Beautiful, Affordable, and Misunderstood
Along Central America's Pacific coast you’ll find rocky outcrops, world-class surf, and some of the most jaw-dropping views in the world.
If it's natural beauty you are after, Nicaragua is the jewel of this stretch of coast.
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View Untitled in a larger mapFast Facts
View Untitled in a larger map
Capital City: Managua
Climate: Tropical in lowlands, cooler in highlands
Time Zone: GMT-6
Country Code: 505
Coastline: 910 km
Nicaragua contains the largest freshwater body in Central America, Lago de Nicaragua
- Step Back in Time at the Laguna de Apoyo, Nicaragua
Posted on May 16, 2013 by Jason Holland
Midway between the colonial city of Granada and Masaya, known for its craft market, is the Laguna de Apoyo, a lake set in a volcanic crater.
- A Relaxed Pace of Life in a Tropical, Colonial City
Posted on May 16, 2013 by Helen Korengold
The restaurant, Villas Mombacho, overlooks the lake and the views are of the many little islands and the local fishermen at work. Distant volcanoes fill the horizon and my friends and I are surrounded by palm trees and flowers.
- “We Have Luxuries in Nicaragua We Could Never Afford Back Home”
Posted on May 1, 2013 by Jason Holland
When Roberto, 63, and his wife Réjane Rojas retired in 2002, they were looking for a retirement destination with warm weather, a low cost of living that would allow them to live well on their savings and pension, and easy access to both North and South America. “We visited most of the Central American countries before we decided on Nicaragua.”
When Jack Stewart graduated from culinary school in Toronto, he didn’t anticipate living his dream life in the colonial city of León, Nicaragua. He left Canada in 2001 and started a restaurant in Costa Rica. “When I was in Costa Rica, tourism was dropping. But the Nicaraguan economy was growing and when residence laws changed making it easier to live here, I made the decision and fell in love with what I found here.”
There’s no other view in the world like it. In a cliff-top home, there’s nothing between you and the beautiful vista but empty space. You never have to worry about a house going up in front of you or that your neighbor’s new satellite dish will block your line of sight. Badminton in the back yard may be out. But morning coffee and sunset drinks on the terrace are in. If you’re on the seaside, the rumbling waves pounding the rocks below will be your lullaby.
Lee’s biggest business is advising people how to build eco-friendly homes out of shipping containers, throwing in alternative-energy systems, like solar panels, if they’re interested. He’s also the go-to guy in San Juan when expats and business owners have computer trouble. And he helps fellow expats transition to life in Nicaragua…
- Enjoying a Champagne Lifestyle on a Beer Budget in Nicaragua
Posted on March 25, 2013 by Jason Holland
I’m kind of a thrifty guy. I don’t buy the latest smartphone that comes on the market. In fact, I have the most basic model money can buy in Costa Rica—just $30, plus $15 a month for minutes. I don’t splurge on fashion—why bother? I’m in board shorts and a tank top pretty much 24/7 at my home in the Costa Rican beach town of Tamarindo. But when I travel to Nicaragua, I go a bit hog wild and feel free to indulge in many of the “luxuries” I normally deny myself.
- Uncovering Nicaragua’s “Emerald Coast” and How to Play It
Posted on March 25, 2013 by Ronan McMahon
Four-and-a-half hours’ flight-time south of California are opportunities that feel a world away. This short plane ride from the snapped-up beachfront and million-dollar mansions of the Golden State brings you to deserted beaches, lush, jungle-clad hills, and low-cost real estate that has to be seen to be believed.
When you move overseas it’s the perfect opportunity to reinvent yourself. You can adopt a new lifestyle and totally change what you do for a living,” says Virginia native Lee Greenberg. The 39-year-old embraced this philosophy wholeheartedly when he moved to San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, six years ago.
- Video: A Bird’s Eye View of Colonial Buildings in Granada, Nicaragua
Posted on March 22, 2013 by Jason Holland
Founded in 1524, Granada, Nicaragua is a historic city with homes and other buildings hundreds of years old. Colonial homes are known for their red tile roofs and interior courtyards with gardens, fountains, and sometimes even swimming pools.
Nicaragua is now cool. And Granada is at ground zero of the new, cool Nicaragua. Yet there never has been a better time to buy a colonial home in Granada. I’ve followed the real-estate market here closely since my first visit in 2004. Through boom and bust I’ve watched prices fluctuate. And on this visit I saw a 900-square-foot home, a short stroll from the historic center, with an asking price of $39,000.
It’s your own private playground on the Pacific coast of Nicaragua, with 2,700 acres of rolling hills and forest, riding trails, and five separate beaches. You’ll love spending time outdoors here…swimming, snorkeling, horse riding, surfing, hiking, playing tennis…or simply relaxing in a hammock. Find out how you can sample the Rancho Santana lifestyle on a custom chill weekend.
