Nicaragua Fast Facts

San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Population: 5,966,798

Capital City: Managua

Climate: Tropical in lowlands, cooler in highlands

Time Zone: GMT-6

Language: Spanish (official)

Country Code: 505

Coastline: 910km

Nicaragua: Beautiful and Affordable

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.

Today’s Nicaragua is like a newborn child, eyes bright with hope with a smile promising a great future. The country stuns with its physical beauty, something that surprises every newcomer. Majestic volcanoes pepper the horizon along the Pacific Ring of Fire, some with billows of white smoke, proclaiming the life within, while others sleep, protecting their sparkling crater lakes for you to enjoy.

Lake Colcibolca, the 19th largest lake in the world, houses Ometepe Island, a magical place that soothes the soul with its own lakes, volcanoes and verdant green forests. White sand beaches and turquoise water with low-hanging palms greet you on the Caribbean side of Nicaragua. Bosawas National Reserve offers a dense rainforest, second only to the Amazon in the Western Hemisphere. Hiking, rock climbing, floating down crystal clear rivers, surfing a volcano and more are only some of the adventures in Nicaragua.

Pacific Coast, Nicaragua
Pacific Coast, Nicaragua

Because Nicaragua is just emerging as a tourist and retirement destination, many take advantage of the economical real estate and rental prices to retire early. Ocean-view condos for under $100,000 still exist, as do fully-furnished apartments to rent for $400 to $500 a month with all amenities and a block’s walk to the beach. Don’t despair if you want “more” of a house, as upscale mansions with a 240-degree view of the ocean exist for those with deeper pockets. The truth is, you can easily build your dream house and your dream life in Nicaragua, for about an 8th of the price of what it would cost you back home.

Still lacking a strong infrastructure, Nicaragua, like Costa Rica maybe 40 years ago, offers people from the U.S. and Canada and elsewhere the role of true pioneers. These expats are helping to shape Nicaragua into the tourist mecca it will become. New government laws with unparalleled tax benefits help expats form corporations and open businesses with ease.

Nicaragua is not for everyone. It’s more primitive and wild than its Central American neighbors. It’s for the young-at-heart, who don’t worry if the electricity goes off, who don’t stress over guests arriving late, and who don’t want to sit around just watching TV when they retire. It’s for those with vision, who want adventure, want to feel young again, and who want to create their ideal retirement. Don’t wait any longer. Let Nicaragua surprise you.

Find Out More From Our Nicaragua Correspondent

From the Archives of Nicaragua

Retire to This Beautiful University City For $1,200 a Month

Retire to This Beautiful University City For $1,200 a Month

Daily Postcard
By |
December 31, 2015

Leon is one of the oldest cities in Nicaragua and second-largest city in the country after the capital of Managua. It has a warm climate with average highs in the high 80s F and average lows in the 70s F and also has terrific colonial architecture to recommend it. Leon is great place to live if you want to be close to the beaches…you can enjoy all the conveniences of a big city, amid beautiful surroundings, and still be only 11 miles from Nicaragua’s stunning ocean beaches.

Swapping the American “Dream” for a Simpler Life in Nicaragua

Swapping the American “Dream” for a Simpler Life in Nicaragua

Beach Living
By |
December 18, 2015

Justin and Sarah Fahey did everything the way you are “supposed to” in the U.S. They focused on their educations, both finally getting Master’s degrees at Boston universities. They got married. Justin landed a sales job for a large research company and Sarah worked as a counselor in a private Massachusetts school. The road to the American Dream stretched out before them. Everything was perfect. Or was it?

Top 5 Travel Adventures in Nicaragua

Top 5 Travel Adventures in Nicaragua

I’ve lived in Nicaragua for seven years, and I can tell you that this is one of the most beautiful, affordable, and exciting countries in Central America. You can leave your stressful life behind and relax in the tranquility of a liquid gold touched sunset, listen to a gentle forest rain, or watch from your patio as thousands of fireflies make it look as though the stars have descended from the sky. And if you like excitement and adventure, Nicaragua will not disappoint.

Is This the Perfect Ocean-View Retirement?

Is This the Perfect Ocean-View Retirement?

“I go into my kitchen and look out over my pool to the ocean. I can see all the way to the mountains in neighboring Costa Rica. On my terrace are beautiful potted plants including orchids hanging from coconut trees. I feel blessed,” says Lawrence. Lawrence and Jeanne were living a high-powered life in the Big Apple, working and raising three children.

Matagalpa, Nicaragua

Matagalpa, Nicaragua

The cool-weather mountain city of Matagalpa is one of Nicaragua’s undiscovered gems. This affordable expat haven, in the heart of coffee country, is home to 300 to 400 expats—mostly American and Canadian.A couple can live here for $1,200 a month. For $300 a month you can find a three-bedroom, two-bath house with garage and backyard. For $400 you’ll feed a family for a month, and $75 will cover your utilities for a month.

Visit Nicaragua: 5 Must-See Attractions

Visit Nicaragua: 5 Must-See Attractions

Daily Postcard
By |
December 20, 2014

With Nicaragua just arriving on the scene as a top tourist destination, many people don’t know what this little country has to offer. Like Costa Rica about 30 years ago, Nicaragua gives you the same untamed beauty, exotic living locale, great business opportunities and the lowest prices around. Here are just a few attractions that you should not miss when you. Float on your back or swim lengths in this crystal clear turquoise natural pool in the middle of the forest. Ometepe Island itself should not be missed. A one-of-a-kind destination, you can hike up an active volcano, go kayaking in the 19th largest lake in the world, or relax in this stunning pool of water for the entire day. Cost of the day (approx.): Round-trip ferry ride—$6; hotel—$45 to $75 a night; scooter rental—$15 a day; food: breakfast, lunch and dinner—$50 for two.

Enjoy a Stress-Free and Healthier Lifestyle in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Enjoy a Stress-Free and Healthier Lifestyle in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Daily Postcard
By |
December 10, 2014

First, there’s the food… The supermarket produce sections in the U.S. are picture perfect: intensely orange oranges; big, shiny red apples; greens without a bit of brown. But, Nicaragua doesn't paint, wax, and shine its produce, so I eat wonderfully sweet oranges with no beautifying chemicals added (for a fraction of what they cost in the U.S). I also eat fresh-caught (not frozen or farm-raised) fish twice or three times a week and real free-range chicken (that has been allowed to run free and is not injected with growth hormones.) The rest of my diet includes tropical fruits and vegetables fresh from the farm.