There’s a lot to be discovered in Nicaragua… A country bursting with opportunity, culture and magnificent wildlife, it’s a place that’s been overlooked by the majority of tourists and expats. But as more and more people hear about what this diverse destination has to offer, that’s beginning to change.
No matter your taste, interest, or budget, you’ll find a lot to adore in Nicaragua.
If you’re looking for perfectly preserved and very colorful colonial beauty, head to Granada. Overlooked by the Mombacho Volcano, and located by Lake Nicaragua, this increasingly popular expat haven—which was the first European-founded city in the Americas—is one of the most charming cities on our radar. Horses pull buggies along cobblestoned streets…and locals sip coffee in the sunshine and chat on the main pedestrianized square…
And that’s not all. “It’s easy to meet people,” says Helen Korengold, who has lived here for nine years, “and very cheap.”
But if Granada feels too laid-back for your tastes, check out Leon, Granada’s hipper, younger sister city. A university town, this city, which is larger than Granada, exudes intellectual and creative energy. It’s home to a quite a few of the poets Nicaragua is famous for…as well as spectacular art collections and history-soaked architecture…
In search of a beachside hideaway? Nicaragua’s Pacific coastline truly shines.
Expats will attest that it looks just like the Pacific Coast of California…but without the hefty price tag. You’ll find one of the most developed and enduring expat communities here, in San Juan del Sur.
For many of the expats who have moved to this little beach town, like Roberto, 63, and his wife Réjane Rojas, nothing compares to it…and they can afford to live well there on their savings and pension.
“We visited most of the Central American countries before we decided on Nicaragua,” Roberto says. “We just loved San Juan del Sur.
“The countryside is just amazing, beautiful pristine beaches, great weather, friendly people, and we have luxuries here, like a full-time maid and gardener, which we could never afford back home.”
And if you have a hankering to see the Caribbean… you’ll find a largely untouched paradise in the English-speaking Corn Islands. Unlike other Caribbean destinations, the Corn Islands have yet to take off with tourists…meaning its warm waters are ripe for snorkeling or diving, and its white-sand beaches unspoiled by hotel loungers or crammed with sun-seekers.
Nicaragua, because of its low-profile, is still incredibly affordable. In fact, this is probably the best-value destination that’s on our beat.
Expats report that they can live extremely well on between $1,000 and $2,000 per month, per couple.
Take Rob and Kelly Thomas, who moved to San Juan del Sur a decade ago. Before Rob came to San Juan, he had a good job as a commodities trader in Texas.
“It was very stressful and used a lot of brain power. The markets move all the time. You can make or lose a lot of money in a very short time,” he says.
So he gave it up. And though the couple have opened a business, the El Gato Negro Coffee Shop and Bookstore, their costs are much lower than they ever were in the States. While they paid $5,000 a month for all their living expenses in the U.S., in Nicaragua, their total monthly living expenses come to just $1,500.
What’s Not to Love?
Packed full of beautiful scenery, historic cities, culture, art…boasting an extremely low cost of living…and close to the U.S. (it’s just a three-hour flight from Miami)…Nicaragua truly offers a rewarding lifestyle to all the expats who discover it.
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