hard to find the path. Just keep looking around though, because the land dead ends in every direction except one.

The Lighthouse

If you follow that same trail all the way to the end, you’ll reach an old white lighthouse on the edge of a sheer faced cliff. Unfortunately it seems to be a great place to party because there’s trash everywhere. Other than that though, the views are seriously jaw dropping. You can even see the northern tips of Costa Rica!

lighthouse hike in san juan del sur
Mountains in the distance are Costa Rica

Historic Fort Ruins

If you follow one of offshoot trail towards a higher ridge off the main trail about a half mile from the clearing, you’ll stumble across a super cool 1850’s era fort. It’s crumbling facades are interesting to look around, and there’s always a good chance of wildlife in the area.

Actually, there’s a great chance to see a lot of different wildlife throughout the entire hike! We saw baby iguanas (they’re neon green), snakes, brightly colored birds, and weird looking rodents. Beware of snakes, Cazzie even almost stepped on one.

It’s possible to follow the trail from the fort to meet the other trail down toward’s the fisherman’s village. We did it, and it’s just not as pretty but still cool to do at least once. There are these strange and deadly looking trees with giant thorns sticking out of the trunk to ward off unwanted pests.

You can take the trail back down to the bottom, and you’ll end up exactly where you started. You have completed the old lighthouse hike in San Juan del Sur. Now it’s time for a Tona!

Looking for other things to do in San Juan del Sur? Check out our posts about budget friendly things to do, and the top restaurants in town! 

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