Planning to Retire Overseas: Is Nicaragua Your Best Choice? An Interview With Author Margit Streifeneder

retire-overseas_nicaragua-bookOwner of Retirepedia and author Margit Streifeneder took time out from her busy schedule to talk to me about her new book Planning to Retire Overseas: Is Nicaragua Your Best Choice?

My goal for the interview was to pinpoint exactly who should read her book, why and exactly what they would get out of it.

Take a look:

Why did you decide to write a book on retiring in Nicaragua?

Nicaragua is a wonderful country to live or retire in, but it’s not for everyone. I wrote my book to help people make an informed decision whether Nicaragua is the right choice for them. I also wanted to give them a proven roadmap to test-drive and finally move to this country, if they decided that Nicaragua was indeed the right country for them.

My book is packed with the experiences and the information I gathered since coming to Nicaragua in 2010. It also includes an FAQ section where I am answering the questions I received from my website’s readers over the years. [Read more…]

Why a sense of belonging is the secret behind Rancho Chilamate’s success

Have you ever been to a place that you instantly clicked with?

A place you felt you somehow belonged.

Great feeling, isn’t it?

Well, here in San Juan del Sur there’s one place that more than any other makes people feel at home.

That place is Rancho Chilamate.

It’s brought so much joy to so many people that I’ve got a big smile on my face as I write this.

Technically it’s a 10 acre horse ranch in the south western corner of Nicaragua.  A ranch with rivers, mountains, forests, haciendas, big skies, beaches and surf-breaks… as well as lots of horses and cowboy hats.

But the attraction of Rancho Chilamate isn’t just about these tangible aspects.

It’s about the atmosphere of the place and its personality. It’s about the smiles of the people you meet when you visit.  It’s about living in relationship with the local community and giving back to it. It’s about Blue, the owner and original cowgirl, and her careful stewardship of the land.

Something in the air, under those big skies, makes you feel at ease.

Talk to people who’ve visited and they’ll rave about epic horseback rides along the beach.

They’ll tell you how they felt thrilled, soothed, pampered, deliriously happy and filled with possibility.

They go back to the ranch again, and again.

Because long after the adrenaline rush has faded they still feel drawn to what Rancho Chilamate represents.

That want to feel like they belong again. [Read more…]

What’s the Difference between a Flat Travel Experience and one that Shines and Sparkles?

Connecting with People

The answer to the question is simple: It’s the people you meet.

Think back for a moment to your most precious travel experiences. What are the stories that you’re most likely to remember after you arrive home? I’ll wager that they involve the people you traveled with or the people you met along the way.

And I’ll further wager that it’s the interactions with people that led to your most important insights about the world. Especially if you met people from a different culture.

The mark of a great trip

Over the years we’ve introduced hundreds of people to San Juan del Sur. Each of our tours is designed to connect people to people and people to culture. Because without this connection the experience would be flat and uninteresting. [Read more…]

The “Surfer’s Guide” To Enjoying San Juan del Sur (Even if You’re Not A Surfer)

I think you’ll agree with me when I say:

Surfing is one of the major attractions of the San Juan del Sur area.

But while I’m sure that many of you reading this do enjoy surfing, there will also be a group of you who have no interest in surfing at all.

Don’t worry, whatever your relationship to surfing, you’re in the right spot.

Here’s your “Surfer’s Guide” to enjoying San Juan del Sur – whether you’re a great surfer, you’re just starting out or you’re not interested in surfing at all.
[Read more…]

Celebrating the Best of San Juan Live 2015

Favorite posts from 2015As the new year approaches, we wanted to celebrate the highlights of the one about to pass.

It’s been a big year here at San Juan Live. Our traffic has doubled compared to the previous year, we’ve added hundreds of new subscribers to our email lists, we launched the San Juan Live Real Estate Marketplace, completely overhauled our learning centers, and hosted our first funding flash mob to support local non-profits.

