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1 night minimum stay
6. Re: Surf Trip but without the Surf Camp
Mar 23, 2015, 10:30 PM
It’s sort of off the radar, but a good option in a nice mid-range rental with good surf would be Gran Pacifica, which is near Managua. There is a nice beach break there called Asuchillo and a fantastic left point for more advanced surfers too.
I am taking guests there in April so it’s been on my mind as a good place to go. They are renting a condo and I think the prices are pretty reasonable for what you get.
Another area, a bit further afield, is Jiquilillo Beach, where Finca Esperanza is. Look up the Casa de los Portugales. I stayed there about three years ago for a week and it was fantastic. A bit isolated but perfect waves if you time it to go when there are hgih tides in the morning.
I hope this helps and you have a great time in Nicaragua!
Cheers, Mike @ Farmstay El Porton Verde, Managua
Now this individual on TripAdvisor’s Nicaragua Forum is asking about specific surf data and my answer provides details of spots including tides and for which level of surfing skills. Someone who actually knows where the great places to go are can be a wonderful addition to your Nicaraguan surf trip. If anyone wants my advice feel free to ask!
A surf camp in Nicaragua is not really necessary, especially so if you are traveling as a group. However, I can see where it can work really well for a single person to join in with another group so you don’t have to deal with all the trip basics yourself. There are lots of nice beaches to go to that include several off-the-beaten-path surfing and fishing villages.
For house buyers or investors, Nicaragua offers the lowest cost of living and business opportunities. You could live here in a $2-million mansion with everything you would ever want in a home if you are willing to pay for it. But the great thing about this tropical paradise is that you don’t have to. You can still feel like you’re living the life of Reilly—on a very low budget.
The items you save on add up. Real estate taxes are low—you’ll pay around $150 a year for a $130,000 house. The cost of rentals are low, too. Friends of mine live in a modest three-bedroom home overlooking the bay of San Juan del Sur for just $200 a month. Electricity, water and WiFi are extra and cost an additional $100. Many one or two-bedroom rentals in town go for $250 to $400 a month, depending on amenities.
I spend about $25 a week for food. If I must have peanut butter, almond milk, gouda cheese, teriyaki sauce and cuts like filet mignon, my food budget goes way up. You can also save quite a bit of money enjoying your dinner at one of the many happy hours with $1 or $2 appetizers. And you can hire someone to clean your house for about $10.
Some things are more expensive in Nicaragua. Electronic items are double the price, for example. Gas hovers around $5.50 a gallon. New cars and trucks in Nicaragua have sticker prices of about a third to a half higher than the U.S. A large jar of Jiffy peanut butter can set you back $12. A small piece of cheddar cheese might cost over $5. You get the idea. If you are willing to live the good Nicaraguan life and forego some of those old necessities that aren’t really necessary, a single person can easily live on $1,000 or less a month and a couple can maintain a comfortable lifestyle for $1,200 and $1,400.—Bonnie Hayman
This is International Living, a somewhat infamous “rose-colored glasses” type of media company, so take this report with the biggest grain of salt you can find…
However, that’s not to say that they are incorrect in what they tell you here, rather that an outfit like IL really does not address much of what really faces an expat. IL focuses on cost of living and lifestyle mostly, with not too much on such things as integrating into your new culture and country, how to be a productive member of your new community, or how to make local friends and become fluent in the native language.
IL really caters to the person who fits in quite well in the expat enclaves of Granada and San Juan del Sur; not so much Managua or Matagalpa and much less so Puerto Cabezas, Siuna or Bluefields. What I mean is that in most other areas of Nicaragua, the locals really don’t cater to you very much.
Sure, they might be neighborly and are certainly curious about expats, but mostly that is just a general human response to a new person moving into a neighborhood. Especially if they are different from the norm for that area, folks will take notice and most will wait to see what type of a person you are before taking the time to get to know you.
How that might express itself could vary of course, but as an example, in tourist and expat areas, learning English is clearly a good move for a Nicaraguan to want to make their living from tourism and providing services to expats. In other places, not so much. While most urban areas have some bilingual non-native English speakers, especially in the countryside you can basically forget about finding someone who speaks English.
So, as a potential expat, you need to ask yourself (among a multitude of questions), “do I want to learn Spanish or live where the locals will be learning English?” That will influence not only where you may choose to live, but how you will live too. Will you be living in an English-language bubble or not? As always, comments welcome!
Read the rest here–>Turismo volcánico, gigante que duerme | La Prensa Noticias.
Here at FEPV we have reported before on Volcano Tourism. I’m sort of suprised that only two out of every ten tourists visiting Nicaragua actually visit a volcano! As far as Farmstay visitors, I’d say a good 90% visit at least one volcano if not two or three. People really dig them, and if you think about it, you can see why.
14 March, 2015
Nicaragua is the largest Central American nation that has remained true to its historical prominence. The colonial towns, remnants of the revolution, Caribbean hideaways, jungles, and white sandy beaches are just some of the few things that the country has to offer. A paradise waiting to be explored, Nicaragua is a destination that’s waiting for budget-minded travelers to journey to.
While flights to Nicaragua are quite affordable, many people are on a tight budget so they’ll sift through flight comparison sites for the cheapest tickets. Travelers should be aware that the most economical flight options might not end up being suitable for their budget, as Parking4Less points out that hidden costs are usually incurred on most budget tickets. Additional payments could be required if the ticket doesn’t include airport taxes, and possibly if you check-in online.
Your next biggest expense is lodgings, with accommodation in the country averaging at about $25 a night for a double room and private bathroom at a hostel. Dorm rooms are about $6 to $12. “Hospedajes” are the most popular accommodation of choice for travelers, which are small family-run hostels that range between $20 to $25 a night.
