Where do you live and why

So we don't as of yet have a plan as to where we would ideally like to live in nicaragua. But just curious where you started your journey and why? Best city to acclimate to the customs and culture, etc

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Veracruz is located between Managua and Masaya, for a retiree person is a good choice, near to Managua but not in Managua, close than Hospital Metropolitano, 3 supermarkets, cinemas, banks, drug stores, etc. But out of Managua; on the other hand is a non-develop area, with small farms around and some nice neighborhood, in my opinion the best of two worlds. Law criminality rate, plenty of public water, a better wheatear than Managua, in 15 in Managua or Masaya, 30 from Granada and 1 1/2 hour from San Juan del Sur.

Good luck,

Paul Tiffer

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Well I(tammy) prefer cooler temps as I write this it is currently a high today in St Louis of 110 degrees. I love to have a garden (flowers). We have a dog. Love to fish so if we were near a lake, great. But want to be in walking distance to amenities like markets. We also love sports, any sports bars near by that be awesome, let me say american sports shown. Baseball, college football, and college basketball (love to do our brackets each march). Like to have a social expat community

Jim and Tammy Keel Future expats

Some of these things are contradictory

I'm not sure about sports bars that would be playing US sports. More likely in the bigger cities with larger expat communities. Or you get cable and invite friends over. Or you get interested in sports played in Nicaragua.

Most of the actively socializing expat community is probably in Granada or San Juan del Sur, with various people scattered between Managua and the Costa Rica border. Granada and San Juan del Sur both share a farmers market that's mostly expats who grow or make things. There are some hill towns near Granada that would be cooler than lower elevations, but not as cool as the mountains. (If people can grow coffee in a place, the temperatures are cooler than not).

Juanno pointed you to the thread where various posters commented on various parts of Nicaragua.

I will say that most of Nicaragua is not the easiest place to transplant a basically US lifestyle, but it is a great place for gardens (my backyard has year round zinnias that self-seed). Why did you decide to retire to Nicaragua rather than Costa Rica, Panama, Oregon or Washington State, etc.?

Rebecca Brown

Why? well that is a good

Why? well that is a good question. Probably the biggest reason is that we could qualify for a visa on much less income than the afformationed locations. If I had my choice I might pick belize, but cost of living analysis is too high. We live a simply life here but learning to live on half the income may be a challange but we will not have any bills to come with us so that is a bonus. The other thing is we may be retiring, my husband is disabled and I am a nurse who has worked in medical oncology and was in the Navy. I would love to find a chance to get into community health wether paid or not. Offering a chance to do some kind of volunteer work is rewarding to me. And my favorite flower is dahlias, I am hoping to bring some of my tubers with me. Nicaragua while having a tumoltuous past is really doing alot to attract expats to come to their country and through the expats they have attracted they have made the country seem, to me, like a country that is trying to really change their image.

Jim and Tammy Keel Future expats

Why Belize?

Call it an academic interest but I am wondering why you would consider Belize. Based on your criteria, I cannot see a single thing that fits.

Belize vs. Nicaragua

New on this forum. Checking to see if anyone has done both Belize and Nicaragua. Have been in Belize for 9 years and thinking of making a switch. Used to a laid back life on the beach, and have done some reading on Little Corm Island. Seems very remote. Big Corm seems too "commercial" for lack of a better word.

Miami to Managua flights are much cheaper than to BZE. Would work writing, which I can do anywhere. Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance


from managua to corn will add to your cost/risk/time of travel. Come visit; if you like primitive and can ignor the political situation, Nicaragua has much to offer.

"You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality." Ayn Rand

I had considered Belize

I wrote it off mainly for the reason I expect you liked it. I didn't want hot weather and I don't think you have much choice in Belize.

While flights to the US are not on my list of interests, all indications are that Belize is just too small population-wise to support a reasonable business sector. That is, a place that might sell power tools, fancy kitchen appliances and such. While Nicaragua/Managua is limited, even the population of Managua itself is many times that of the whole country of Belize. It just seems like if I were in Belize I would have to make my shopping trips to Guatemala City.

One thing beyond Phil's list to consider

Do you want to be in an area with lots of other expats, some expats, or almost no expats?

If you're in an area with lots of other English-speaking expats, you can have a social life without mastering Spanish. Tradespeople may speak English (a few do almost anywhere since some Nicaraguans moved back from the US -- the folks at USA Articulos in Jinotega are completely fluent in English; one pharmacy has people who speak some English; and a jewelry store advertises that English is Spoken Here).

Some expats -- what I was looking for, along with weather that was cooler than 90 F most of the time -- you can have some social life with the expats but there aren't enough of them that you aren't nudged to learning Spanish, but are enough of them that you don't have to get along with all of them to have an English-speaking social life.

No other expats or very few expats -- you have to learn Spanish fast to have a social life at all or you're in a situation where you can't afford to having a falling out with anyone in the local expat community since there are only three of you. As a Nicaraguan friend of mine said, though, you will learn Spanish the fastest this way ("If we'd put you on an island where nobody spoke English, you'd have learned Spanish by now.").

You can mix and match climates for any of these except high mountains and lots of expats. Managua probably has neighborhoods that have varying mixes of expats who speak English.

Sounds like you're pro-city -- so pick a climate. If you're willing to deal with some heat, Leon and Granada are both possibilities. Check out both of them if you have time and money. If you want relatively cooler temperatures, the cities in the mountains are Esteli, Matagalpa, and Jinotega, with Somoto in the mix. They're in "some expats" range. Somoto probably doesn't have many expats (I've never been there).

Most of the Nicaraguan population lives in an area that's about the same size as Costa Rica. Couple of other people know more about those parts.

If you have limited time, pick two or three cities from research and visit them in person. I don't think you can just land in a place and necessarily get a good fit. People who do that seem to move around a bit at least within a region before settling in (climate seems to be non-negotiable for people drawn to the mountain cities).

Rebecca Brown

I'll duck now :-)

It's a good question but I can already see the answers. So, let me start with a non-answer.

  • Climate is going to be a big factor. What are you looking for?
  • Do you want to live in a city, a town or a rural area?
  • Do you want mountains, the beach, the jungle, ...?
  • What's your budget?

There is no wrong place to live in Nicaragua. If you treat locals fairly, most will treat you fairly -- pretty much just like anywhere. I can pretty much list the answers you are going to get about why various areas are the best (or worst). Sort out your criteria first.

No matter where you start plan on some in-country time (at least six months and a year is better) before you make any permanent decisions such as buying property. Being here and seeing for yourself is very different from the assorted opinions you are going to get.


good answer..what do u want

Agree With Rebecca

Spend some time traveling around the country and be brash in chatting up the local expats.

Nicaragua is fascinating BECAUSE of as well as despite the poor roads and isolation. Bugs, heat and humidity, or elevation and cooler?

And, because of the modest size of the country you can have a bit of both: sophisticated city (Leon) plus a nearby and beautiful beach, as an example.

Crave isolation and a TRUE adventure? There's miles of beautiful beach on the east coast and a Swiss Family Robinson life waiting for you.