Gas prices in Managua, Nicaragua

La gente siempre está preguntando de los precios de combustible aquí en Nicaragua.   Aquí está una foto del 14 de octubre de 2013.  Conseguís 25 córdobas por dólar … y esos precios son en litros (3.78 hacen un galón).   Por lo tanto, el diesel cuesta 110.34 por galón.  95 octanaje cuesta 116.95 por galón.    ¿Cuánto en dólares?   Podés hacer una conversión aquí.


Rubén Darío Teatro Nacional parte II


I decided to put my money where my mouth is and go check out a show at the Rubén Darío Teatro Nacional en Managua, Nicaragua.  I recently had taken pictures of it from outside and told a little bit about it’s history but it had been quite a few years since I had actually gone (more than 13 years to be exact).  The last time I went was to see the Tepenahuatl Ballet Folklórico de Nicaragua (that’s how they spell it) which, by the way, is coming soon to the Rubén Darío Teatro Nacional.  If you miss it this time, don’t worry.  There are presentations several times a year.   You can see the current schedule here.

We went to the “Viva Santana” tribute.  You can see the playlist below, actually quite a good collection of Santana songs…a bit of the new mixed with the absolute crowd pleasers and songs that have made his music so popular for some 40 years.  I didn’t know all the artists but three of the guitar players were really good.  A few members of the local Nicaraguan band Macolla also participated.  The best vocal rendition, by far, was the cover of ‘Corazón Espinado’, a song by Maná with Carlos Santana lending his trademark guitar wizardry.  It was a great show in a great building…all for just a little more than what it costs to go to a movie.  Click here see prices for this Viva Santana tribute show at the Rubén Darío Teatro Nacional.  Made me want to go to see more live shows, definitely!

La Casa del Árbol

¡Guau!  Comimos una gran cena esta noche en La Casa del Árbol, un restaurante uruguayo en Managua, Nicaragua.  A mi me gusta mucho la comida sudamericana, pero, sinceramente, nunca había comido nada de Uruguay.  Ahhh, pero todo ha cambiado.  Saboreamos un banquete suculento llamado “A Fuego Lento”: un rack de costillas de res con nuestra elección de tres complementos (escogimos una ensalada, vegetales asados a la parrilla y una papa (al horno) rellena con queso).  La carne, suavecita, se desprendió solita de las costillas – solo tuve que meter mi tenedor.  Las costillas se sirven con salsa de aceite de oliva y hierbas  muy rica.  ¿Alguien sabe lo que se llama esa salsa?  No pudo faltar, antes que todo, una copa de vino Astica (Argentino) y una excelente variedad de panes.  Y a la postre un excelente flan, servido con dulce de leche, enjuagado, por supuesto, con el mismo vino.  Jorge, el mesero, estuvo muy atento, sin ser agresivo.

En resumen: buen servicio, buena comida, buena compañía … ¿qué más podés pedir?  Esta  cena repuso una cena de aniversario fallida en ????? (haga clic para ver).   La Casa del Árbol, debo admitir, más que compensó por aquel fracaso … sin dudar, un lugar para repetir en Managua.  Felicitaciones a nuestros amigos de Uruguay.

De 1 al 10, La Casa del Árbol recibe un codiciado 9.  Y vos sabés con son pocos que llegan a 9….

¿Cuánto le costará esto? Haga clic aquí para ver los precios en La Casa del Árbol.

Suzan Haskins and Dan Prescher: Nicaragua: An Up-And-Coming Retirement Destination

From Evernote:

Suzan Haskins and Dan Prescher: Nicaragua: An Up-And-Coming Retirement Destination

Clipped from:

. Editors



Nicaragua: An Up-And-Coming Retirement Destination

Posted: 05/31/2013 7:54 am
Nicaragua offers the lowest cost of living in Central America, and no… there is not a war going on. That ended more than 25 years ago. Today, Nicaragua enjoys a stable democracy and was ranked in a recent Gallup Poll as the safest country in Central America. The Economist Intelligence Unit says Nicaragua is one of the safest countries in all of Latin America.
There may be no better place to retire in Nicaragua than Granada. Ancient pastel-painted colonial-era buildings with terracotta tile roofs spill along the north shore of Lake Nicaragua, the largest lake in Central America. Views of the nearby Mombacho Volcano add to this glorious postcard effect.

