The other Costa Rica
On almost any given evening around 5 p.m. expats, tourists and locals gather at the beach in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua to sip cold beer and rum and watch the sun set over the bay, a crescent-shaped body of water filled with fishing boats and the increasingly common cruise ship.
Kids play soccer on the beach while a yoga group 50-feet from shore practice their exercises on paddleboards, all under the staring gaze and pointed finger of a giant 24-meter-high Jesus statue named Christ the Mercy. Perched 134 meters on a hill above the harbor it is second in height only to Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer.
Like much of the southwest coast of Nicaragua, just 20 miles north of Costa Rica on the Pacific Ocean, it is a place that draws thousands from the colder northern regions of Canada and the United States and many from its pricier neighbor, Costa Rica.
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