16 Nicaragua Travel Tips from the Rockstars of Travel Blogging

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You don’t have to be the world’s best traveler to have an amazing vacation in Nicaragua. But if you’ve never visited before it’s easy to make mistakes that could derail your vacation.

Thankfully, you can avoid common mistakes by getting travel advice from experts and insiders who know the place well.

So we started with Nomadic Samuel’s list of 100 top travel blogs.  It’s effectively the Who’s Who of travel blogging.  When we checked we found that around 1 in 4 of the blogs had articles about Nicaragua. (Yes, it’s a small number, but we think that’s a good thing.)

From the shortlist we compiled 16 travel tips and personal reflections to help you when you arrive in Nicaragua so that you can get started immediately on having a great time.

In no particular order, here they are: [Read more…]

Hotel Victoriano Serves up a Sense of Occasion

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Hotel Victoriano is a San Juan del Sur landmark and I’d heard good things about the onsite “Vintage Restaurant”.  So when my two dining companions suggested we meet there for lunch, I jumped at the opportunity.

The mansion was built in the early 1900s by British immigrant William Cross, using materials shipped over from England. It later became a weekend retreat for the ruling Somoza family, before being carefully restored into the 21 room Hotel Victoriano.

We were the only ones here for lunch but that didn’t seem to take away from the sense of occasion. [Read more…]

How To Take Charge Of Your US Expat Taxes

final-cover-thumbIn this interview Claudia Gonella and David McKeegan talk about IRS tax filing requirements facing US expats living in Nicaragua. David McKeegan is co-founder of Greenback Expat Tax Services, a business that focuses on helping US expats with their tax preparation.

In this 23 minute session, Claudia and David cover:

  • Exactly what forms you need to file.
  • All the credits and deductions eligible for expats.
  • What expats need to know about owning foreign bank accounts.
  • How to avoid getting tripped up on IRS penalties and fines.
  • 3 ways you can easily catch up on your tax filing if you are behind.
  • And a surprising find on how Obamacare impacts expats.

You’ll come out of the session with a better understanding of what to do about US taxes as an expat and how you can make the filing process less stressful and time-consuming. [Read more…]

The Essential Legal Steps to a Secure Property Purchase in Nicaragua

cover-image-thumb-legal-stepsInexpensive property… a low cost of living… great weather… gorgeous landscapes… a more laid back lifestyle… an opportunity for reinvention… it’s easy to see why so many people are interested in buying property in San Juan del Sur.

But many investors don’t take the time to understand the legal steps they need to take to ensure their interests are protected.

Eduardo Cabrales Cuadra, attorney with Garcia & Bodan, has focused on real estate for his entire professional life so he’s the perfect person to guide you through the process of buying property in Nicaragua to ensure the purchase goes smoothly and your investment is secure. [Read more…]

10 Steps to Becoming Better at Surfing in San Juan del Sur

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  1. Surf
  2. Surf some more
  3. Surf the next day
  4. Surf even if you didn’t catch a wave on your last session
  5. Surf when the waves are small
  6. Surf even when they feel bigger than your comfort zone
  7. Surf with an expert local surfer to pick up some tips (we can help)
  8. Surf when you feel you’re making progress
  9. Surf when you don’t
  10. Keep surfing

One of the reasons why the San Juan del Sur area of Nicaragua is such a standout spot for surfing is the consistent offshore breeze. It holds up the waves and gently sculpts them into a perfect shape for surfing.  Also the water’s warm, the waves are un-crowded and there are breaks to suit all levels.

Hat tip.

What is Insider Travel?

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in.sid.er noun: one who has special knowledge or access to exclusive information.

Being an insider or having access to information from in-the-know insiders is powerful stuff when it comes to travel. And it’s especially important in places that are still relatively undeveloped for tourism and where traditional guidebooks just skim the surface of the kind of experiences on offer.

Places like San Juan del Sur in Nicaragua.

So here are 4 reasons why being an insider will give you a different kind of experience when you travel to San Juan del Sur – something really exceptional: [Read more…]

Hotel vs. Vacation Rental: Which is Better?

Photo Credit: Steve Brady

Photo Credit: Steve Brady

OK Hotel vs. Vacation Rental is not one of the world’s great rivalries like Android vs. iPhone or Everest vs. K2, but it’s also not an trivial question.

It’s hard to enjoy a great vacation if you’re unhappy with your accommodation.

It’s also a timely question: For years hotels have been the natural choice for most travelers to San Juan del Sur, but as high quality homes start to dot the hillsides, more and more rooms are disappearing into the vacation rental market.

So which is right for you? [Read more…]

Do You Make These 5 Mistakes When You Travel?

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I’m guessing you travel to leave behind the familiar, see the world and experience something new. Whether it’s a stirring adventure, a few days of surfing and relaxing, or deep cultural immersion that you crave, you’ll want to return home with a memorable story – perhaps even one that gets you clapped on the back by your friends.

Sounds great, right?

But as you might have guessed from the article headline, not all travel turns out that way. There are ways to mess things up.

Here are 5 of the most common mistakes we’ve seen people make when they travel to San Juan del Sur. [Read more…]

What a Quick Visit to Ometepe Taught me about Slowing Down

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Feeling the urgency of slowing down we decided on a trip to Ometepe. It seemed like the perfect idea. A place so primordial and raw that it would leave us both calmer and sharper. Where perhaps by unplugging from our internet connections and time saving devices, we’d manage to create more time and space to think.

The trip didn’t start calmly. It started with an anxious rush towards the ticket window at the port of San Jorge, only to be told that there was no room on the ferry for our truck. As we didn’t want to wait for the next one, we ditched the truck (there is covered parking at the port) grabbed our backpacks, and scrambled on board as pedestrians just as the ferry was pulling away from the dock. [Read more…]

Simon Says: Get your Healthy On

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Despite the easy going vibe there seems to be a lot happening at Simon Says, a no-frills spot in the heart of downtown San Juan del Sur. In one corner patrons are playing card games, in another avocados are tossed with tomatoes and olives, books are being exchanged and smoothies are being blended behind the counter.

“Just a couple of years ago it was hard to eat healthily in San Juan del Sur” said my lunch companion as she contemplated the menu. But today we’re sitting in what could almost be described as a US style juice and salad bar. Almost, because the Argentinian owners have given the place a super casual, cheerful feel that fits well with what San Juan del Sur is all about. If you’re wearing more than flip flops here, you’re overdressed. [Read more…]