Casey at the rightsideguide.com has another good post up about budgeting for your Nicaraguan vacation. Worth a read!
One thing for sure, eating the local food is cheap and delicious!
In this first-ever edition of the Insider’s Guide to Nicaraguan Surfing, we’ll focus like the veritable laser beam on the surfing scene around San Juan del Sur (SJdS). SJdS is the number one Pacific coast location for visitors to Nicaragua. It is a fun little town set in a beautiful bay. If you are interested in going surfing when in SJdS, here are some tips for you:
Here at Farmstay El Porton Verde, we get our fair share of families vacationing in Nicaragua.
From that limited sample, I can say that they seem to have a great time. I want to explore in this post some of the reasons why I think Nicaragua is a great choice for your next family vacation.
Nicaragua is located directly south of the Florida panhandle area (1264 miles from Pensacola), so it is not too far away from North America, and the time zone is the same as Midwestern time (or Mountain time when daily savings is off) so you aren’t facing a big time change issue which makes the transition and adjustment to Nicaragua fairly easy. From the USA, flight times are reasonable, a bit over two and a half hours from Miami, three and a half from Atlanta and Houston.
Nicaragua is a low-cost vacation destination. Much cheaper than its neighboring countries, you will spend less on average here than you would in other locations. This is for everything, your lodging, transportation, food, drinks and entertainment. Also, a recent increase in number of daily flights into Managua’s MGA airport has kept airfares quite reasonable. For example, there are deals for US $368 round-trip from Los Angeles (LAX) to Managua (MGA).
Where else can you feed your family of four an excellent local lunch for less than $9? Well, for example at the comedor down the street from the Farmstay, you can!
3. Unique Family Destinations
There are some great places to go and visit as a family here in Nicaragua. Here are some examples:
Seeing up-close a smoking volcano? You can do that here.
Boarding down a volcano? As far as I know, its only done in Nicaragua. Okay, I just checked (thank the Internet…) and I’m wrong…you can do it in Java, Indonesia and Vanuatu, South Pacific too.
Going to truly unique places that only exist in Nicaragua? Yep, how about Ometepe Island for example, an island in the middle of a huge lake with two volcanoes on it. There is only one of these in the world!
Nicaragua has a different approach to the sort of organized, drug-related crime that happens in neighboring countries which is designed to minimize violence.
This successful approach has made Nicaragua much safer than many other places, and allows your family to get out and about to really get to know a place in relative safety whereas in other locations that might be a bit too risky for a family so you end up needing to stay in an all-inclusive resort and never leaving the property for the week.
While statistics do not tell the whole story, violent crime is comparitively low in Nicaragua and the general feeling here is of a relaxed place where the people live in peace. Nicaraguans are genuinely nice and friendly people who welcome tourists.
5. A Very “Real” Vacation
Getting off of the “all-inclusive” vacation program (which barely exists in Nicaragua) gets you and your family out and about, interacting with locals instead of staying behind fences safely ensconced in your wristband-required luxury ghetto. While there is always some risk inherent in travel, especially if you go by local transportation, the benefits are tremendous.
Your children will be able to not only see how other kids their age live, but will be able to play and interact with them quite easily. Seeing children have a great time playing a simple game of hopscotch or marbles is a great reminder that not everyone has Xbox and Nintendo games and that they aren’t necessary to have a fun time.
Okay, those are my top five reasons why we at the Farmstay think that Nicaragua is a great destination for your next family vacation. Please comment and let me know what you think or if you have any questions.
Let’s face it, adventure travel, eco-tourism, security, and ease of transportation make up a big part of what families look for as a destination in addition to purely cost. The whole package you get in a Nicaragua is a great deal all-around!
NPR has been doing what I think is a bang-up job on their Nicaragua reporting. We have reposted and commented on several of their stories here, here, and here if you would like to see them. They also did a feature on Medical Tourism that had a bit about Mike at the Farmstay!
Anyway, here is another good news story about how Nicaragua is developing its natural resources in the areas of wind, solar and geothermal with the goal to be a net energy exporter to other Central American countries in a few years!
Most everyone who has been visiting or living here in Nicaragua is familiar with the wind farms along the lakeshore of Lake Nicaragua south of Rivas, but you might not know about the solar and geothermal. When you think of it, really geothermal is the way to go as that is a never-ending supply of energy since we have so much volcanic activity in this country.
Well this certainly sounds like a tasty way to try to earn a buck in this country! At least you would enjoy plenty of yummy gelato-style ice cream if you owned this ice cream truck that is essentially, a mobile ice cream factory.
While I’m not sure if this pans out in a full cost analysis, but the concept of having a nice mobile gelato truck could be a winner here, especially if you did the circuit of events like the Fiestas Patronales in addition to having corporations, government agencies, and NGOs hire you out for employee/volunteer events and recognition opportunities.
This is an additional data point for those looking at Nicaragua as a real world-class travel destination. At least for surfers, Nicaragua is a proven, consistent destination for excellent waves and fantastic conditions to hold the surf contests. These contests bring in teams from all over the world, and expose Nicaragua to the eyes and ears of millions of people.
First the hard-core surfers come down and fall in love with the place, then they bring their wives, girlfriends and family. Pretty soon they have a regular thing going with Nicaragua, they may buy properties, or even move down here to start their own businesses. Nicaragua is well into that cycle.
I attended the first event at Playa Colorado and the second event at Jiquiliste (Santana) and both were very well-run, had good local turnout, and had really good surf for the contest. If anyone wants to get this experience of seeing the surfing scene at these contests, I highly recommend attending this year’s ISA World Championship!