There are those who like big cities; some prefer farm country; while others are happy in the mountains. I, on the other hand, am a beach person for sure. I don’t have to go swimming in the ocean every day or even every week, but just knowing that the water is all around me is something that I crave.
My home is close to the beach town of San Juan del Sur. But if you’re looking for your own bargain property in Nicaragua right now, nowhere offers more choice of lifestyles and more appealing bargains than the area I recently scouted, around the northern colonial city of León.
Beautiful baroque churches adorn street corners. Magnificent colonial buildings recall times past. The warm climate and a dynamic and exciting vibe are drawing the attention of expats to this historic city in Nicaragua.
As tourism grows and infrastructure improves, retirees have turned their attention toward Nicaragua. Here, you can get great-value land and property if you get in before the crowds come—think Costa Rica pricing 40 years ago.
"When I was growing up I always wanted to live in a big city," says Natalie Sullivan. "But when I did, it turned out I didn't like it. I didn't feel like I belonged to a community. That's why I love San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua."
León is a big, majestic city with almost 250,000 citizens, and more when the many universities are in session. Beautiful baroque architecture abounds, with many churches in different stages of refurbishment. Modern coffee shops, healthy food restaurants, international cuisine, theater, art, chic clothes shops, and more await you in León, where this grand city steeped in the past nevertheless presents a modern lifestyle.
In 2006, my financial advisor told me I could never retire in the U.S. I had worked since I was 16, paid into Social Security all my life...yet I would have to work forever. What had happened to the American Dream? Just passed me by I guess.
In my 40s, I started thinking about retirement. Living in expensive San Diego, I never pictured a house with an ocean view because that was out of my financial reach. I had a technical writing business that gave me a good living, but I still had to put two daughters through college.
San Juan del Sur is one of the most vibrant beach towns you’ll ever see. In addition to the beautiful bay that the city sits on, there are 21 other bays in the San Juan vicinity that will delight you as much, or more.
Sitting at an outside table of El Sesteo restaurant at sunset with a watermelon mojito in hand, I watched the sky change into hues of purple and gold behind the domes of the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption of Leon (the largest church in Central America). The central park square in front of me was bursting with life: families, groups of teenagers, elderly couples sitting on benches, and children playing games. The night was full of fireworks, music, and singing. A slight breeze took the edge off the heat and every now and then a tourist or two walked by.