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

What’s My Favorite Retirement Haven? I Don’t Know Yet…

What’s My Favorite Retirement Haven? I Don’t Know Yet…

My wife and I celebrated our 19th anniversary last week. The length of our marriage roughly coincides with the length of our journey of discovery exploring the world (and ourselves) on behalf of International Living. Married in 1997, it took three years of anticipation, trepidation, and preparation before we actually moved overseas, beginning our expat lives in Quito, Ecuador, in 2001.

A Charming Colonial City Where You Can Still Pick Up a Bargain

A Charming Colonial City Where You Can Still Pick Up a Bargain

Real Estate
By |
April 26, 2016

In January, I stepped out from the front doors of my colonial hotel into the already bright morning sunshine. Past perfectly preserved colonial buildings, I walked past a wide central park, lined with vendors selling cool drinks and snacks, and horse-drawn carriages offering rides to waiting tourists. It was just a few more steps—past a colorful Spanish colonial cathedral—to get a fresh-brewed coffee or a gelado. You can buy fresh-baked pastries or gourmet jellies or sauces in little street-side cafes.

Laidback Living and Golden Sands on Nicaragua’s Pacific

Laidback Living and Golden Sands on Nicaragua’s Pacific

It may well be the best little beach town in the world... With 22 beaches for you to enjoy and a surge in foreign residents and travelers, San Juan del Sur, on Nicaragua's southern Pacific coast, is perfect for any lover of ocean views, warm waters, and fun in the sun. After eight years of living here full-time, I wouldn't want to live anywhere else. Even if I'm away for only a few days, I find myself missing it. Many people come here to visit and end up staying or going home to plan their permanent return.

Discover A World of Travel Possibilities When You Live Overseas

Discover A World of Travel Possibilities When You Live Overseas

When you move overseas, you don’t just benefit from the better weather, lower cost of living, and the affordable healthcare…you also open up a world of travel possibilities. During our working lives, we’d take those one- or two-week trips, and were lucky enough to see a few highlights. But when you live in a foreign country, you have the opportunity to use this new location to travel to other countries as well as to explore the place you’ve chosen to live. This happened to me when I moved to Nicaragua.

Rediscover Your Retirement Dreams in Low-Cost Nicaragua

Rediscover Your Retirement Dreams in Low-Cost Nicaragua

When you were younger, what did you envision your retirement would look like? Long, happy days where you wouldn’t have to work the 9-to-5 grind anymore. Playing golf or going to the beach on a sunny Wednesday afternoon. You probably saw yourself pursuing hobbies and taking classes that you never had time for before.

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.