What are the Best Places to Live in Nicaragua?
There are many fine towns and a few real cities to choose from when deciding where to live in Nicaragua. Some of the factors influencing whether one town or city works best for your personal situation are:
- lifestyle preferences
- Spanish-speaking abilities
- financial situation
- personal health
- desires to live with or without other expatriates
There are many more factors in addition to those named above. We’ll tackle this topic on a broad level now and in further posts will break it down into some detail. If you have enjoyed this post, please comment below and encourage me to continue with this series!
Let’s get started with some broad strokes as to what whould be the best Nicaraguan city for you to live in.
Do you want to live in a city, town, village, or? Would you enjoy being in the center of the pueblo just a couple of streets off of the plaza? Or, do you prefer living a few minutes drive or bus away from the downtown? As with all things, there are pluses and minuses to each of these options and you need to find out for yourself what is best for you.
What about your Spanish-language skills? If you already have a fairly good handle on Spanish, then you are likely much more open to living wherever you want to in Nicaragua. Folks with limited Spanish and little-to-no ability to learn the language will probably be best suited to live in an area with a large existing expat community where you can speak English most everywhere you go.
Are finances a major consideration? If living on a fixed budget, even though your money goes much further in Nicaragua, you will still need to watch your spending habits and keep a reserve handy in case. Obviously, if you have a much more comfortable financial situation, then you can forego thinking about strategizing on money-saving schemes and live you life as you desire.
What about your health? Your age? Anything requiring regular checkups, medical specialists, tests and exams? That will affect your decisions too. Excellent health care is available in Nicaragua, but is not evenly distributed throughout the country. For the most part, Managua is where the best doctors and hospitals are located.
Do you prefer to live in a real Nicaraguan community or one with a sizeable expat population? Some people, usually those with limited Spanish skills, find themselves drawn to expat communities, of which there are not a lot to choose from in Nicaragua. Do you want to join the Kiwanas club or the American Legion? If that is the sort of social life you envision then your options are limited as regards Nicaragua. Or, do you want to live as completely as possible with Nicaraguans in a Spanish-speaking community? This question also speaks to your needs for a social life. Some folks are just fine by themselves or the occasional meetup with friends, and some are real “joiners” that want to be part of every bridge club, charity event, volunteering at the schools, hospitals, orphanages, etc. Which are you?
Weather is another important consideration. Luckily, in Nicaragua one can choose what kind of weather they like. Warm and hot is the norm here, but there are mountainous areas that are great for that “perpetual spring” climate. As you get to live here awhile, a slight change in temperature can make the difference between sweating and being miserable or quite comfortable.
Transportation is important too. It is not too difficult to live without a car in Nicaragua and in some places it offers a distinct advantage to not drive! Buses and taxis are usually very available and mostly inexpensive. Driving here has its challenges, but of course offers freedom of movement that relying on public transportation just does not offer.
Finally, what amenities are important to you? For example, are you a shopaholic? There aren’t too many shopping malls in Nicaragua and most of them are in Managua. Are first-run movies in brand-new theaters your thing? Again, the capital has those but are not very well distributed outside of Managua. What about nightlife? Culture? Art? Poetry? Live music? A variety of different types of restaurants? I always recommend you be clear with yourself that if you feel you need these amenities, don’t go moving out to the coast where it takes an hour or two to find some of these things. Be real with yourself and admit you like eating sushi and seeing a musical play live once in a while!
Okay, that is the end of this edition. I plan on writing more of these and going into further detail on each and every consideration to help make your move to Nicaragua a good one! Please share, Like, or comment!