We also published a wide range of content to help our readers get the most out of San Juan del Sur and Nicaragua. We feel fortunate that so many people are turning to us to learn about the experiences and lifestyles on offer in this sunny part of the world.

And so, without further ado, here are our favorite posts of 2015: [Read more…]

Are you missing out on the best ways to experience San Juan’s stunning coastline?

Sailing

After visiting San Juan del Sur for more than a decade, I’ve learned that there’s no better way to experience this stunning coastline than from the ocean.

I find that sitting on a boat, feeling the wind in my hair and gazing at the unfolding shoreline is enough to renew my love for San Juan del Sur. But you can kick your experience up a notch by adding something extra. Here are three ideas: [Read more…]

San Juan del Sur’s Most Magical Sunsets

Sunset San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua // photo credit: Sanjuandelsur.org

It’s the last hour of daylight. Locals carry their wooden rocking chairs onto the sidewalk, whole families come out for a leisurely stroll along the beachfront, and people gather in their favorite watering holes for a sun-downer.

For a long glorious moment everything glows with fiery shades of pink, yellow and orange.

Yes, sunsets are a cliché. But, however clichéd, everyone seems to agree that the sunsets in San Juan del Sur are spectacular.

Maybe it’s the hazy silhouettes of the cliffs that bookmark the bay, or the way the boats bob about in the currents of lights, or perhaps how the evening clouds seem to arrive at exactly the right moment. Whatever it is, watching the sun slowly dip into the ocean makes for an addictive ritual.

You can’t go wrong with the sunset here, but there are some locations that are particularly good. Here are three of the best spots to savor it: [Read more…]

The Essential Guide to the Best Neighborhoods on Nicaragua’s Southern Pacific Coast

neighborhood-guide-coverLocation! Location! Location!

It’s perhaps the most commonly recited real estate tenet. The mantra is repeated three times because it’s a crucial factor in defining the value of a property.

And so if you’re considering living and investing in Nicaragua it’s essential that you spend some time researching the different locations and neighborhoods.

To help you with this, we’ve created a free guide to the most sought after neighborhoods on Nicaragua’s Pacific Coast.

The guide gives you:

  • Insight into which locations offer the optimum combination of value and amenity.
  • An up-to-date snapshot of median prices for lots and houses to help you understand the market.
  • Better understanding of where you should focus your attention.
  • A sample of real estate listings for each neighborhood.
  • A path to clearer decision making about where to live and invest in Nicaragua.

Whether you’re just getting out of the gate with your interest in Nicaragua or you’re a regular visitor, you’ll find it an invaluable guide.

In fact, you should go ahead and grab it even if you’ve already bought a property here – it’s a fantastic primer on the real estate market and will give you insight into your own property value.

A History of San Juan Del Sur

SJDS flag

Sure, San Juan del Sur is a surf-orientated region with beautiful beaches and landscapes. But did you know that San Juan del Sur also has a rich history with roots stretching back to the 16th century when Spanish conquistadors made use of the protected anchorage?

Then in the mid-1800 San Juan del Sur’s days were filled with gold prospectors eager to travel to California to seek their fortune.  A little later, waves of foreigners arrived to work with the Central and South American Telegraph that laid a submarine system of cables.   And in the early 1990’s San Juan del Sur’s train station was built connecting the town by rail to San Jorge, Managua and Granada. [Read more…]

7 Books About Nicaragua Worth Reading

books-about-nicaragua

As Brooke and I were writing The Insider Guide to San Juan del Sur we started to compile a list of books to help our readers learn more about Nicaragua and its history.

While these books won’t help you decide what to do each day, where to stay or how to get there (that’s what The Insider Guide is for) they will help round out your knowledge about the country.

All the books on the list are great so we have no problem recommending them to you (and using our affiliate link which will take you to Amazon).

We’ve kicked off the list with Rubén Darío as he leads the way in Nicaragua’s literary tradition. But if reading poetry is not your style there are options for you to consider: [Read more…]