Granada is known, too, for its colorful horse-drawn carriages that clip clop their way atop cobblestone streets, toting neck-craning tourists and locals alike, the latter going about their daily business with the languid, carefree aura that comes from living in the tropics.
In the enclosed courtyards of the city’s colonial homes — some of which have been converted to boutique hotels and cherished homes, Nicaragua’s famous rocking chairs — made of rich tropical hardwoods and wicker — beckon.
Many are occupied these days by North American retirees — but only for brief moments. They’ve not come to rock away their golden years, but for the active and adventuresome retirement that Nicaragua offers.
By some estimates, as many as 1,000 expats call Granada home — a socially active group that enjoys cultural events, outdoor activities, and volunteer endeavors… and a place where a couple can live quite comfortably for much less than they would pay in the U.S.
“My friends are always asking me, after living here for nine years, when I am going to move back to the United States,” says Janice Gallagher. “I just laugh. I could never afford to have the lifestyle in the U.S. as I do here nor the peace of mind. I can get up in the morning, take a yoga class, get a manicure and pedicure, have a massage, meet my friends for happy hour and do it all for less than $30! I have a housekeeper/nanny, a chauffeur, gardener and someone to take care of the horses and other animals for me for less than $400 a month.”
Janice lives on a small farm just outside of Granada, but she has plenty of friends who live in the city itself. Renting a comfy spot long-term to explore from can cost as little at $500 per month for a condo with a community pool, and range upward from there for a beautifully remodeled colonial home depending on size, location, and amenities. Short-term vacation rentals are also abundant, such as those found at Granada Property Services.
“Where else can you buy a beautiful head of organic lettuce for less than 50 cents or enjoy a cold beer for $1?” asks Janice. “No, I think I am staying put in Nicaragua a while longer!”

International Budget Guide 2013: Granada & San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua |

From Evernote:

International Budget Guide 2013: Granada & San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua |

Clipped from:

International Budget Guide 2013: Granada & San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

by Dave Seminara (RSS feed) on Apr 10th 2013 at 11:00AM

Americans have long associated Nicaragua with the Cold-War era Iran-Contra scandal but as prices rise in Costa Rica and safety drops in Mexico, more and more savvy travelers are discovering that Nicaragua is a safe, cheap and interesting place with great beaches, reliably warm weather and a vibrant cultural scene.

Travel writers have been hyping Nicaragua for years. In 2005, Frommer’s called it “the next big thing” and glossy magazines like Travel & Leisure and Condé Nast promoted the country as a budget friendly alternative to Costa Rica. Until recently though, Nicaragua was still considered more of an off-the-beaten track backpacker destination than a place for American families to vacation.
That tide is starting to turn, as The New York Times recently illustrated by naming Nicaragua one of its places to visit in 2013. On April 1, the country’s first super luxury resort, Mukulopened. If it succeeds, others will surely follow.
For the moment, Nicaragua is still a delightfully budget friendly holiday destination. According to the Wall Street Journal, foreign visitors spent an average of just $43 per day in Nicaragua in 2011. Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, next to Haiti, so travelers should be prepared to experience heartbreaking poverty. Many who come for a vacation in Nicaragua end up staying to volunteer and even those who don’t are often changed by their eye-opening experience in the country.

In checking out our recommendations below, please note that save Mukul and a few other ritzy places, nearly every hotel, restaurant and attraction in this country could qualify as “budget” or “value” by American standards. Our recent scouting trip didn’t operate on a strict backpacker’s budget, but according to Tim Leffel, author of “The World’s Cheapest Destinations,” savvy backpackers can by on as little as $15 per day in Nicaragua.

Budget Activities

Surf the Pacific: The Pacific Coast is a haven for surfers. San Juan del Sur is about a two-hour drive from the Managua airport and is a great base for surfers. Playa Hermosa, near San Juan del Sur, is a particularly good surf spot but there are dozens of other viable alternatives. There are several shops that rent boards and offer surf lessons, including Arena Caliente, Good Times Surf Shop and Baloy’s Surf Shop. Arena Caliente also has a surf camp as does the all-girl surf camp Chicabrava.

Volcano Hikes/Boarding: There are several volcanoes that make for good day trips from San Juan del Sur or Granada. You can hike or drive up to the crater of Masaya Volcano ($5 entrance fee), which is just outside Granada, but if you stick around too long, you might get a bit light headed, as this is an active volcano. Isla de Ometepe has two more active volcanoes and is a great day trip from San Juan del Sur. There are places to hike and zip line all over the country and you can
volcano boardon the Cerro Negro Volcano near Leon.

