Beach-living in Nicaragua

It was exactly 7.00 a.m., and the sun was already illuminating the froth on the incoming waves of the Pacific in Nicaragua. The attendant was right on time, delivering the All-Terrain Vehicle to the hotel for our day’s rental.

After a brief instruction, he walked off down the shoreline…hoping to return later and find his ATV in one piece. Once he was out of sight, we sped off down the beach, taking advantage of the hard-backed sand left by the retreating tide.

As we flew past the presidential beachfront retreat, we passed a pair of oxen lumbering slowly in the opposite direction, with a load consisting of only three small boys. An old woman was beachcombing, while a small group of visitors on horseback ran along the ocean’s edge during their brisk, morning ride.

All in all, there are few more-exciting ways to look for properties in a foreign country. And it’s a far cry from the rules, regulations and restrictions of the U.S. beach scene.

We’re spending the week in a beachfront resort hotel in the Nicaraguan seaside town of Masachapa…an old-fashioned beach town that was popular with Managua’s wealthy as far back as the 1940s. With few exceptions, today’s Masachapa is not fancy…and generally not a place where you’d come to experience fine dining and high-end amenities.

But it does offer authentic Nicaraguan charm, a fantastic beach, and reasonable property prices.

Masachapa is a popular vacation home spot, and there are plenty of shops and markets that supply basic necessities for the homeowners… which now include a diverse mix of international buyers. Its wide beaches, beachfront bars and restaurants also draw many a day-trip visitor from nearby Managua on the weekends.

You can enjoy a mouthwatering grilled-shrimp dinner for just a few dollars, in a wood-frame, open-air restaurant that looks out over the gentle Pacific. Or buy handicrafts from the young ladies who circulate along the waterfront. Or maybe just spend a few hours strolling on the broad, sandy beach.

Whatever your choice, you can count on a relaxing day, filled with warmth and sunshine, among friendly people.

As we worked our way down the 10-mile stretch of beach, we found a number of good properties for sale. The cheapest was a building lot for $35,000…the most expensive was a beachfront mansion for $289,000…and my favorite was a solid, three-bedroom home with lots of real knotty pine and a large, wraparound porch, for just $149,000.

After a day of exploring, we finally reached a rocky point where we had to turn around, so we headed back into the sunset…and one of those grilled shrimp dinners that I mentioned above.

Parts of the Masachapa area are pretty rustic, so the town won’t be for everyone. But you will have a genuine, Nicaraguan beachfront experience…uninfluenced by luxury gated communities or large numbers of foreign tourists.

And of course you’ll get to experience the unique lifestyle on one of Nicaragua’s widest and finest beaches.

Editor’s note: Learn more about Nicaragua and other countries in IL’s daily postcard e-letter. Sign up here for these free daily postcards and we’ll send you a FREE REPORT- Start a New Life on the Beach in Nicaragua.