Granada, Nicaragua’s Beautiful & Charming Colonial city!
On the edge of Lake Nicaragua and in the shadow of Mombacho volcano, Granada is a romantic city of colorful colonial homes and churches.
Founded in 1524, Granada enjoys the distinction of being the oldest colonial city in the Americas.
This relaxed and mellow city has one of the most pleasant central plazas in Latin America which is surrounded by 16th-century colonial buildings, great restaurants, museums and other entertainment.
Granada is a great place to base and explore many of Nicaragua’s popular highlights.
Granada shares the shoreline with Lake Nicaragua, the 10th-largest freshwater lake in the world.
The lake has great sport-fishing in and around over 360 tiny tropical islands (Isletas) that are richly covered with vegetation.
The islands of Lake Nicaragua were created hundreds of years ago when the volcano Mombacho exploded. Today, you can explore this extinct volcano along trails in the cloud forest.
You’ll see more varieties of orchids than just about anywhere else in the world and all kinds of wildlife, including 170 counted species of birds and blue morpho butterflies.
You can also take a canopy tour, shooting from treetop to treetop on harnessed zip-lines.
Near Grenada you’ll find Lake Apoyo.
This crater lake, formed over 21,000 years ago when a volcano erupted, is the largest crater lake in the country and one of the most beautiful.
The views from the top stretch over the hillsides, taking in the blue waters below. Because of its elevation, Lake Apoyo is generally five degrees (Fahrenheit) cooler than Granada, just 15 minutes away.
Its pristine water has therapeutic qualities, thanks to the sulfur and other minerals, and the temperature is 85 degrees all year long.
It is in a Nicaraguan natural reserve and a proposed UNESCO World Heritage site.
Masaya’s Craft Market and the Masaya Volcano National Park
Nearby Masaya is home to Nicaragua’s best craft market, offering just about anything that’s hand-crafted in the country—ceramics, leather goods, iron work, hammocks, jewelry, rocking chairs, masks, clothing . . . you name it.
There are five active volcanos at nearby Masaya Volcano National Park offering the best volcano viewing in Central and North America. It’s the only place in the region where you can see hot magma rising from the depths of the Earth—and you can drive right to the top.
Nicaragua, It will surprise you…
Nicaragua is virtually unknown—and usually misunderstood—by most people, which is why travelers looking for new adventures find this to be an exciting friendly destination off the radar at half the cost of traditional vacation choices.
From a political hotbed to a tourism hot spot this Central American destination between Costa Rica and Honduras is one of the newest and safest, yes, safest spots on the map for travelers. It’s “contra” to everything you might think. The civil war between the Sandinistas and the Contra rebels ended 20 years ago, and savvy travelers know that this is THE place for history, beaches and big, big bargains. Hotels cost a third of what you would expect and meals are a steal.
Nicaragua, we believe, is in the middle of a boom trend that has seen millions of dollars in infrastructure improvements and foreign investment. For example…
A Taiwanese group bought the InterContinental Hotel in Managua and added a shopping mall and another hotel.
A Guatemalan group invested $8 million in a Princess Hotel. Another Guatemalan group has taken over the run-down Hotel Camino Real, completely refurbished it, and added a convention center.
A New Orleans company recently finalized a deal with the Nicaragua legislature for the rights to run Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua’s closest developed port to the U.S. Gulf Coast. The company will spend more than $100 million on improvements, which will cut the cost and time for goods to get to Managua, in some cases by more than half.
The list goes on and on. In short, Nicaragua is on the right track.
As The Wall Street Journal recently reported… “Suddenly, Managua has a skyline. New hotels and shopping centers–with elevators, and even escalators–have sprouted in a capital flattened by a 1972 earthquake and laid low by failed socialism. Arco gas stations, Pizza Huts and McDonald’s golden arches rise from the gentle hills. Once a live-fire franchise of the Cold War, Nicaragua and other Central American countries have embraced franchise capitalism.”
The paper continued: “U.S. companies arrive to build power plants and telephone networks, to sell hamburgers and pizza. Foreign investors who were fleeing the country a decade ago put $280 million into Nicaragua last year.”
The country’s tourism business is taking off too. Cruise ships are regularly docking at San Juan del Sur. And the country has opened its first-ever tourist office in the United States, on the streets of downtown Miami. The office will operate a toll-free number for the U.S. and Canada…with a goal of attracting 500,000 tourists to Nicaragua by year’s end.
This development is good news for us as fellow Nicaraguan investors.
