Saving Dogs in San Juan del Sur

It’s been awhile since I’ve participated in any volunteer projects, so when I heard about an opportunity to join forces with some individuals who were interested in working together to improve animal welfare in our community, I was all over it.

With only two meetings under our belt our group definitely didn’t feel ready to move forward with our first project, but when we heard about a serious outbreak of canine distemper in a community just 15 minutes south of San Juan del Sur we knew we had to do something.

With the help of a couple generous donors in our community we were able to purchase enough vaccines to get the dogs of El Carizal started on the treatment course they needed to fight this potentially fatal disease.


Our local vet Faran Dometz worked with El Carizal resident Carlos to spread the word that help was coming.

On Saturday, May 23rd we set up shop on the side of the road across from the huge mango tree that marks the entrance of El Carizal. 

Our “clinic” consisted of three plastic tables and a few chairs.

Dog owners young and old lined up to register, then waited patiently for their number be called and their dogs to be seen.

Our volunteer veterinarians treated a total 52 dogs on Saturday. They administered distemper vaccines and medicine to treat parasites. They also also applied flea and tick treatment to each and every dog.

El Carizal Vaccination Clinic

– El Carizal Vaccination Clinic: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua


Unfortunately one vaccine is not enough to provide immunity to this disease. 

In three weeks we will head back to community of El Carizal for round two of treatment.

It is our hope that we can contain this outbreak and stop the spread of this serious disease — but we definitely can’t do it on our own.

The wholesale cost of 1 distemper vaccine is just $3 USD. 

Save a Dog in San Juan del Sur

With $156 USD we can purchase the vaccines needed for treatment on June 13th.

If you have a few dollars to spare and want to help save a dog in San Juan del Sur we’d be grateful  — for any donation — no matter how big or small. 

Just click on the image above to DONATE now!

One Month’s Living Expenses 2015: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Cost of living continues to be the most popular searched topic on In Nica Now and since it’s been over a year since we published an up-to-date expense report we thought it was time we do so. 

Last month (April 2015) we diligently tracked every single cordoba we spent.

Our targeted monthly budget is $1400 USD. Total living expenses for the month added up to $1513.48 USD.

Below is a summary by category that shows where our cash went. Exchange rate is based on 26.7 cordobas per 1 USD.

One Month's Living Expenses: April 2015

For a more detailed in-depth look at our expenditures click on the link to view our daily spending.


We incurred two major expenditures this month that are NOT listed on our summary or our detailed expense report.

1.  PASSPORT RENEWAL: 2 passport photos, 1 – 10 year passport. $230 USD
2.  TRUCK REPAIRS: Diesel engine rebuild, injector & fuel pump service, purchase & installation of new clutch pump. $1700 USD

The truck repairs and passport renewal were done in Managua and therefore we made two trips (1 day trip and 1 overnight trip) to the city.

We were also without a vehicle from the beginning of the month through to April 24 and were using taxis as our mode of transportation.

This month was not at all a typical month of spending, but since we took the time to track all purchases and expenditures we still wanted to share the information with you.

We are tracking again this month and will have another expense report to share with you at the beginning of June.

You may also be interested in the following posts:

One Month’s Living Expenses: Leon Nicaragua
One Month’s Living Expenses 2012: Granada, Nicaragua
One Month’s Living Expenses 2012: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
One Month’s Living Expenses 2014: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

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Guide to the Beaches: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Nicaragua is blessed with some of the most beautiful beaches and surfing in the world. Many of which you’ll find in the San Juan del Sur area. 



With year round waves Playa Maderas  is one of San Juan del Sur’s most popular surf beaches. Three restaurants (Tacos Locos, Los Tres Hermanos and Mi Rancho) offer frosty cervezas and local fare at reasonable prices. Dorm beds, as well as private rooms are available for rent at Los Tres HermanosSurf board rentals and lessons are also available here.  A 4 x 4 vehicle is recommended for travel to Playa Maderas, especially in the rainy season. 

Maderas Beach: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

– Playa Maderas: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua


For an afternoon of swimming and sunbathing Playa Majagual is ideal. Grab a cold beverage or some typical Nicaraguan fare at Matilda’s Snack Bar. Basic lodging and camping is also available at Matilda’s. Playa Majagual is just a 5 minute walk North of Playa Maderas, but can also be reached by car from San Juan del Sur in approximately 25 minutes. 

Playa Majagual: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

– Playa Majagual: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua


Playa Marsella is less well known than her sister bay of Playa Maderas and is the quieter beach. With a long, white sandy beach stretching from one end of the bay to the other, Marsella is strikingly beautiful.  At the mouth of the estuary you’ll find Restaurante Rancho Marsella where you can get cold beer and enjoy fresh and delicious seafood. Depending on the time of day you may catch a glimpse of resident crocodile Paco. At the other end of the beach you’ll find the slightly more upscale restaurant El Secreto. Playa Marsella Beachfront Hotel has rustic cabins and rooms for rent. Stand up paddle boards and kayaks are also available for rent here.

