Sunday Funday – Why I Didn’t Participate

June 7, 2016

San Juan Del Sur is not a party town, it’s the party town. I heard stories about this place before I even set foot in Nicaragua. It is crazy, the sun is burning down on you, the drinks are flowing and it’s home to the infamous Sunday Funday. As much as I liked my time in SJDS, I’m quick to admit, I didn’t love it. Sunday Funday is a day of boozy pool partying at 3 different locations around SJDS, and ending it with some dancing at the local night club, Arribas. It is held on a Sunday (for those of you who hadn’t guessed already!) runs from the moment you wake and ends whenever you pass out. I say this in jest, although it is somewhat the truth. The official start time is 11am. Meeting at the first starting point at Patcha Mammas Hostel, you need to make sure you are there early or you will miss out on a spot to join in on the party.


I was in two minds about joining in on the Sunday Funday shenanigans. Having been to other notorious parties around the world, should I keep up the famous partying streak here? I made the choice not to go. I passed it off to being over the party scene. I do enjoy a margarita or 5, but drinking until I have no sense as to where I am or how to make it back to my hostel, I ain’t got no time for that anymore! But in the end I concluded that the major reason I didn’t join in, was the vibe that SJDS gave off. Among a few other reasons.

To join in on Sunday Funday, you pay $30. This gives you entry to the pool parties, and Arribas at the end of the night. Thrown in on top of that, you also receive a plastic wrist band and a tank top stating in big block letters that, you did in fact get shit-faced at SUNDAY FUNDAY. We get it! That’s it. No drinks. No welcome drinks, no shots, no watered down vodka and cokes. Nothing, nada! This is, at the end of the day, a bar crawl. I don’t know about you, but I have paid some serious dollar bills for pub crawls throughout the world, but I remember not paying an extra cent for a drink after welcome drinks and shots at each place you don’t need to. $30 may not seem like a massive amount of money to fork out, so I did a little research. Late Monday afternoon I met up with some friends, who the evening before had joined in on on the famous Sunday Funday. All wearing the not so flattering SUNDAY FUNDAY tank tops, I was quick to ask how much they spent on top of the $30 entrance fee. With drinks and shots my friends each had spent an extra $80 – $150 each. I’m so glad I didn’t blow my budget in exchange for the hangover from hell the next day.


The Party
As I mentioned, the vibe in SJDS wasn’t really a vibe I wanted to stay around for to long. The whole place gave off a seedy, sleazy type aura. I couldn’t imagine what vibes Sunday Funday produced. At the end of the night my curiosity got the better of me and I dropped into Arribas on my way home from dinner. Sweaty bodies, alcohol toxins and people having sex down on the beach was not my scene. I’m not judging anyone who does Sunday Sunday, go for it! I just know that cocaine fuelled, rum, vodka, tequila and anything else mixed in my stomach is not my scene anymore.

You Have To Be In The Mood
I suppose it was my mood as well. I wasn’t in the mood to socialize at Sunday Funday. There is nothing wrong with the people that go, I just couldn’t be bothered being a part of the sweaty, drunken crowd. I couldn’t be bothered with the slurring conversations at the end of the day, and I couldn’t be bothered with sleazy guys breathing their beer breath on me.

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The Hangover
Lastly, I could not be bothered with the hangover. As I head into my late twenties, I am becoming more aware that I do not recover from a boozy night the next morning like I use to. I also think that a hangover is one of the shittiest feelings out there! In Nicaragua the heat there is nothing I have ever experienced. Most of my time I spent there I felt I was in the fiery depths of hell, it was that hot. And with almost no where (especially in SJDS) offering air-conditioned relief, I wouldn’t survive the day after Sunday Funday, in that heat, trying to recover from my hangover.

If you’re planning on heading to San Juan Del Sur anytime soon and looking forward to going to Sunday Funday, by all means go! I am not here to put you off going, this is just my opinion on why I didn’t go. Not many backpackers pass through SJDS and spend a Sunday there without leaving with a SUNDAY FUNDAY tank top and a killer hangover.

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Have you been to Sunday Funday? Tell me your story!

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  • Reply Matt Wicks June 16, 2016 at 11:02 PM

    Nice site! I feel like we lived parallel SJDS experiences, a couple of years apart.

    • Reply Shara June 16, 2016 at 11:08 PM

      Thanks Matt! Haha wow we really did!! Loved your post on it! I can’t believe you received hate mail about it!

  • Reply Stephan July 13, 2016 at 4:31 AM

    Wow! It was incredible ready this post about Sunday Funday! I lived in Nicaragua for a long time and occasionally found myself in San Juan Del Sur and you absolutely described to a T the way I felt about the town and about Sunday Funday. During one four day stay in SJDS in 2013 two people died. One at Sunday Funday and one in the hostel down the road from mine. That place has weird vibes for sure. I did not nor will ever participate in Sunday Funday.

    • Reply Shara July 13, 2016 at 5:26 PM

      Such a weird vibe hey! How long did you live there Stephan? I struggled staying there for four nights! Nicaragua itself wasn’t a country that I connected with so much, so that’s a shame. It’s sad to hear those people died! But it doesn’t surprise me, unfortunately!

  • Reply Lori July 27, 2016 at 8:33 PM

    My experience in SJDS was quite the opposite from what I’ve read in this blog thread. What I’ve figured out after reading the posts and Shara’s input is your experience can change dramatically depending on where you stay in SJDS. First off, I am not an alcoholic drinker by choice. As I’ve grown older, I prefer to be in my right mind to enjoy life each day. Just my choice and I have no problem with those who like their alcohol. After reading the article, I have to say that I most definately agree to AVOID Sunday Funday!! I spent my 4 wonderful, delightful and inspiring SJDS lodging at Marsella Beach. It was so remote, quiet and provides a most positive aura. I am so thankful I did my research and followed my instincts by staying at this beach lodging/Restaurant heaven. I became very close to the people who ran the place during my stay. It was a family group and they adopted me. As a reminder, I am a solo, female traveler and being adopted can be part of your experience, depending. Just food for thought for those of you who would like to experience the positive beach lodging in Southern Nica. Happy trails….
    Lori recently posted…6 Ways To Spend Your Cruise Day On Roatan Island

    • Reply Shara August 26, 2016 at 12:50 AM

      Agreed Lori! It will definitely make a difference where you stay in SJDS. I heard Marsella Beach is beautiful. One day I would like to go back and experience another side to SJDS!

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