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David Smith – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
San Juan del Sur is very safe. The only people that you hear getting into any kind of trouble are foreigners who get drunk and silly and messy and get taken advantage of the same way that they would if they were in their hometown, if in their hometown they were going out to get blitzed in the bars.
 
Petty theft is the biggest and most often occuring crime here in San Juan del Sur. The victims of petty theft tend to be those who are not completely in control of their faculties at the time. Otherwise it’s very safe to walk around,; very safe to walk on the beach. Yea, I don’t hear or feel unsafe at all. 
 
One has personal feelings as to safety. As articles in Nicaragua get out there and people take a look at the facts rather than relying on other people’s gut feelings and they have their own experiences, Nicaragua’s reputation is improving.
 
Personally, I decided to look at the facts and compare apples with apples from the variety of countries I was considering.  I looked at the reports from the United Nations say about safety, what do reports from Interpol say about safety, etc. And the facts are, surprisingly for many, Nicaragua is the safest country in Central America and considered the second safest country behind Canada and all of the Americas.
 
There are plenty of reports now, including a recent one by the director of the International Monetary Fund with all the facts and figures about how little crime there is in Nicaragua and a deeper analysis as to why that is so when Nicaragua is bounded by countries that still suffer from quite serious crime—Honduras and El Salvador to the north and even in Costa Rica with the growing disparity between expats who live in highrises on the beach (which you don’t see in Nicaragua; it’s prohibited), and the Costa Rican locals behind the beach, who are blocked from access. I’ve learned that the growing disparity is leading to more and more crime in Costa Rica that we don’t have here in Nicaragua.
 
The facts speak for themselves.  There are plenty of reports and we have a whole list of those reports on our website so that people can read for themselves what the facts say and you can compare country to country on a whole variety of different criminalities—violent crime, rape statistics, murder statistics, gun crimes, all these kinds of things, and you can receive a deeper analysis as to why that is the case.  It’s quite fascinating and it causes so many people to have a paradigm shift in their thinking. It occurred with me when I learned that Nicaragua was not what I was expecting and got me to step off the plane and come look, and instantly I felt at ease with the friendly, safe, place here. 
 
I’ve been here for nine years and never have I been concerned with anything.  I did, however, have my car robbed once, which was on Easter weekend, Semana Santa. Semana Santa in San Juan del Sur is absolutely crazy. It’s the center of all of Nicaragua for partying.  People from Nicaragua and other countries come to San Juan del Sur and camp out on the beach, so it’s absolutely packed. It’s the party central holiday of the year. Consequently, it’s also when the bad guys are going to be here looking for drunken people to take advantage of and pickpocket and do minor petty theft.
 
It happened to be that weekend.  I went to the grocery store and I was sauntering around, super relaxed. I was in the middle of planning doing something else and had left my Roots leather bag on the passenger seat of my car, open with my computer, and a couple of thousand dollars in cash that I had taken out to pay someone. I never had that much money but I did that day because I was off to pay somebody.  I also had out my Nikon camera, which was only about 4 months old. Everything was in my Roots leather bag and I sauntered into the Pali grocery store having left my car open with an open bag on the passenger’s seat right there, and lo and behold, when I got back to the car, it was gone. I didn’t actually notice until I was driving back home. When I was five minutes into my drive I noticed my little white dog, Lily, was on the passenger’s seat. I looked at her and I thought, “She’s not supposed to be there. Why is she there?” Almost immediately, I realized, “Oh, God. The bag that was there was gone.” So I was at least pleased that they didn’t take the most expensive thing in the car, which was Lily. She’s a Coton de Tulear, a very rare breed and my baby of 7 or 8 years.   They didn’t take her, so that pleased me. 
 
Just to cap off that story, what I thought was a wonderful reflection of what Nicaragua is, is that in my bag also was my wallet with my passport.  After the theft, I started the process of recording my passport stolen and getting in touch with the British Embassy in Costa Rica and going to the whole bureaucratic process to get a new passport which was a nightmare.  About 3 weeks into that process, I walked into Dona Gloria Sanchez grocery store, which is a little grocery store in the middle of town.  Dona Gloria held up my passport and said, “I have something for you.” I thought it was absolutely incredible but my passport had been tossed out onto the side of the road, someone has found it.   I’m not a well-known person in town but obviously known enough that it found its way to Dona Gloria, which is where I do my grocery shopping, and she saved it. It brought a tear to my eye that that would happen.
 
