Sunday Funday. Is It Really A Fun Day?

Nov 12, 2014


With the average age of our foursome sitting at roughly 31.26 years old and knowing that we were on a tight budget, we were all a little unsure about how to go about this whole Sunday Funday thing, held literally every Sunday in the cute little surfer town of San Juan

Photo by: Hostel Pacha Mama

del Sur, Nicaragua. Throughout our travels up to that point, we had seen all the cool kids sporting their Sunday Funday tanks, wearing them as a metaphorical badge of honor of their surviving one of the drunkest days of their lives. Was this something that we really wanted to engage in? Swimming pools, tons of people, lots of alcohol…it sounded like it could readily be a recipe for disaster, or at least the plot line of a really bad B-movie. We weighed our options, put some serious thought into whether we would really enjoy it, and said, "to hell with it! We’re doing it!"

To start, we first had to head over to the Pacha Mama Hostel to get a ticket, to get in line, to get our wristband and coveted tank top. They limit the day to only (only!) 300 people, so it’s always recommended to get over there between 9am-9:30am, if not earlier for the more ambitious. We had talked to a guy who has tortured his liver via Sunday Funday multiple times and he reported that it can be hit or miss in determining just how early to get in line. One Sunday he got there at 9:30am and was fine and another Sunday he got there before 9:30am and he lucked out, getting the very last ticket. We ended up getting to Pacha Mama just after 9:30am and they still had tickets available. So it’s up to you how much you’re willing to risk. Another good reason for getting there early however, and we found this out the hard way, is that they sometimes raise the price of tickets throughout the morning. What started out as a $20 ticket turned into a $30 ticket by the time we got to the counter. LAME! Anyways, lesson learned. We got our bright pink wristband and cool new tank top, and all there was left to do was wait until 2pm.

We weren’t sure just how expensive drinks were going to be at any of the three pool stops, so we decided it would be wise to enjoy some pre-pool hopping cocktails. To be specific, that meant drinking an entire half liter of rum in roughly 30 minutes between Teague and I. We mixed it with frozen lemonades! It went down so smooth! Either way, it did the trick…kind of. We still spent a butt-load of money on drinks. But that’s neither here nor there.

At the time of purchasing our ticket, we were told to meet at a specific location around 1:30pm to catch one of the many shuttles that took us to our first location – Pelican Eyes resort. The shuttle was just a truck with benches in the back, but that just makes it all more fun! Pelican Eyes Resort was quite stunning, as it sits on a hillside with an infinity pool overlooking the San Juan del Sur Bay. Gorgeous! As soon as we entered the property we wondered how in the world a place like that could possibly allow such debauchery to occur there. Money talks, people. Money talks. Anyways, they offered two drink tents and a huge, thumping sound system to get the party started. Drinks, as expected, were on the pricey side. I believe the beers were around 50 cordobas, which is just under $2 USD, and the mixed drinks, well let’s just say that we didn’t even consider purchasing those. I think they were between 60 cordobas and 80 cordobas. Ouch! That hurts for a budget-conscious traveler.

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Photo by: Hostel Pacha Mama Photo by: Hostel Pacha Mama

We were a little unsure at first if we really wanted to get into the pool as well. All those bodies, having been who-knows-where, doing who-knows-what with each other. Ick. That lasted all of about 5 minutes when we realized that it was hot and the pool might still be "fresh." It turned out to be a lot of fun. One guy brought a football and Teague reverted to his 12 year-old self and eagerly asked to play catch, which of course turned into a back and forth game of catch with about 10 other people. After about an hour and a half or so, they were out of beer and it was time to hop to the next pool anyways. So we gathered our few belongings and hopped into the shuttle-truck.

You know how alcohol has a propensity to make you really good friends with the closest person around and you tend to do things that you might not otherwise do? Well, that’s kind of how our shuttle ride went. But first, get your head out of the gutter perv! For some reason we decided it would be funny to start slapping each other’s legs as hard as possible, which then flowed over to our now new best friends sitting next to us. It was as much hilarious as it was painful. Quite a fun time if I do say so myself! Much to the relief of my bright red thighs, we arrived at the next stop, the Naked Tiger Hostel, which is set in the mountains, again with a great view. They decided to do things a little bit different at this hostel. Rather than just take your money like normal human beings, they decided that they wanted the drunkards to have to do some thinking (or maybe they thought it would be less??) and buy Tiger Bucks (what’s up RIT!?!?). The thing is that you always end up with a single tiger buck, which now buys you nothing. I couldn’t even tell you exactly how much drinks were there due to the confusing conversion rate of cordobas to tiger bucks to USD. Regardless, they were still stupid expensive and so was the food they were selling (which smelled amazing). Luckily I had a couple rum and cokes given to me (I don’t even drink those! Thanks Jaqui!), so that helped.

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Photo by: Hostel Pacha Mama Photo by: Hostel Pacha Mama

I think I was the only one brave enough to test out the pool here, but at that point in the night….ehhhh whatever! I hung out with our friend Aaron (who is originally from Webster!), whom we met at a previous hostel, and a girl we just met who lives in Brockport and coaches lacrosse there (she knew a handful of CA lax ladies – small world!)! We talked about Wegmans. And cheese from Wegmans. It was glorious!! 

We finally left the Naked Tiger and all of its monetary awfulness and shuttled our way to the final stop of the night – Pacha Mama. I can’t tell you much about this stop because well, by then things were a little hazy. I know that drinks were still stupid expensive but by then I don’t think that any of us really needed any more "jiggle juice." We were dancing and having a good time and that’s all that matters!

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Photo by: Hostel Pacha Mama Photo by: Hostel Pacha Mama

Long story short, it was an expensive day – let’s say, around $60 per person? (That’s a lot considering that our daily budget for each couple is $70 or less) But it was also a really fun day. Being a popular stop on the backpacker trail, we ran into a bunch of friends that we had met along the way and were able to share some crazy times with them. If you’re in San Juan del Sur on a Sunday, and you’ve got some cash you’re ready and willing to part with, I would definitely recommend partying it up Sunday Funday style. A word of caution though, don’t bring anything that you’re either not willing to part with or are not confident that you will not be able to maintain complete control over as you dive further and further into intoxication. For example, loads of cash (more than you think you’ll need for drinks), expensive sunglasses or other fancy accessories, or your GoPro camera. Lots of people bring cameras, but just be mindful of where it is at all times!

Enjoy and Roam on!




Written by Jen Hays
Jen is a marketer with a passion for the digital world and an insatiable desire to travel and explore all that the physical world has to offer; marrying the two to share her experiences with and inspire all who join her along the way.

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Category: Activities

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