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Rivas Nicaragua

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khamael35
12/4/2014 12:39 EST

I am an American currently living in Esteli. The past four months have been great, but I would like a change. Anyone have info on Rivas down south. Crime rate ...places to stay..cost of living and so forth. Looking for a peaceful laid back place, I am not a night party goer. Thanks like always.

iguanalover
12/4/2014 20:48 EST

Rivas has a very different climate and it is flat. Lots to do as it is between the ocean and the lake. It is a major transit point, lots of folks passing thru. SJDS has mucho crime but I don't know if it effects Rivas. Sent you a PM.

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khamael35
12/4/2014 21:27 EST

Thank you for the heads up.

JohnSS
12/4/2014 22:27 EST

I have considered Rivas several times because it is a good slow place to relax. Consumer shopping is limited to the same chain stores like La Curacao & Gallo mas Gallo and a Max Pali.but if you know where to go you can get most things. It is a short run to SJDS, Ometepe, and even Masaya. And the beaches and surfing west of there in the Tola & Giganti area are nice although Pellas has their Guacalito de la Isla project there.

Housing prices seem to me have doubled since I looked a several years ago but you can still get a nice fairly modern "Nica" house for maybe $60K or much less if you compromise a little. Rents are cheap and again depends on quality low as $100 to $200. But prices & rents obviously depend on a lot of things about what you want so you gotta go there and look.

SJDS is a tourist trap so rents are quite a bit higher. SJDS does NOT have "mucho crime" unless you are a drunk backpacker who flashes his Iphone in public at nights or in the bars. Or goes to to the beach stupid drunk late at night & gets robbed and sometimes even mugged.
For the average resident or tourist it is like any Central American city. (or like many North American cities) Lock your doors and stay out of bad areas at night & no problems.. The outlying isolated vacant homes up & down the whole coast and many places inland need a cuidador or they may get robbed.
But it is NOT for everyone since retired reasonably affluent expats are now being outnumbered but the 30ish crowd just getting by.

glockdiver69
12/5/2014 14:32 EST

Hi, Maybe I can shed some insight on the Rivas area as we have a house on the coast and have to past through Rivas all the time. First, there are very few items that I cannot find in Rivas. Besides the MaxiPali (the new one on the PanAm, not the one in town) seems to continue to grow. It is clean and has a lot more than you would think. Good chicken and meat too. Rivas has many banks, hardware stores, laundrymats and Sherman Williams (for paint) and tons of other smaller store that will suit your almost every need. For safety, I have NEVER felt unsafe in any area of Rivas. Just don't be a $$ and show some respect and the locals will help you with that bright Nica-smile.
You are close to the beaches, the lake, SJDS and even Masaya / Granada. Our house about 40 minutes in one of the gated communities in the Tola area (actually Limon). There are many local places to rent that are nice in the $350-$450/mo range but they are increasing at a decent clip. This area (Limon / Limon Dos) is more of a community and crime is very low. Everyone knows everyone and you have space to chill, great almost constant breeze and the ocean to cool off in. Depending on your budget, you could look in one of the "ex-pat communities" (Guacalito, Rancho Santana, Hacienda Iguana to mention a few) if you want US style living or high end living and amenities. I will tell you, you will not find anything in those communities for under $1,800 per month on a long term lease.
This area is growing, especially with the new airport that is in the process of being built as I type as well as the newly paved road.

You could also look at Gigante and Las Salinas, with is also in the same general region as I am.

Let us know and good luck.

khamael35
12/6/2014 19:02 EST

Thank you everybody for your replies.

I am now considering SJDS, but I am weary of the party atmosphere. Being in my forties I am looking for a view, peace and quiet. What I mean by a view is not the apartment but the city itself.

Because of my upbringing I am fluent in Spanish and English, so I get along really well with Nicaraguans.

What I need is a one bedroom with wifi and a small kitchen. Any ideas what that will set me back in central SJDS ?

Esteli is awesome, but I would like a change.

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iguanalover
12/6/2014 20:29 EST

Check the facebook page, expats in SJDS. Lots of folks advertise places to live. SJDS also has a newsletter
Del Sur news and information, I think. Lots of information there...

JohnSS
12/6/2014 20:33 EST

You know that to really learn whether you like the "city view" for a place like SJDS you definitely need to go visit first & see for yourself. Obviously it is not remotely similar to Estel. There are a lot of long time expats in their 30s & 40s there but from the way you describe yourself you may not like it. More people are expats & tourists rather than Nicaraguans to do well with.

Of course how much it will set you back depends. There are a few apartments for $250+ but expect to pay $350+ or $400+ most places + utilities with AC add $80 or so for electricity. But lower your standards or get luck and deals are there.
After the high season maybe March or April is the best time to look for an apartment.

Read Del Sur News for information:
http://delsurnewsonline.com/

A very good source of information is the "Expats in San Juan del Sur" Facebook group.

To my eyes there are a lot of squirrels there that I would not have hung out with when I was their age but whatever.

But a new city is an adventure so worth a look anyhow.

JohnSS
12/6/2014 20:40 EST

iguanalover - Ha ha long winded posters come in 2nd place.
You are somewhat right about crime here but it is mostly people who ask for it and live like they are still back in Kansas.. That does not make it right though. Most expats know the places & things to avoid but some take the risks anyhow and get hit. And home security is a must - Locked doors, windows, etc.

elduendegrande
12/7/2014 09:54 EST

If you are looking for peace and quiet may I suggest finding a 20 manzana farm with a 4 meter masonry wall and serpentina on top!

Second choice would be a built out professional neighborhood on a dead end street.

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