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John-Marc Gallagher of Granada Property Services – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Someone once told me "your strengths are your weaknesses".   The best and worst things about living in Granada, Nicaragua is not the exception to that comment but the rule.
What is so great about Granada also drives us crazy at times. The city is the site of many, many national and international festivals: including  the International Poets Festival, saints' days, a week long celebration during Christmas and again at Easter, marching bands, school parades, fireworks displays, street vendors selling their wares starting at 5 AM, horse parades, street artists, jugglers, Mariachi bands, the list is endless.  And that makes Granada vibrant, exciting and fun.  But that also makes Granada a fairly noisy city starting early in the morning. The good news is you can hear a pin drop on most streets after 10 pm at night.  
So,  you are going to be an early riser to appreciate the hustle and bustle of this tiny city of 150,000 people often compacted into about 8 square blocks - that is where all the action is.   It is fun, but it can be noisy and distracting when you are trying to watch TV rather than being out on the streets and in the cafes, bars and restaurants all with outdoor seating and enjoying the pleasant night air.
Darrell Bushnell – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
turles and children on  at a beach on a Nicaragua reserve – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe low cost of living in Granada allows us to live much better than we would be living in the US and we certainly could not have been reinventing ourselves because of the fewer economic options we would have in the US.
We really like the people down here. Also, it’s so much better now than 10 or 15 years ago; the infrastructure is much better. When we got here, electricity was on for 8 hours a day. Now, it might go off for a few minutes a week.
Nicaragua is a beautiful country – if you want to live in the ocean, no problem.  If you want to live in the mountains, no problem.  If you want to live in a colonial city, no problem.  If you want to enjoy a little bit of it all, like we do, just build a house outside of the major city. One of the best things here is you have so many choices of how you want to live and where you want to live in Nicaragua because there’s all types of living.
One of the worse things for my wife and I is that we’re very disappointed in our level of Spanish even after almost ten years.  But part of that is, as you get older, it is harder to learn, no matter what they say. Sometimes you just don’t feel like doing it. But we continuously take lessons, which we enjoy, and we thought we would be fluent within six months. Getting here, ten years later, we can probably speak better than most of the expats here but certainly we haven’t earned a Pulitzer Prize or anything. I can’t think of too many worst things because we wouldn’t stay here if there were many.  
(Turtles and children on a beach at a wild life preserve. Nicaragua, pictured.)
Esmerelda Vargas of Schuvar Tours – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Cathedral of Granada, Nicaragua, with mountains in the background – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe best think about living and retiring in Granada, Nicaragua is that it is a safe city where you have everything within walking distance. You have a beautiful view and there are a lot of outdoor activities that you can do. You have the lake, and you have the Mombacho Volcano where you can go hiking or walking. You can also go to the beaches.
Granada has a wide variety of foods because there are lots of different nationalities here that own restaurants. Granada is an old town, so living there is like living in the past while combining it with things from the present. If you are somebody who likes that, it would be very nice to live in Granada.
The worst thing about living in Granada, Nicaragua would be that there are some places on the streets that are not very clean. They have some difficulties outside of the center of Granada. (The center of Granada is the tourist area, the nicer area, and where the expats tend to live.)  I know that the municipality is working on that but I would say that that is the worst thing about living here.
(Pictured: Cathedral of Granada, Nicaragua, with mountains in the background.)
Carlos Roman Gutierrez Solis of Casa Granada Properties – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Chuch of Guadalupe, Granada, Nicaragua – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Living
One of the worst things of living in Granada would be the noise. The city is sometimes very noisy. As you move farther away from the city, there will be less and less noise. Keep in mind though, that the city keeps on growing. It is a Catholic city, so the churches like to have processions and demonstrations. (Iglesias de Guadalupe, pictured.) There are also kids playing drums. You’ll see cars passing by. So the noise could be a problem because some people do not like that. But then again, some people like to interact with the locals.
The heat is another thing. If you are not used to the heat, then you might find it uncomfortable. April and May are usually our hottest months. Sometimes we reach 90 to 95 degrees during these hot months. That is something that can be a problem if you are not used to it. That is why a lot of people here like to have swimming pools. Expats love it and they need it because it is a good way to cool off.
Another thing could be the lack of options. Some people like having a lot of options such as having different types of restaurants to choose from. They want supermarkets to have more variety of goods like they are used to in their home countries or in the US, for example. We don’t have a Home Depot here in Granada, where you can find all the tools you will ever need. Pretty much what people do who live out of town is to drive back and forth into to Managua and buy what they need in the hardware store there, which is similar to Home Depot.
But if you would consider the low taxes and the low cost of living, those are the best reasons for living and retiring here. Another good thing about living here in Granada is that everything is close. You don’t need a car right away because you can walk. You can easily get to the center, the supermarkets, and you can easily find stuff in the local market, too. You ocean is only an hour away, and you can visit the lake any time. You can always go to the Lake Apoyo.
The houses in Granada are not that big. You don’t need to buy gigantic colonial homes to live here. Overall, Granada is decent and safe. Life is easy going and everything is slow paced. If you are tired of living in a cosmopolitan city in the US or Canada and you don’t want to pay a lot of money in taxes and services, Granada is a great place because this is a laid back city. Then, if one day you would like some change of environment, you can just go to Managua, which is only 35 minutes away.
If you want to deal with the locals in Granada and with the culture, this is a good place to be. I am not from Granada; I am from Managua and even I can see the difference. When I go to Granada, I can relax; I can walk down the streets. I don’t have to carry any guns or any weapon and feel safe. I can walk to the market  while seeing all the nice colonial houses, which are very lovely.  It is like a weekend every day. I don’t feel like I am working. I appreciate Granada now more than before when I used to work in Managua full time.

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