To give you an idea of just how far this country has come, from 1979 to 1989,
according to World Bank statistics, Nicaragua’s GDP shrunk by an average of 1% per year. From 1989 to 1999, GDP averaged 2.8% growth. In 1999 alone, the GDP grew 7%…and it’s expected to grow by an average of 6.2% over the next few years. As the country’s former Vice President recently told Newsweek magazine: “Fewer than 15 countries in the world have achieved 6% growth in a year.”
Also, for the past decade, three consecutive administrations have continued to pass legislation assuring land ownership rights for both foreigners and Nicaraguans.
This means the country is continuing on the right track. Enrique Bolanos, Nicaragua’s previous president, encouraged foreign investmentmore than any president in the past. In fact, he invited 500 business people from 28 countries to attend his inauguration, and he has initiated a series of cost-cutting measures that signal his commitment to government trimming waste—and not just for everyone else. Bolanos actually dropped his own salary by 30% to $80,000, and slashed his expense account to a paltry $48,000 (compared to a ridiculous $2.8 million slush fund used by the former administration).
U.S. News &World Report rated Nicaragua one of the 10 best places to retire in the magazine’s most recent survey.
Conde Nast Traveler reported earlier this year: “Nicaragua seems to be the next logical choice for adventurous travelers in Central America. Costa Rica is more crowded and more expensive than it used to be, and Guatemala is still suffering from the effects of a 36-year-old civil war…Even Panama, a relatively wealthier nation, is much more developed and expensive than Nicaragua.” The New York Times and the USA Today reported the same trend not too long ago.
We want to take advantage of the growing trend taking shape in the United States and in other developed countries. That is, people’s desire to invest, live, vacation, or even retire outside of their home countries.People are starting to relocate on a global scale. One article in The International Herald Tribune stated that, in the past 30 years, the number of Americans living abroad has more than quadrupled. In fact, according to the U.S. State Department, it has risen from 2.3 million to 3.3 million just since 1990.
This movement is expected to increase exponentially. To profit from it, you need to look for real estate markets that will capitalize on the direction the world is starting to move. Overseas retirement real estate is going to be big business in the coming years. As the first of the 76-million, baby-boom generation turns 55 this year, more people are going to look outside of the United States for real estate, second homes, and retirement homes.
They will come looking for places like Condo Hotel Xalteva for privacy, safety, warm weather, and a relaxed and sometimes adventurous lifestyle.
With some of the world’s best natural attractions, ridiculously low prices on everything from food to labor, and twoof the most charming colonial cities in the Americas—Granada and Leon-we believe Nicaragua will be one of the most desirable tourist and retiree destinations in the next decade.”
Did you know that Baby Boomers make up almost a third of the U.S. population? And they are aging fast. Beginning in 2000, boomers started turning 50 at the rate of just under 10,000 a day. Already, more than 14 million boomers are 50 and up, and some aren’t waiting until 55 to take early retirement. It’s a well-educated crowd: Nearly 90 percent of boomers graduated from high school, and more than a quarter have at least a bachelor’s degree. More than three quarters own homes, and 73 percent have some form of investments.
As Time Magazine recently reported: “Many of the 76 million American boomers are more likely than their parents to consider retiring to a foreign land, because they have traveled more, have higher hopes for retirement, and tend to be more active and adventuresome.”
Think about it this way…more than three million U.S. citizens have already moved abroad, looking for cheap real estate, low taxes, and better qualities of living. This trend will only increase in the years to come.
Nicaragua offers advantages few other places can match.The cost of living, for example, is a fraction of what you’re accustomed to back home. You can employ a full-time maid here for about $100 per month. You can see a movie for $2…and get your hair cut for $1.25…take a taxi for 50¢ . Two people can have an excellent meal, including drinks, tax and tip for less than $20.
Plus, the tax burden is very light. And as a foreigner qualifying for Nicaragua’s Pensionado program, you may be exempt from import duties on your personal and household goods; and be allowed to bring a vehicle into the country tax-free once every five years.
And if you are looking to start a business, few places offer better incentives than Nicaragua, which recently passed tourism Law 306. This law allows you open a tourism-related business and:
1. pay no taxes for 10 years
2. bring in (or buy locally) all the supplies you need, from furniture and boats to linens and cash registers…all tax-free.
Nicaragua is an exotic land…where the sun shines all day long…on rugged and tropical rivers, colonial cities, friendly and lively people, and the largest body of fresh water south of the Great Lakes.
These are the primary reasons we have invested in Nicaragua. The numbers and the trends are just too good to pass up. But these facts and numbers don’t begin to tell the story of the laid-back atmosphere and natural beauty of Nicaragua…and of the colonial city of Granada in particular.