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Forget about Surfing: Sailing in Playa Gigante is the thing!

The ocean is my happy place. Sailing in Playa Gigante made this very clear to me again. No matter if I am at the beach, underwater or on a boat, it always feels like I am exactly where I need to be. Perhaps this is why one almost immediately gets soaked into those special destinations where like-minded people get stranded. We had no idea that it would be so hard for us to leave after just a few days in this gorgeous place. Thanks to a spontaneous encounter with a pirate and some fantastic hours on his boat, we call sailing in Playa Gigante one of our highlights in Nicaragua. Here is all about our trip that included awesome scenery, jumping off cliffs and ‘Pirate Punch’. 

Enjoying the cruise, Captain John (in the middle with the beard!) and his crew.
A fun crew and a special captain made our trip awesome!

First of all, let’s introduce John, our Captain, who reminded me a bit of the modern version of Captain Ahab! A lot friendlier, and an impressive character, John shows his guests a very awesome time on his sailboat. He is not only the owner of the boat we were sailing, but also the inventor of the legendary ‘Booze Cruise’. The sailing trip starts almost every day at 2:3o pm right from the beach in front of his hostel ‘Gigante Bay’. You don’t want to miss this unique trip, it’s so much fun to go sailing in Playa Gigante and sip some rum punch along the way!

Enjoyed a lot this sailing trip...or as they called it 'Booze Cruise' :-D
Sipping away yummy Pirate Punch…harr!
It's only about 10m high :-D
Captain John showed us cool jumping spots!

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Sailing along the coast we past many cool rock formations!
The coastline is just filled with these gorgeous cliffs…

Thanks to Captain John’s adventurous soul, he personally swam along the coastline in order to explore every single rock, canyon and caves, and we were introduced to some awesome jumping spots along the way. With a lot of insider tips from your captain, you will get a glimpse of the gorgeous coastline south of Playa Gigante in a fun way. Originally from San Francisco, John has long lost his real connection to the United States and instead bought a hostel, started a family and grew a beard…the latter fits extremely well with his beautiful sailboat and gives the whole trip a special touch.

Leaving the steering wheel for a while...Captain John dips in the ocean
Captain John enjoys the water as much as his guests!

In general, this part of Nicaragua attracts a lot of surfers from all over the world. You can’t blame them, as it is a paradise that offers first-class waves, but still has not attracted mass tourism. Along the coast, you’ll find endless strips of beaches and bays that show off the most beautiful waves. Even if you don’t surf, sailing in Playa Gigante is a great alternative activity and a lot of fun, too. Furthermore, you can do horseback riding, yoga and, of course, it’s the perfect destination to enjoy a swim in the ocean.

Sailing in Playa Gigante with some yoga moves onboard.
No one said you couldn’t do yoga on a boat! 😀

How to get to Playa Gigante

It is a place that attracts tourists, but Playa Gigante is still very remote and not heavily crowded. Buses from Rivas run only from Monday to Friday. On the weekend, the only bus takes you to a little village 7km away from Playa Gigante… you can either walk, hitchhike or hope for a taxi for the rest of the way. Most likely someone will offer you a ride from Rivas once you get to the bus station. We happened to arrive on a Saturday and paid 4 USD each to a guy who offered us to take us. This doesn’t sound a lot, but it’s still 3 times more than the public bus.

Working at the beach, just perfect!
One of my favourite remote offices so far… 😀

Where to stay in Playa Gigante

Perhaps the exclusivity of this area makes Playa Gigante one of the more expensive places we’ve been to in Nicaragua. The lowest price that we could find for a private room was 20 USD but that was a very basic room. After two nights, we changed our hotel and went to Gigante Bay, a very fun hostel which has dorms from 10 USD up to AC private rooms. We loved it there, not only because of the free yoga classes every morning, but also because we happened to meet a lot of great people and went sailing in Playa Gigante.

Slack Lines in front of the hostel are just one great thing Gigante Bay has to offer...
Nestled in Playa Gigante’s bay, our hostel was just a perfect place to relax a few days…

Have you been there? Did you go sailing in Playa Gigante?


NOT DONE READING YET?

Are you looking for more Latin American travel guides? Check out our post on Diving the Great Blue Hole of Belize if you are into scuba diving. Or what about a less sporty and therefore more cultural trip? Then you might like to read our Guatemala Travel Guide with tips for the ancient Mayan ruins in Copan.

Or are you curious about other places in Nicaragua? Then check out this travel guide for Nicaragua, a real fun place to visit when in Central America.

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Sailing in Playa Gigante

By Julia

Julia is the founder and chief editor of Jey Jetter, a site that showcases the option of working remotely and travel as much as you like. Julia is a former PR/marketing consultant who turned into a remote working social media manager, travel writer and public speaker living location independently since 2011. She has been to 86 countries on all 6 continents and lived in several different countries for more than six months. Her laptop is her office and the label 'digital nomad' fits best to describe her lifestyle. On this site, she writes about personal freedom, remote work and her passion for travelling.

20 replies on “Forget about Surfing: Sailing in Playa Gigante is the thing!”

We always enjoy sailing on a boat wherever we are, its a good way to enjoy the scenery! In fact, we took a little cruise while we were in San Juan Del Sur recently. Which reminds me did you visit SJDS while you were there?

Hey Tarah, thanks for your comment! That’s so true, sailing can be so scenic! And no, we skipped San Juan, we enjoyed Playa Gigante so much and heard that the only difference between these two places are the amount of tourists…so we decided to stay a bit longer in the less crowded place. Did you go on the Fun Sunday?? 🙂

I’m glad to see somebody else saying that sailing is where it’s at. We always sail, either on a small boat or medium cat too. It’s our favorite way to experience the water.

Waw, what a nice trip! Captain John surely looks like an interesting character! Your photos are gorgeous! The ocean is my happy place too and your office looks definitely like an inspirational environment to work 🙂 Enjoy Nicaragua, it’s on our list!

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