- Spend a Month in Granada, Nicaragua (All Expenses Paid)
Posted on March 3, 2013 by Len Galvin
We’re looking for someone to spend a month in one of our favorite retirement havens: Granada, Nicaragua. With new cafes, restaurants, boutique hotels and art galleries opening up all over the city, Granada has been transformed over the past five years. That’s why we want to send someone (plus a spouse, partner, or friend) there—on us. We’ll pay for the round-trip flights, accommodation and give generous living expenses.
- Granada, Nicaragua: Why Tourists and Expats Flock to This Colonial Gem
Posted on March 1, 2013 by Dan Prescher
Today Granada is one of Nicaragua’s most popular tourist destinations, even for Nicaraguans. People from Managua can drive down on a well-maintained four-lane highway to get away from the capital for the weekend and socialize along Calle la Calzada, the pedestrian street lined with bars, cafés, and restaurants just off the city’s main plaza.
Nicaragua is on the cusp. It’s being gussied up. Yet it remains—for the moment—a place for in-the-know travelers and adventuresome expats. They’re drawn to the elegant colonial towns and the natural beauty of the Pacific. Then there’s the super-low cost of living, real estate for a fraction of what you’d pay in the U.S. for similar locations, and the opportunity for a new way of life.
- Everything is Negotiable: Colonial Homes from $50,000 in Granada
Posted on February 25, 2013 by Ronan McMahon
In the nine years I’ve been savoring her charms through regular visits, I have never seen Nicaragua’s colonial city of Granada look better. Cute bakeries and cafés are opening up in brightly-painted, tiled- floor colonial homes. Artists and art galleries are setting up shop. Italians have come to make great pizza. The terrace in front of the Irish bar, O’Shea’s, is buzzing by day. Inside it’s rocking at night. Nine years ago expats were mostly from the U.S. There was a real-estate agent on every corner of the main square, Parque Central.
- Nicaragua: Gussied Up and Brimming with Opportunity
Posted on February 25, 2013 by Jason Holland
Nicaragua is going mainstream. A country that war and conspiracy made infamous in the Reagan years is today home to eco-lodges, spas, and restored colonials. It’s at the top of the New York Times’ list of places to see in 2013. Food and Wine has pronounced it “affordable, safe and undiscovered.” Outside magazine declares, “it feels like Nicaragua’s moment is now.”
Take a typical New York City studio apartment, then halve it. That gives you an idea of the living space of 44-year-old Mark and 36-year-old Amélie Meadows and their son, 18-month-old Zephyr. They call The Blue Goose, a 38-foot sailboat, home. Far from feeling constrained by this living or work arrangement, the couple feels it’s helped them strip down to the essentials.
For Janice and John-Marc Gallagher (ages 52 and 58) the opportunity was too good to pass up. They had moved to Granada, Nicaragua, in 2003 after spending almost seven years in Costa Rica. “We had fallen in love with Granada many years before,” Janice says. “So we moved there after we sold our business in Tamarindo.” And then life took a turn.
When my husband, Dan, and I were first married and first started thinking about living overseas, we pored over every issue of International Living and we read every International Living e-postcard. We compared and contrasted, planned and dreamed…Certain we would live in an exotic tropical destination, we wanted it to be relatively close to family and friends back home in the States…
- Why This Family Moved from California to Nicaragua
Posted on February 14, 2013 by Jason Holland
The only things Jeremy needed to make his living were a reliable high-speed Internet connection and a comfortable home for his family. Plus, he already had plenty of overseas experience. He had lived briefly in Peru, Argentina, and Costa Rica and had traveled throughout Central America. But he’d never been to Nicaragua—and that’s where he set his sights.
I’ve just got word from Rancho Santana that one of the early-in buyers in the Rosada phase needs out today. Because of this seller’s situation, he’s willing to sell his lot (#A-20) for $95,000. You have great ocean views and the Rosada clubhouse is a gentle stroll away. The folks at Rancho Santana are willing to help facilitate a quick sale on this lot if it’s discretely offered to our group as a “Flash Alert.”
Granada is where Nicaragua puts on its best face for visitors. It sits on the shore of the vast Lake Nicaragua, just an hour’s drive from the country’s capital, Managua. Centuries-old colonial architecture fills the historic city center surrounding the neoclassical-style Cathedral of Granada and the Parque Central.
I’ve told you before about Rancho Santana on Nicaragua’s south Pacific Coast. This is the community with five beaches, 2,700 acres and more than two miles of coast. (International Living’s parent company is the owner and developer.)
The bane of cell-phone using travelers, the roaming charge is one of those expenses that can sneak up on you, ruining your happy memories when you get that exorbitant phone bill. Here’s a tip on how to save on these charges in France.
The aroma of coffee wafts through the open bedroom door. I wipe the sleep from my eyes and follow my senses to the kitchen, where I find a double espresso and a plate of fresh fruit waiting for me. My husband Gordon is making fresh-squeezed orange juice. He stops what he’s doing to give me a kiss good morning.
