About Us


Canadian Brothers, Geoff and John Bramwell were introduced to Nicaragua by a friend that simply would not stop talking about the beauty and nature of Nicaragua.  The friend’s monologue about the tourism opportunities in the misunderstood Central American country caught our attention.  A surf shack on an empty beach sounded pretty good.  We ventured down to Nica in 2006 and visited as many of the beaches as we could.  We started in the traditional tourist center of San Juan del sur and went all the way to Chinendega.  Back in 2006, Leon wasn’t even on the tourist trail, but it was obvious that it would be, as the largest Colonial city in Nicaragua was too rich with culture to not  blossom.   

The variety was super interesting. The landscape on the Pacific Coast of Nicaragua is truly special, but in the end it was a barrier island just south of Leon.  The location between the surf break at Puerto Sandino & the nature reserve (Isla Juan Venado) that stuck in our minds.    The key factors were the close proximity to Leon,  the incredibly wide open and most swimmable beach we found, mixed with the untouched estuary system behind Isla Real de la Penas.    We originally named it Tamarindo Beach for the River Tamarindo in the back of the island, but we later transitioned the name to PLAYA TESORO, or Treasure beach in English.  

The area was untouched and had basically no road, no water, no power and was only occupied by cows, wild horses and salt farming.   We knew the project would be a huge commitment, but we liked that we were not stepping into a situation of changing the culture of a previously inhabited local area.    We realized we could create something so unique and special for everyone to enjoy in the future.   

So in 2006, John & his wife Christine with their two young kids moved to Managua to commence the onsite work at Playa Tesoro.   In combination with Geoff and our development team, we pursued the permits for road, water, and electrical installation.  The Electrical install is a private power line with a length of 14km to tie into the existing power matrix.   All there infrastructure installations were tough, but the electrical was the most challenging as it had to be GSP mapped to install all pole on public roadway.   This was new term, as many lines are not necessarily on public land.  The private electrical lines and system too in excess of 4 years with permits and installations. 

 Next was the potable water.  The team dug the well 14 km from Playa Tesoro, as this was the closest reliable aquifer.  Securing all necessary permits and commenced the project of running 13 km of potable water to the beach was a major task.  The potable water system and running the 12 km and throughout our land was 3 years of work.  I recall when water came out the hose bid at the beach, I started to cry.  I was a very emotional moment, and a major turning point for us and everyone in the community.   The same was true of building a road, from a donkey trail that previously existed.   The road is still a work in progress but it was a solid 3 years of work to get it to a reasonable state.   It keeps getting annual maintenance and now is very reasonable.  The 30 km to leon is a pretty quick trip now.  

Then came the house construction, wifi and rental programs.   

It has been a long, challenging road and I love our commitment to Playa Tesoro and I am proud of our fortitude in getting the work completed.   We are here now and we truly love Nicaragua and our small piece of heaven. 

Giving Back

The Tesoro goal is staying local whenever possible.   By buying local, we look to our community to grow and prosper.  We keep sustainable practices in mind and promote it with all our suppliers and trades.   We focus on support for the Salinas Grandes community.    We ensure that over 80% of our team is made up of local staff.

During your stay

Yahosca, Elias and Erlon are on-site and ready to help you during your stay. Playa Tesoro Management will help you arrange transportation to and from the airport (or other destination), offer a grocery service, book excursions with their local partners such as surfing, fishing, volcano boarding, kayaking nature excursions and León city trips.

Tesoro Vacations Testimonials

July 2023

The cabin is beautiful!!!! Very, very beautiful and with a beautiful view of the beach. What they NEED to know (and I didn’t know) is that it’s well removed from everything! The road is difficult, a very long entrance of stone and mud, we managed to get there by low vehicle, but I highly recommend going in 4×4, especially if it has rained. There is absolutely nothing nearby so you have to be well prepared with EVERYTHING you might need food, drinks… and a lot of repellent. The people in charge of hosting us were super friendly and helped us with everything, despite not going so prepared we had a beautiful stay and I recommend the place if you want to be away from the hustle and bustle and contact with nature ❣️

June 2023

We had a great stay in the Red House on Playa Tesoro! Take boogie boards: the warm ocean water and rock-free beach made for a really fun time in the waves. We had the beach to ourselves and the pool was a great depth for our kids (8 and 10). Nice outdoor seating on the patio and I especially liked that I could keep an eye on the pool from the kitchen. We enjoyed the working AC, that the hostess was available but not intrusive. The wardrobes in each room are beautiful and useful, the kitchen fairly well-stocked with dishes and appliances. We liked the hot water in the tap, a nice bathroom, and how many towels were provided! There were also a couple extra pillows which was nice. We did miss having an indoor dining table, especially for supper since the mosquitos got aggressive around dusk (bring repellent!), but there was a breakfast bar and coffee table and we made do. Some fans didn’t work and others didn’t cause much air movement so the main living area got quite warm.

March 2023

The purple house at Playa Tesoro was as described both in terms of the architecture of the house and the access road. Remote, quiet and fronting on a stunning beach. We never met Rachel but were well looked after by the owner John and his wife Chris. Really nice people and have a vision for creating a community in the area When we arrived the local staff Yahosca was great responded to my messages. Things are just getting re-started post COVID but John is focused on making improvements, working on basic maintamence with his crew of local staff and also replacing furnishings as needed to refresh the rooms. Our 3 and half year old son really enjoyed the pool next door, the viewing platform to the sea, and the amazingingly wide and shallow beach at low tide. Super clear and clean beach, sand is endless, nice waves for body surfing and just going for a long walk. Definitely very much a ‘treasure beach’. We would definitely return and look forward to the future of Playa Tesoro!