Few countries in the Americas can boast of the natural beauty that Nicaragua so proudly cherishes and preserves.  This relatively small country (about the size of the state of New York) is situated smack dab in the middle of Central America, with Honduras on its northern border and Costa Rica on its southern border, with the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east.  Nicaragua is a paradise of natural wonders and destinations, and in fact about 20% of the total national territory is protected habitat, either as national parks or nature reserves, etc.  Ecotourism, consequently, is a major component of Nicaragua’s growing economy.

Spanish is the national language. Many expats choose to move to Nicaragua because of the extraordinarily low cost of living in the country, when compared to prices in the US or anywhere in the first world.  Though Nicaragua has endured many challenges in its economic development (form natural disasters to foreign interventions to domestic revolutions), today the country is on a steady path forward to development and growth, and in fact Nicaragua is rated as one of the freest markets in the Americas, with the World Bank qualifying it as the second best country in Central America to start a business.

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Moving to Nicaragua doesn’t need to be a painful process, but many overly enthusiastic individuals fail to inform themselves on the necessary procedures and hence fall into a maze of complications; avoid this by consulting with one of the Nicaraguan Consulates in the US before undertaking the move.  Basically, there are three categories that you can fall under as an emigrant to Nicaragua: investor, worker, or retiree.  Though individuals falling under each category will have slightly different paperwork to file, all three varieties will need to present their criminal records (yes, even if they’re blank), their birth certificate, and a health certificate.  These will need to be notarized and sealed officially by the emitting authority, and then translated and notarized by the Nicaraguan Consulate.  Read this article to get a more nuanced take on this process.

To get to know the many gorgeous destinations this country has to offer—like the enormous fresh-water Lake Nicaragua and Lake Managua, or the twin volcanoes of Madera and Concepcion), look to the Lonely Planet, where you’ll find descriptions and further info for all the major attractions in the country.  And lastly, read some testimonials and forum posts of other expats living in Nicaragua.