I thought it was amazing and it still to me feels like a really good solid reflection of the people of Nicaragua and how this place actually works. It encompasses everything I’ve written so far about safety and crime. It’s a really good ending to that story, even though I lost money and my computer and I had to save up to go buy a new one.    
 
The Coton de Tulear is the royal dog of Madagascar. She’s good dog, but not a watchdog.  She’s a white fluffy lap dog. Has they noticed her, she would’ve licked them to death.  
Julie Speier of San Juan del Sur Day School – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
San Juan de Sur Day School kids playing on a country road, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingI feel safe in San Juan del Sur. I get out and about in the evening once or twice a week. There are a lot of backpack tourists in town that have a fun, robust party life. My daily routine includes being in school, going to yoga class, going to the beach to go surfing, and being with my kids. I do live in a gated community. There is a guard at the front gate and a guard at the back gate. I do have bars on my windows but I have not had any problems where I currently live. 
 
A lot of times when you hear about robberies, it is about tourists who are on the beach and brought too many things with them such as a big camera, a purse, etc., and so they become easy targets for thieves.
 
Generally, most of the year San Juan del Sur is very safe. During the holidays there is definitely an increase in robberies so you need to be a lot more vigilant because there are a lot more people who come here to target tourists during the that time. The amount of crime that we have comes and goes in waves.
 
I have been here for seven years and I have only been robbed once. I made the mistake of walking down the beach once at night in an isolated area, which you really shouldn’t do. I don’t think you should do that anywhere in the world either unless it’s on a private resort. It was right before Semana Santa, which is the huge party week here in San Juan del Sur. I don’t recommend visiting San Juan del Sur during Semana Santa. There are lots of people who are not from San Juan del Sur, who come here. My husband and I were walking down the beach around 9 PM and we did get robbed. That was back when we first moved here in San Juan del Sur. After that, I learned my lesson.
 
I lived in New York City before moving to Nicaragua. I have traveled enough to be on guard in certain situations. I wouldn’t say that I feel unsafe in San Juan del Sur but I am diligent to know what is around me and anticipate where I am walking and what time I am going. But overall, I feel safe and comfortable here in San Juan del Sur. Generally, there are more crimes of opportunity and crimes against property here in Nicaragua and less violent crime. If you leave something valuable in sight, it’s probably going to get stolen, but I haven’t heard of any violent crimes.
 
I have a 7 year old, a 4 year old, and a 1 year old and I don’t have any concerns about my kids’ safety. Nicaraguans love children. So when we go to dinner or when we go to town or to the park, you would see that Nicaraguans have a really high respect and honor for children here, much more than in the US. The children here in Nicaragua are just doted upon. Everybody wants to stop and say hello to your kids and they have just sweet compliments and sweet words for the kids. The Nicaraguan community and the expat community really look out for the kids. They watch out for each other.
 
(San Juan de Sur Day School kids playing on a country road, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, pictured.)
Suyen Vargas of Aurora Vacation Rentals Nicaragua – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
mother and daugher on beach – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingIn my opinion, San Juan del Sur is safe. I have been living in San Juan del Sur for 10 years and I never had an issue. I am raising two kids here. I can walk on the beach or in the town and it is safe.
 
Woman can walk on the streets of San Juan. I do it all the time, by myself or with friends. What I wouldn’t do is walk on the beach by myself at night. I wouldn’t do that anywhere in the world.
 
(Mother and daughter on beach in Nicaragua, pictured.)
Daniel Bolanos of Hacienda & Ecolodge Morgan´s Rock – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Sunset in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingI do walk by myself at night here in San Juan Del Sur, although of course, I am not going to walk into every corner and essentially ask to be robbed.  I have gone out at night with friends and I have friends who go in their cars, but I just walk, since everything is just walking distance here in San Juan Del Sur. It is safe to walk even at night.  Just do not go into dark corners asking for trouble, which is the same anywhere.
 
You probably need to be a bit more careful during Christmas and New Year’s, since there are lots of people at that time of year who need money who could go after your cellphone. If you show your cellphone in front of someone that you shouldn’t be showing it to, then you are asking for trouble.
 
