Q. How far is Paradise Bay from San Juan del Sur?
A. The entrance to Paradise Bay is a quarter mile south of the Church in the town square. This makes Paradise Bay the only private residential community that is within a short walking distance from all the many amenities the small town has to offer.
Q. Are the local people friendly?
A. Nicaraguan people are very friendly. Say “hola” (hello) to someone on the street and you get a big beautiful smile and hola right back. They love tourists and want to learn English so they can communicate.
Q. What kind of stores can be found in SJdS?
A. A variety of small corner stores carry a good supply of many daily grocery needs. There is a nice small supermarket (PAL) that has a wider selection and for fresh fruits, vegetables, fresh eggs, etc., there is a unique open market where items are inexpensive and fresh ever day. Several small shops are located throughout San Juan del Sur where you can purchase most anything you need. Bathing suits, shorts, t-shirts, jewelry and much more is plentiful along with wonderful art objects made in Nicaragua. If you want mall shopping, you will find plenty of nice malls in Managua.
Q. Is there a good selection of restaurants?
A. Along the beachfront you will find about fifteen restaurants where you can sit in the open air watching the waves lap at the beach and the kids play in the surf while you dine on fresh fish caught that morning. There are numerous other restaurants scattered around the town that serve local foods to international specialties. If you want to experience the flavor of Nicaragua, go to the market and enjoy one of the open cafes that serve the traditional plate of rice, beans, potatoes, fish or chicken, and salad for about $3.00. For the price, it is very good.
Q. Is there much to do in San Juan del Sur?
A. San Juan del Sur has lots of adventure style activities as well as simple, laid back relaxation. From day trips to see the turtles to overnight trips to see the coffee plantations, to swimming in the bay or taking a water taxi to one of the other beaches. Fishing, surfing, sailboat rides, canopy tour, diving, and much more. There is something for everyone so be sure to bring your camera.
Q. Is it safe to drink the water there?
A. The water is drinkable and most local people drink it. However, it does have a lot of minerals. Travelers prefer to drink bottle water which is inexpensive and can be found everywhere you go.
Q. What is the primary language?
A. Spanish is the main language. More and more local people are learning a little English and with hand signals and broken Spanish most everyone can get along fine.
Q. What Churches are represented?
A. Most denominations are in San Juan del Sur. The congregations may be small or large depending on the meeting place. There is a large Catholic Church with a park which is the main area of town and is a gathering place for the town’s people.
Q. What is the climate like?
A. During the day year round it ranges from 75-95 F. In the evening it drops to the 70’s. The rainy season May-September has a rain shower most every day. The rain comes straight down and only lasts for a little while. During this period you will see the most beautiful sunsets and lightning shows. Most of the people don’t mind the rain. They stand under a tree until it passes or they keep on walking. After all when you live in a beach town, you should always be prepared to get wet! October-December is delightful with cool breezes and sunny days. January-March is the windy season. The winds can kick up a lot of sand so stay off the beach on those days.
Q. How far is it to a large city?
A. Managua is a city of over 1,000,000 people. The international airport is located there and is about a two hour drive from San Juan del Sur. In Managua you will find everything you need and more, shopping centers, movie houses, Burger King, and PriceMart which is a large bulk store much like Sams or Costco in America. You can get to Managua in a taxi for about $50-85 or an early morning bus for about $10.00.
Q. Is there much crime?
A. No, not to speak of. You take the normal precautions as you do anywhere else. Don’t leave a bag lying on the beach unattended. Carry a flash light if you are walking at night so passing cars can see you and you can see where you are walking. There is a police presence but they are not driving the streets.
Q. What airport do we fly into Nicaragua?
A. Managua airport, the code is MGA. Most airlines fly into Managua.
Q. What is the best way to get to San Juan del Sur from the airport?
A. There are several taxis and shuttle service companies at the airport that you can book with. The cost varies so be sure to book ahead. There are also rental car services available at the airport too.
Q. Is there a hospital in San Juan del Sur?
A. No currently however, there is a hospital in the department of Rivas which is a town about 30 minutes away. San Juan del Sur has an ambulance, thanks to the country of Denmark and the ride to Rivas is approx 30-minues. The Vivian Pellas hospital in Managua is a world-class facility.
Q. What programs do they have for retirees?
A. Below you’ll find details of Nicaragua’s retirement options.
Nicaraguan Residency and Retirement
Age and Income Requirements
Retiring in Nicaragua became a very attractive option when Decree No. 628, the ‘Law of Resident Pensioners and Retirees,’ was passed. With the implementation of this law, people are eligible for benefits if they are over 45 years old and have a monthly income of at least US$400 or the equivalent in another currency. (Add an additional US$100 for each dependent family member living with them in Nicaragua.) This requirement for monthly income is one of the lowest in the world, making Nicaragua an attractive retirement destination for many people with limited fixed incomes in retirement.
Tax Incentives Benefits
The benefits come mostly in the form of tax incentives. Foreign retirees are entitled to: (a) pay no taxes on any out-of-country earnings (b) bring into Nicaragua up to US$10,000 worth of household goods for your own home, duty-free (c) import one automobile for personal or general use and pay on it no import tax or protective tariff and sell it after five years, again exempt from consumer sales tax (d) import an additional vehicle every five years under the same duty exemptions.
While this solution may be very beneficial for some others may not meet age or income requirements. Residency can still be acquired although you will not receive the same tax benefits. What makes Nicaragua unique is that you do not need to have residency to own land. While those without residency must depart for 72 hours every 90 days, Nicaragua is very accommodating to foreigners.
Becoming a resident is straightforward although using an attorney is recommended. An estimated 5,300 U.S. citizens reside in the country. The U.S. Embassy’s consular section provides a full range of consular services – from passport replacement and veteran’s assistance to prison visitation and repatriation assistance. There are a number of ways to remain in the country on a long-term basis. Tourists from North America and many countries in Europe may now remain legally in the country for three months (90 days) without having to apply for permanent residency. Obtaining permanent residency is relatively easy, but it takes a long time. With all the required documents and a good lawyer, the process can be quite painless, one just must be patient.
The temporary residency is given to any foreign person who enters the country to carry out a temporary activity, and who is willing to reside in the country while this activity lasts. This is the simpler residency procedure and the requirements to fill are less than other types of residencies. One can apply for this residency under the subcategory of entrepreneurs and the requirements we would have to fill are the following:
- Application form
- Copy of utilized pages of your passports
- Two passport size photos
- Criminal Records (duly authenticated)
- Certificate of Birth (duly authenticated)
- Certificate of marriage (duly authenticated)
- Health certificate (duly authenticated)
This residency has to be renewed each year. After three years of stay in the country you can apply for permanent residency. If you want to get your residencies the fastest way possible, you should apply for a temporary residency.
The investor’s residency is a permanent residency’s sub-category. The investor’s residency is given to any person interested in investing in the country. In this case the process takes a bit longer because to apply for this kind of residency, first the person has to be registered as an investor in the Investors Registry at the Development Ministry (MIFIC). The registration takes time and the investor has to present several requirements to register. After the registration at the MIFIC is complete one proceeds with the application at Migration offices.