Panama’s a place of sunshine, 365 days a year. You have hundreds of miles of beach…highland retreats with green valleys where the weather is spring-like, even in January and August…and a genuinely cosmopolitan capital city, too, with one of the world’s largest financial districts.
There’s something about having that paperback on the bus or on the beach that a gadget can’t replace. Sure, Kindles and iPads are handy, but nothing beats the smell and sensation of pulp. I know plenty of travelers must feel the same way, because expat Troy Fuss makes his living selling books to them in Granada, Nicaragua’s historic colonial city.
- Ecuador… Visit the World’s Best Retirement Haven
Posted on November 26, 2012 by International Living
Winner of the 2012 Global Retirement Index, Ecuador offers sophisticated historical cities…miles of unspoiled, sun-kissed beaches…fertile farmland…and temperate mountain hideaways…and all of it for pennies on the dollar.
Your perfect oceanfront retreat is just a ﬁve-minute boat ride from one of the world’s premier diving destinations, the Belize Barrier Reef. It’s on Ambergris Caye, with the Caribbean spread out before you. Diving spots nearby include the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, known for its formations of elkhorn, brain, and staghorn corals. The coral is 20 to 40 feet tall, providing the perfect habitat for reef sharks, yellowtail snapper, lobster, grouper, sea turtles, and many other species.
I have a bit of an embarrassing problem every time I go to Nicaragua. For at least half the first day, I’m constantly asking waiters to repeat the price for a beer, cocktail, or meal, thinking I misheard. Could it really that low? They give me a weird look and reassure me it is. Then there’s the next embarrassing part—I’ve just come from the ATM and only have big bills— that’s a lot of change…
- Video: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua–Laid-Back and Affordable
Posted on August 1, 2012 by Jason Holland
On Nicaragua’s southern Pacific coast, just a short hop from the Costa Rican border, you’ll find San Juan del Sur. It’s the ideal beach town: funky, laid-back, and cheap. Plus, its location on a small cove, with cliffs rising dramatically from the water on either edge, means the views, especially at sunset, are spectacular.
Rancho Santana, on Nicaragua’s Pacific Riviera, has two miles of the most dramatic coastline you’ll ever see. Vertical cliffs drop to flat rocky plateaus. Some of the world’s best surf breaks and beaches are here. Close by you’ll find sandy beaches perfect for swimming and rock pools where you can bag the freshest lobster of your life.
Chile’s Lake District is all about spectacular scenery…forests, snowcapped volcanoes, the towering Andes, and hundreds of deep blue mountain lakes…German emigrants brought their distinctive traditions to the region and it’s been compared to Switzerland for its beauty and cosmopolitan resort towns…
Every month we take a look at some of the properties available around the world. This time out, we’re highlighting properties that not only provide you with a roof over your head, but an income to boot. Escape to Ecuador’s Yunguilla Valley and surround yourself with blossoming fruit trees and fresh ﬁsh on your own tropical property.
Nicaragua’s best-preserved colonial city, Granada is a popular tourist attraction with a thriving expat community. My husband Shylow and I came here in May 2010 and fell in love with the beautiful architecture, friendly locals, and seriously low cost. After leaving the U.S. and all that we were used to, we found a place where our hard-earned money could stretch past the house mortgage.
201 1 Live and Invest Overseas Conference Package
Las Vegas, NV – October 2011
In the Live and Invest Overseas Conference Package, we’ll show you how you can make that dream your reality… for as little as $697 a month. Maybe you long for your own cottage on a quiet beach… a grand apartment in a city vibrant with concerts and cafes… a mountain villa where the air is crisp… or even your own vineyard amid gently rolling hills. Whatever you fantasize about… come with that idea in mind. We’ll show you the places in the world today where you can live your dream, for a small fraction of what you’d pay for a comparable life at home.
If Money Were No Object, What Would Your Dream Retirement Look Like?
Event Date: Sep 27, 2013
2013 Fast-Track Your Retirement Overseas Conference
September 27-29, Las Vegas,NV
While your neighbors tighten their belts and reign in their retirement dreams… you can live with less stress, more freedom, and all the comforts you’ve always imagined.
Discover the world’s best retirement havens – and pinpoint the one that’s right for you.
Welcome to IL
- Why Nicaragua?
- Beachfront Property in Nicaragua
- Taxes in Nicaragua
- Make a Difference – Please Help the Roberto Clemente-Santa Ana Health Clinic
- Invest in Nicaragua
- Rolodex: Contacts in Nicaragua
- Travel in Nicaragua
- Live in Nicaragua
- Nicaragua Visa and Residency Information
- Health Care in Nicaragua
- Nicaragua Fact File
- Retire in Nicaragua
- Move to Nicaragua
- Nicaragua Real Estate
- The Economy in Nicaragua
- Cost of Living in Nicaragua
- Free Nicaragua Report
- Nicaragua Classifed Ads
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