Study Spanish or Volunteer: Nicaragua is also a great place to learn Spanish or volunteer. In San Juan del Sur, La Escuela Rosa Silva’s Spanish School (50 meters west of the market) offers four hours of daily instruction for just $100 per week. Roger Ramirez’s One-on-One Spanish Tutoring Academy (Calle Calzada) offers private lessons in Granada starting at just $6 per hour. The Moon Guide to Nicaragua has an extensive list of volunteer opportunities with organizations in Granada like Building New Hope, Empowerment International, and La Esperanza Granada.


GranadaHotel Plaza Colon– Travelers can find perfectly acceptable hotels in Granada for as little as $25 per night, but for a little bit more, you can stay at this historic old beauty of a hotel, located right on the city’s principal square. The rooms are spacious and tastefully decorated, the staff is helpful to a fault and there’s a great little pool in the hotel courtyard. From $99. Parque Central.
San Juan del Sur- Villas de Palermo– By Nicaraguan standards, this condo complex is a bit of a splurge, but it’s a great value for families who want a full apartment, complete with a big, modern kitchen, rather than a hotel room. Many of the apartments have an ocean view and there’s a glorious pool and a free shuttle that makes the 1-mile trip into town on the hour during daylight hours. From $159.

Isla de Ometepe- The Corner House B & B– Rooms at Ometepe are stylish but simple and are a bargain for what you pay. The Canadian woman and British man that run the place are extraordinarily friendly and will help you plan adventures around the island. Try the excellent breakfast. From $25.


GranadaRestaurante El Garaje– This intimate, little place doesn’t seem appealing from the street – they keep the gate locked, you have to ring the doorbell to enter and the place is very dark – but the food is excellent and dirt cheap, with full meals for $4-7. A Canadian couple from Vancouver who came to Granada on a vacation and decided to stay run the place out of a front room in their home, and you can watch them prepare the eclectic menu, which changes every night and can include anything from fresh fish to quesadillas to Thai. 512 Calle Corral.

San Juan del SurAsados Juanita– Juanita is very easy to find. Just look for the crowds and you’ll see her grilling up meats on the street. For $4, you get a choice of freshly grilled meats, a small salad, plantains, rice, beans and guacamole. Near Casa Oro Hostel and the Central Market.

Laguna de ApoyoAbuelas– The Laguna de Apoyo is a great place for a swim and the setting for this restaurant couldn’t be lovelier. It features very tasty grilled meats and seafood, with most entrees in the $8-12 range. Best of all, you can go for a swim and lounge on one of their lagoon-side deckchairs after your feast.


Getting Around
Car rental isn’t particularly cheap in Nicaragua but it’s easy to get around without a car. The Nicaraguan government has invested heavily in building and repairing roads in recent years in a bid to boost tourism. In San Juan del Sur, you can hire a driver for around $50-$60 a day. Just talk to any of the cab drivers you see parked in the town or ask your hotel for help.

A ride on a local chicken bus will cost about 60-80 cents an hour and more comfortable minibuses aren’t much more. A short ride in a taxi in Granada can cost as little as 50 cents each because the drivers stop to pick up other passengers. The one hour, twenty minute ferry ride to Isla de Ometepe costs less than $2.

We used Camilo Rivera, a taxi driver based in San Juan del Sur, (505) 886-72336 – and can highly recommend him – for $50-60 per day depending on where you want to go.

Weather in Nicaragua is almost always hot, sunny and dry in the high season, which runs from December through February, plus Easter. March-May can be uncomfortably hot. June-August is a bit cooler and generally dry, while September-November is the rainy season.

Nicaraguans boast that their country is the safest in Central America. There is no reliable way to test that claim but in our scouting trip we felt safe in San Juan del Sur, Ometepe and Granada. As in any developing country, tourists sometimes get robbed, but in most cases, they are crimes of opportunity and the victims aren’t harmed. Use the same precautions here that you would in any large city. Americans should also be extra careful not to run afoul of Nicaragua’s laws, especially the drug laws, as the justice system is deeply flawed and a number of foreigners have been imprisoned on dubious charges.

Note: San Juan del Sur and other towns in Nicaragua don’t use traditional street names and addresses. On our scouting trip this didn’t prove to be a problem as cab drivers in Granada and San Juan del Sur know how to find just about any beach, hotel, restaurant, store or attraction you might want to visit.

[Photo credits: Dave Seminara]