How to Get to the Jesus Statue in San Juan del Sur

One of the most iconic Nicaraguan landmarks is the towering Jesus statue in San Juan del Sur. The official name is the Mirador del Cristo de la Misericordia, or the Christ of Mercy Lookout.

It’s a top tourist attraction in the city—but for a destination so easy to spot, the directions to the top are pretty ambiguous. 

We’ll clear up the confusion: here’s how to get to the Jesus statue in San Juan del Sur (with pictures!), plus some tips to make the most of your experience.

Directions to the Jesus Statue in San Juan del Sur

Most people choose to walk to the Christ of Mercy, but quickly find the route isn’t as obvious as you’d expect. Without directions, you end up wandering aimlessly in the general direction of the viewpoint.

This approach will eventually get you where you’re going, but it adds needless time to your trek–which is less than ideal in the hot Nicaraguan sun. 

Instead, save precious time and energy by following these step-by-step directions (with pictures) to the Jesus statue in San Juan del Sur.

Walking directions to the Christ of Mercy Jesus statue: 

If you want to get to the Christ of Mercy statue on foot, here are detailed walking directions from town:

Step 1

Start walking along the crescent-shaped beach, Playa San Juan del Sur, in the direction of the Christ of Mercy statue. You’ll pass by all the bars and restaurants on the main strip and the river, Rio Escondido, until it’s just the beach. Keep going.

Step 2

Once you’re a little ways past the river, start looking to the right. You want to find a wide space between two houses–one with a wire fence and one that’s white with blue doors–that resembles a drain. This is the exit to the road you’ll want to take to the Christ of Mercy statue

HN Hint: You can actually find this ambiguous passageway on Google Maps! In true Nicaragua fashion, it’s simply labeled “Path Off Of Beach.” Next door is “Casa Bella” (that’s the white and blue house).

Step 3

Walk through that pathway off the beach and you’ll reach a crossroads with a “Brisa de Mar” sign. Turn LEFT here.

Step 4

Keep walking down this road, and eventually you will start to see faded directional signposts for the Jesus statue. Follow those as you come across them. 

Step 5

To get to the Christ of Mercy statue, you will need to pass through a “Pacific Marlin” gate. (Don’t worry: you’re not trespassing!)

Get ready, because it’s about to start getting steep.

Step 6

Walk all the way up the hill. If you need to take a break, there are lots of little lookout points along the road. The increasingly beautiful view of the bay is motivation enough to keep going! 

Step 7

The hill will level out and you will see another “Pacific Marlin” sign below a Jesús de la Divina Misericordia sign. You’re almost there! Turn LEFT and pass through another gate. You’ve got another (shorter) uphill trek ahead of you.

Note: This is as far as a taxi will take you. If you’re visiting the Christ of Mercy statue by car, from this point forward you will complete the journey on foot.

Step 8

Here’s where things get interesting. You’re going to reach a fork in the road, and it isn’t totally clear which way to turn. Do NOT turn left up the unpaved path. It’s a dead end (although it does feature another nice view, if that’s what you’re going for).

Instead, continue STRAIGHT up the road.

Step 9

Finally, you’ll see a “precaucion” sign and a stone staircase. This is it! Head on up. (You’re gonna want to use the handrails. It’s deceptively steep.)

Step 10

You’ve arrived! Halfway up the narrow staircase you’ll reach a tiny gate where you pay the attendant an entry fee of $2 (foreigners) or $1 (Nicaraguan nationals). 

Continue on to the statue and enjoy!

Tips for Climbing to the Jesus Statue in San Juan del Sur

@matthijsgerms

What to bring:

  • Bring a water bottle! The hike to the Christ of Mercy statue is fairly strenuous, and on a hot day, you’ll need to stay hydrated.
  • Wear sturdy shoes. You hardly need hiking boots, but flimsy flip-flops won’t cut it. Opt for sneakers or quality footwear for this walk.
  • Save the drinks for Sunday Funday. There’s no alcohol–or smoking–permitted at the Christ of Mercy statue.
  • Important: Don’t forget cash for the entry fee. Tourists pay $2 and Nicaraguans pay $1. (The last thing you want to do is get all the way up there just to be sent away)
  • Remember your camera, if you have one! It’s a great photo op in San Juan del Sur.
  • Bonus: Some people actually lean on a walking stick for this climb. While it’s not at all necessary, don’t knock it ‘til you try it!

When to go: 

  • The Christ of Mercy statue is open to the public every day from 8am to 5pm.
  • Plan on spending about 2 hours in total on this activity. Starting from the town center, it takes roughly 45 minutes to get to the Jesus Statue in San Juan del Sur. Factor in time spent at the top and inside the chapel, then how long it will take to head back downhill.
  • Fair warning: you will be a sweaty mess afterward. Plan accordingly!

HN Hint: Start your climb just before 4 so that you can catch the golden hour at 5!

Conclusion

There you have it: now you know how to get to the Jesus statue in San Juan del Sur! Now all that’s left to do is start your trek to the top and soak up the sights from the best view in town.

Was this helpful? Let us know in the comments!

Meet your Tour Guides

Hola! We’re Gail & Luis, a team of two with a deep love for Nicaragua. Luis, a professional tour guide, is the knowledgeable source behind the blog. Gail, an American writer, is the voice. 

We started this blog as a way to stay connected from afar and support Nicaragua in our own small way.

Today, our mission is to open hearts and minds to the wonders of Nicaragua and make it easier than ever to start planning your trip.

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