Pay Less, Get More—Nicaragua’s Bargain Beach Town

Bay after bay (22 in all) of crashing blue surf, craggy cliffs, beautiful rock formations, and pristine virgin beaches surround San Juan del Sur on Nicaragua’s southwest coast.

Back home I never dreamt that I could afford to own something with an ocean view. I’m just a middle-class gal. In California you would pay 10 times what my home cost me in San Juan del Sur. Yet here I don’t just have a view and live close to the beach, I also have a wonderful garden of mango, papaya and citrus trees. I even have cinnamon and moringa trees. And my real estate taxes? Just $151 a year.

San Juan del Sur is a funky little town, the most colorful in Nicaragua, about 35 miles from the Costa Rican border. With over 50 restaurants in three-square blocks, foodies will eat to their heart’s content. This eclectic city even has a raw food restaurant (Buddha’s Garden) and a craft beer joint (San Juan del Sur Cerveceria).

If a more Nicaraguan flavor is what you like, check out the free folklore ballet on Thursday nights at El Timon Restaurant and try their grilled red snapper. For music lovers, this is where you should live if you can’t survive without it. From reggae and blues to rock ‘n roll and salsa, merengue, bachata and more, San Juan del Sur will satisfy anyone’s ear.

You have a lot of options to choose from if you are looking to purchase or rent. You could buy an economical ocean-view lot for as little as $25,000 and build your own home for $25 to $95 per square foot.

Or maybe your dream home is already built and waiting for you.

If an ocean view is a must, you’ll find stand-alone homes in a gated community from $109,000 and up depending on location, furniture and amenities. Expect locally sourced hardwood trim and doors, granite counter tops, central air conditioning, WiFi throughout, and all the other amenities you are used to at home.

If you want to live in town, don’t want a car, and want to be close to the ocean then check out the main beach street in San Juan del Sur. I’ve seen fully-furnished two-bedroom, two-bathroom ocean-front condos around here list for $189,000. You’re just a two-minute walk from the market and at the center of the restaurant scene.

San Juan del Sur is a popular tourist spot and many foreigners buy with a view to running a business. A 4,000-square-foot, five-bedroom house that accommodates a storefront business can be bought for $275,000—suitable to convert the building to a Bed & Breakfast or boutique Hotel. Only a minute walking to the beach, you won’t even need a vehicle if you live here.

If you want to live near the beach, there’s nowhere better than San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. The stressless days, the purple-gold-pink sunsets, and the lifestyle are second to none.

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