 
Eugenio Cortez of Hacienda & Ecolodge Morgan´s Rock – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Generally, San Juan Del Sur is safe. You can walk around at night without worrying that anything bad will happen to you. Nobody will mug you, but obviously, there are rare cases just like anywhere else.
 
San Juan Del Sur is a party place, so you will find drunken people or people who are high, and they could cause some trouble, but it is nothing like someone will hold you at gunpoint in the middle of the street. There is nothing like that here. Generally, I feel safe walking around town with my wife and kid at night.
Joe Lopes of las escadas condominiums – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
San Juan Del Sur Nicaragua arial view of the bay – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingSan Juan Del Sur is very safe. Nicaragua is actually the safest country in all of Latin America. It is safer here compared to where I used to live in Costa Rica. Out here in San Juan del Sur, I do not worry about a thing. You will not hear crimes in the news and you will not see them on the streets either. You can walk in the streets at around 4 or 5 o’clock in the morning and nobody will bother you.
 
Comparing San Juan Del Sur to Toronto, Canada where I come from, I would say San Juan Del Sur is safer. In Toronto, it is only safe if you know the places to avoid. I am saying this as a person who has lived in Toronto and in Costa Rica. You should not worry about a thing even if you come to San Juan Del Sur as a tourist. It is a small town and everyone knows everybody else.
Blue van Doorninck of Rancho Chilamate Horseback Adventures & Guest Ranch – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account

It is pretty safe here in San Juan Del Sur. You will not hear about a lot of violent crimes. Most of the crimes are petty crimes of opportunity because often, people will leave things on the beach or just simply not take care of them. These crimes are the types of crimes that happen when people are on holidays.

Vanessa Pattison of Zen Yoga Nicaragua – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
This is the MILLION dollar question! My answer is complicated. Petty theft I would say is sort of an epidemic issue here in San Juan del Sur. I have had many experiences personally and have heard many more stories from people I know who have experienced theft and break ins to homes and cars.  You must have a caretaker or security person on site in San Juan del Sur, or should I say if you live outside the main town. That is just how it is done here. Couple that with lack of police response and well you must be mindful. 
 
There are many hypotheses on why? Some say it is because there is extreme poverty and extreme wealth. Some say it is because foreigners bring on vacation expensive items such as I-Pads, as well all Apple products, cameras, lots of cash...you get the idea. This makes the traveler an easy target. One back pack snatched likely contains at least US $100 of goods or potentially a LOT more.
 
Living here gets a little trickier. In my experience I had issues with cleaning staff stealing clothes, money, etc. Over time though we sorted through it and found amazing, caring and trustworthy people to surround ourselves with. I imagine this happens the world over when people are migrating to a new country and a new language.  This often places you in danger of being a potential target from someone claiming to want to "help" you. 
 
In my ten years living here I have never been the target of a robbery or attack but I have had a few friends who have. Most crimes are not violent in nature here. I hope I have not painted a bad picture here.  Many of the other answers on this site especially under "Is Nicargua safe?" are right on and I do not feel unsafe here. In fact visiting my family in California and making a wrong turn I find myself in the wrong part of town and felt more unsafe than I ever have here. I feel pretty comfortable with the knowledge that I know where my potential threat would come from here and can take measures to avoid it. 
 
I could have quoted statistics but I am unsure how real they are and how much gets reported or followed up on. In a small town of San Juan del Sur, everyone knows who is thieving (the small percentage of criminals) but not much happens to them. Try to surround yourself with good, honest people and stay aware. 
 
Hope this helps! Safe travels! 
Maria Alejandra Miranda of Hotel Victoriano – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
San Juan del Sur Nicaragua at sunset, looking at the ocean – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingSan Juan del Sur is really safe.
 
You can walk in the streets no matter what time, live in your home without fear, walk along the coast at any time and not be concerned about your safety.  I normally go out for a walk along the coast late at night to release stress and I feel secure.
 
 
I have lived here only a short time and the hospitality of the people here has made me part of the town already.  Everyone knows each other, people still act like "old time" really friendly.
 
San Juan del Sur is a town where you normally know everyone and you feel like part of a big family, which tells you how safe San Juan del Sur is.  In contrast, In the United States you don't even know who your neighbors are.  But here, everyone knows each other.

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