Marsella Beach: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

– Playa Marsella: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua


Playa Remanso is a small beautiful bay just 15 minutes south of the center of San Juan. On a clear day at Playa Remanso you can see the mountains of Costa Rica which are less than fifteen miles away. Here you’ll find two small beach bar restaurants. Both offer ample seating in the shade, fresh fruit smoothies, cold beers and simple food like fish tacos and chicken nachos, but our favorite is Slaudy Brother’s Surf Bar. Playa Remanso is a great beach for beginner surfers.

Playa Remanso: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

– Playa Remanso, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua


Playa Hermosa offers plenty of amenities – washrooms, fresh water showers, a restaurant and bar, sand volleyball court, hammocks galore, quaint thatch roof huts on the sand with tables and chairs for lounging, massage services and horseback riding. Here they even have a turtle release program. At Playa Hermosa there is an entrance fee of $3 USD per person and outside beverages are not allowed.  Lodging is available at Playa Hermosa Beach Hotel.

Playa Hermosa: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

– Playa Hermosa: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua


This long beautiful secluded sandy beach is favorited by local surfers. With no amenities and little shade here you’ll want to bring some snacks and plenty of water. Although not absolutely necessary for travel to Playa Yankee a vehicle with higher clearance is recommended. The drive from San Juan del Sur takes approximately 30 minutes. Entrance fee is C$100 ($3.75 USD) per vehicle.

- Playa Yankee: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

– Playa Yankee: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua.


A jewel of a beach, spanning nearly a mile long Playa el Coco is great for relaxing, swimming and sunset watching. Restaurante Puesto del Solthe one and only restaurant in the area offers hammocks and beach chairs. It also has a nice pool. Unfortunately the food and service quality don’t quite warrant the higher menu prices. From San Juan del Sur it takes approximately 30 minutes by car to reach Playa el Coco.

Playa el Coco: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

– Playa el Coco: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua


This wide and imposing beach is one of the least visited in the San Juan area, perhaps because of its remoteness, which makes it a tranquil and lonely spot, but if you’re looking to get off the beaten path and go on a little adventure Playa Ostional is worth the trip. Manta Raya Hospedaje is a great place to sit and enjoy the view and a cold Toña or two. 

- Playa Ostional: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

– Playa Ostional: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

A Long Term Rental in Las Delicias: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

We’ve always been lucky when it comes to finding nice affordable long term rentals, but this particular time we really lucked out! 

A Long Term Rental in Las Delicias: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

– A Long Term Rental in Las Delicias: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Our new rental home is a two bedroom, two bathroom bungalow that sits on a half acre of land. The property is located just five minutes south of San Juan del Sur in the neighbourhood of Las Delicias.

Our living area is large and airy. With windows at the front and back of the house we get a really nice cross breeze, which is very important, when living in a hot and tropical climate like San Juan del Sur.

A Long Term Rental in Las Delicias: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

– Living Room

A Long Term Rental in Las Delicias: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

– Open concept living

Our kitchen is fairly well equipped with standard size refrigerator, a four burner gas stove with oven and a microwave. The toaster, blender and espresso machine belong to us. It’s actually rare to find long term rentals that are equipped with these small appliances — at least in the $300 – $600 USD per month price range.

The master bedroom is quite large and comes furnished with a king sized bed with pillow top mattress, ensuite bath and two large wardrobes. It also has air conditioning, but due to the high cost of electricity in Nicaragua we use it sparingly in the months of April and May only.

Our guest bedroom is also a good size. It’s equipped with a queen sized bed, air conditioning and a large closet. The guest bathroom is right next door. 

- Guest Bathroom

– Guest Bathroom

This home happens to be our 10th rental in Nicaragua.  When talking overall comfort and bang for your buck this house definitely comes out on top!

Our rent is just $350 USD per month. Extra monthly expenses include $30 USD for internet and an average of $65 USD per month for electricity and $12 USD per month for water. 

Why so low you ask? 

Well, we are actually sharing the property with our good friends Bastin and Debbie from Together Tours.

Adjacent to our house sits a cute little studio apartment — this is where Debbie and Bastin live. The rental rate and expenses quoted above represent our share of the total.

Also living onsite is our cuidador (care taker) Blush and his two dogs Chocolate and Tana. Blush takes care of watering the garden and keeping on eye on the place when we’re not around. Blush’s salary is paid by the home owner.

It’s been just over a month since we moved in and so far this arrangement is working out incredibly well. We’re super happy to be saving money and we’re stoked to have our friends right next door!

Are you moving to San Juan del Sur and looking for a long term rental? We offer Home Finder & Relocation services and would love to help you find your perfect rental home!


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