Which places are the best places to live in
Nicaragua depend on many things. For example, are you retired? Are you looking to do business?
Some people think that New York is the best place because they want to make a lot of money and they are close to everything. Other people would say that they don’t like New York because its noisy, sometimes its dangerous, some places are depressing, there’s ambulances and sirens all the time, etc. It depends. What are your needs in terms of safety? How quiet do you need it? How close or far away do you need to be from work or other places?
I’ll explore how the various places in Nicaragua would fit various needs.
Let’s say that you’re trying to learn the country of Nicaragua and do business eventually and at the same time you want to be close to everything. In addition, you don’t want to be in a big city and you want a laid back. If this were the case, Granada, Nicaragua would be your choice. If you’re an active person who at the same time likes to take your time, Granada is good. The picture to the left is of Granada.
If you’re the type of person who likes to explore, you’re a pioneer, and you’re not afraid to deal with a big city because you are accustomed to big cities like New York or San Francisco, those places where life is more fast, Managua is like a kindergarten; it’s easy. You can easily find homes or developments where you’re going to feel very comfortable. These homes are in safe, quiet areas, and at the same time you can open a business in Managua and make some money. The first picture in this answer is of a shopping mall in Managua.
Managua is good for entrepreneurs and to meet more expats and more companies. If you are in your 40s or 50s, you want to keep moving forward and want to live close to the action in a decent-sized home at a decent price, Managua would have a lot of potential for you right now. I’m impressed by how many expats already live in Managua. We have houses from US $150,000 to $300,000 that are in a decent location at a decent size, in good and safe areas. You can still find a house in Managua for even less-- $140,000-- and live very well.
Then, you have another type of person who doesn’t like to be in the heat. They think Managua is too hot, too noisy, there’s too many expats, and they would like to live in the countryside but close to the cities. They want facilities, they want food and something to buy but they want good weather. These people could live in Diriomo. Diriomo is one of what we call “the White Towns”, or “Pueblos Blancos”, which are close by Granada. The Pueblos Blancos in my opinion is the next growing expat area, although already there are many expats there who are enjoying the good weather the entire year; in the high 70s all year round.
Then you have Matagalpa and Jinotega, which where the coffee farms are. I have heard that many expats are looking for properties there because it’s a good area, with cool, fresh air and a little cheaper than Granada. (Jinotega Central Park is pictured here.)
San Juan del Sur, as well as the beach areas around there such as Rivas, Tola, Popoyo, etc. is for people who love to be beachfront at the ocean. It’s hot, but they are more interested to live on the water than being close to the city.
Many people in San Juan del Sur don’t live there full time; they may live there 3 – 4 months out of the year. Other people do live there full time. There are people who live in San Juan del Sur who have opened hotels, restaurants, and other businesses; they’re business pioneers.
San Juan del Sur is the only substantial city or town that Nicaragua has on the ocean. Lately, San Juan del Sur is becoming more Americanized. Some people say that this has diminished the traditional charm of San Juan del Sur and made it less like a traditional city in the Nicaraguan countryside than it used to be. Now you see more businesses dedicated to expats and international customers . This raises up the prices. San Juan del Sur is like another country within Nicaragua.
The Central Pacific Beach areas like Gran Pacifica are a different kind of environment in Nicaragua, somewhat like San Juan del Sur, but perhaps a bit more sophisticated. People who live in these areas are people who expect to have more services like in the States; more management, good service, etc. A lot of these services are provided by the management companies. The Central Pacific Beach areas are more private than San Juan del Sur. Unlike in San Juan del Sur, where you can meet every kind of crazy person, you won’t find that in places like Gran Pacifica. In places like Gran Pacifica, you’ll also feel more secure and safe.