Located in a wide isthmus that separates the Pacific Ocean and Lake Nicaragua, the department of Rivas has many natural and historic attractions, as well as two of the most visited destinations: San Juan del Sur - with its several beaches - and the volcanic island of Ometepe.
The beaches of Rivas are among the most known in Nicaragua, either for their beauty or powerful waves. Its long coastline on the Pacific features a sequence of them. Some are elongated, others have bay shapes surrounded by low scale mountains, a few have white sand and others are inhabited by nothing but nature.
San Juan del Sur is a small tourist city nestled in a bay of calm waters, situated in the municipality of the same name. Its location makes it easy to reach the nearby local beaches, located either in the North or the South. Some of them are frequently visited bu surfers from all over the world due the quality of their waves. Moreover, La Flor Beach Wildlife Refuge is another point of interest. Here, thousands of Olive Ridley turtles come and spawn.
There are many other beaches in the department. The municipality of Tola has some beaches with some infrastructure, others in a completely wild state and the ones bordering the lake. The port of San Jorge and its city connects mainland with Ometepe Island. This one has hotels, restaurants and beautiful views of Lake Cocibolca. There are also a few establishments in some of the coasts of the municipality of Rivas.
Ometepe Island is also part of Rivas. It is divided in two municipalities: Moyogalpa and Altagracia. Since this is a unique destination, thanks to the many local attractions (volcanoes, beaches, wetlands, lakes, forests and more), we decided talk about it separately. Click here: Destination Isla de Ometepe in order to read about it.
The department consists of 10 municipalities with many urban and rural attractions. The city of Rivas has a nice colonial center, hotels, restaurants and an interesting historical and anthropological museum. In the municipality of Buenos Aires, visitors will find the tip of El Menco, and the Ñocarime Lagoon, which it shares with his neighboring municipality of Potosí. Cardenas is situated in a thin strip of land that divides the southern border with the lake shore, and has many little-known natural sites.