A SNAPSHOT OF WHAT’S GOOD OR BAD
Overall, I can only think of a few annoying things about living here in Nicaragua. The difficulty has more to do with clashing cultural expectations.
Cost of living is very reasonable, food, clothing and rent can be very cheap (there are used clothing stores selling designer wear). Around town, there’s a variety of things to do, (such as, Yoga, Karaoke bars, Pool halls [I like, Pool Ocho] and a Paintball place) and modern conveniences are not an issue.
During heavy rains, you may not have lights, or water pressure, and when it rains heavy driving on the smaller roads can be very challenging, due to flooding, and pooling of gravel/dirt on the road; this is especially bad on a motorcycle.
Traffic Stops: the cops do pick out foreign drivers, to pull over, and motorcycles get pulled over more than cars. Often the charges or reasons to pull you over are bogus, but for a few cordobas– it’s easier to pay them off, if your Spanish can manage it. I am very humble usually and tell the policias that I am leaving the country the next day or so and can’t go to pay for a ticket. It may be harder for me, since my I’m clearly black and it’s actually really annoying, because I have had to pay as much as C$500 2X, and luckily, I had that much money on me. In summary, if you’re driving, you should have at least C$200 on you to pay for a bogus ticket stop!
Huembes Mercado & Main Bus Station – Managua
Mercado Shopping: unless, you have a Nica friend to shop with you or learn enough Spanish to develop some charm to haggle with the vendor– you’ll pay ‘Gringo’ pricing. After a year, I am pretty good at communicating and haggling. I am far from being rich, but also, I don’t mind paying a few cords more, these people aren’t rich either and tourism is a way many countries improve their incomes; every country does this in some way.
Universally true, when it’s a tourist area – everyone knows, accepts and expects that it’s a tourist area and prices will be higher.
Masaya Mercado: I love the market here too. There are many craft goods to buy, such as, hammocks (single seat, one person, the large style), lounge chairs, classic Nica wooden furnishings, table sets, trinkets, clothes, shoes, food and much more; and note, Masaya is hot, (it’s close to the volcano), so be ready with some cool beverages.
The town – is very quaint too; it’s a nice option for a place to live. It’s about 30-40 minutes from central Managua on Carr. a Masaya (a new well paved road). It’s really a very pretty ride going south on this road which leads to the region of Rivas and to Carr. Panamericana. You pass by areas including: Nindiri, Masaya, Catarina (a very cool place to visit, with restaurants, off the laguna that has another nice market) Granada (a classic old colonial town, although, highly touristic with lots of expats living there), and many other little towns.
I highly suggest going via bus to the beach, it just a more authentic experience to get to be like any other Nica traveling.