You wake up early for work. But you’re not slapping at the alarm clock in disgust, then rushing out the door for a long commute. You want to get up...you’re looking forward to the day. You get to enjoy that first cup of coffee as the rising sun makes the Pacific glitter...watch wildlife—toucans, parrots, even monkeys—make their morning rounds in the trees...and bask in praise from departing guests...
After a lifetime of cold weather in Alberta, Canada, retired couple Rick and Peggy Stewart were ready for a change. And they found a perfect climate—and many more benefits—in the rural community of Santa Eulalia about 20 minutes outside of the small town of Atenas, in Costa Rica's Central Valley. From their new home in the tropics, they can't help but rub it in with friends and family back home.
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.
Here in our home on Costa Rica's northern Pacific coast, we've taken back the weekends. We sleep in a bit. A small breakfast of fresh fruit and rich Costa Rican coffee follows—just something to hold us over. We pack up and drive from our condo in Tamarindo north along the coast about a half-hour to Brasilito, a tiny fishing village.
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.
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.