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Internet Providers & Working Remotely in San Juan del Sur

We have been asked many times if working remotely in Nicaragua is a viable option? Is the internet fast enough and reliable enough?

The simple answer is ‘yes’.

The internet is fast enough and reliable enough to work remotely in most places in Nicaragua that expats choose to call home.

Internet Providers & Working Remotely in San Juan del Sur

~ Kharron Reid trying to decide whether to work another hour or partake in happy hour on the beach. We helped Kharron, his wife Jenna and their two children move to San Juan del Sur in 2015. Kharron spent his first year in Nicaragua working remotely for a company in the USA. He has since started his own web design company (see: http://senorcoder.com/). 

In this article we’ll provide a list of the various internet options in San Juan del Sur.

We’ll also cover one very important aspect of working online – staying connected!

WIRED INTERNET

CLARO

  • Only available in the heart of the city
  • 1 Mbps to 5 Mbps download speeds available
  • Upload speeds are typically only 1 Mbps
  • 10 Mbps packages available in some neighborhoods
  • Hard wired DSL or Cable depending on the street you live on
  • 1 Mbps package (including basic cable TV) costs approximately $50 USD per month
  • No bandwidth limits

For more information visit http://www.claro.com.ni/portal/ni/sc/personas/.

COOTEL

  • Only available in the heart of the city
  • Top speeds averaging around 20 Mbps
  • Most contracts require a minimum 2-year commitment
  • Cost is usually over $100 USD per month for the highest speed package
  • No bandwidth limits

For more information visit http://www.cootel.com.ni/servicios/internet-fibra-optica/.

POINT TO POINT INTERNET

WIFINIC, GGNET OR IBW

  • Available anywhere you can get a direct line of site to the communications tower or any of the many repeater stations
  • 1 Mbps to 10 Mbps download speeds available
  • Upload speeds are typically half of the download speeds
  • Point to point service wired to a WiFi router
  • 1 Mbps package costs approximately $50 USD per month
  • No bandwidth limits

For more information visit http://wifinic.net/servicios.html,  https://www.facebook.com/ggnetdatos/ & http://www.ibw.com.ni/.

4G WIRELESS WIFI INTERNET

MOVISTAR & CLARO

  • Available almost everywhere — although some remote areas may only have Movistar or Claro — not both
  • 5 Mbps to 15 Mbps packages available
  • Wireless through a 4G SIM card router
  • Movistar packages start at $20 USD; for just over $60 USD you receive 120 Gigs of bandwidth at a speed of 15 Mbps

CELLULAR INTERNET

MOVISTAR & CLARO

  • Available almost everywhere — although some remote areas may only have Movistar or Claro — but not both
  • 1 Mbps to 15 Mbps speeds can be seen on tests
  • Packages start at under $0.50 USD for 75 Mb of bandwidth for one day
  • For $16 USD you receive 2.5 Gigs of data for 30 days

For more information visit https://www.movistar.com.ni/http://www.claro.com.ni/portal/ni/sc/personas/.

Often more important than speed is reliability. 100% up time is rare for any provider. When working online in Nicaragua it’s important to have a back up plan.

OUR STRATEGY FOR 100% UP TIME

HOME INTERNET

We live just outside of the city center. Wired internet service is not an option for us, so we use a service provider that provides point to point service.

The company that has provided us with the best point to point service is WifiNic.

For $56.35 USD per month we get unlimited bandwidth at a speed of 2 Mbps. This plan works fine for video calls, downloading large files and streaming video.  

BACK UP INTERNET

Occasionally here in San Juan del Sur we experience power outages. Sometimes for as little as 5 or 10 minutes and other times for as long as 8 hours.

If you’re on a point to point system like us no power means no internet. 

During these times we rely on data from our cell phones to create an internet hot spot. This way all of our devices can receive internet.

Our monthly pay as you go package with Movistar currently costs just over $16 USD. It comes with 2.5 Gigs of data. If we happen to run out of bandwidth before our 30 days is up we can buy extra data. A 24-hour 1 Gig package costs less than $2 USD.

SIDE NOTE: It’s important to always keep your phone and computer charged. Otherwise this back up plan won’t be of much use. A UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) is also a great way to extend service with a home ISP or your back up ISP.

BOTTOM LINE

As you can see there is no shortage of internet options available in San Juan del Sur. We know a ton of people who are here working remotely. As long as you have a plan you could too!

Travel light in Nicaragua and still connect to work with your iPad or Android tablet using services from Cloud Desktop Online and Cloud Apps Portal.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on May 16, 2016. It has since been updated for accuracy & comprehensiveness and republished on February 19, 2018.

Semana Santa 2014: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Beach towns like San Juan del Sur celebrate the deeply religious holiday of Semana Santa with something resembling Spring Break in Cancun. 

There is loud music, dancing and libations the entire length of beach. All major beer, rum and cell phone companies are represented by young ladies wearing company colors. 

Semana Santa 2014: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

– In deference to the perpetual heat of San Juan del Sur the corporate clothing is designed and sized with cool comfort in mind.

It’s a festive atmosphere, and not one meant just for the young party crowd.

Families take this time to get out of the city and have some fun. San Juan del Sur transforms into a mini amusement park of sorts complete with a carnival, beach and street vendors. 

Contrary to North America festival conventions food and drink prices actually drop during this celebration. Good eats and cold beverages are plentiful and much less expensive than any other time of the year.

Semana Santa 2014: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

– It’s hard to beat $1 rum cocktails, 60¢ beer and 3 Heineken for $4.

The same can’t be said for accommodations. Places to sleep are in short supply and demand makes for higher prices. Many locals rent rooms in their homes to make some extra cash which helps alleviate the bed shortage.

Semana Santa 2014: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

– Mattresses and pillows for sale

This particular Semana Santa in San Juan del Sur has been much different than the last.

We’ve heard speculation that many Managuans stayed home tending to property due to the earthquake red alert status that is currently menacing our capital city. We may never know the reasons for the low attendance numbers, but at a guess I’d say 50% stayed home.

The shame is that this year San Juan seemed ready for the influx of tourism. There were dozens of extra tents set up on the beach for shade, too many portable toilets to count (emptied daily), teams of people combing the streets and beach for garbage, a plethora of vendors and hundreds of police. Temporary parking was even set up in town and on the edge of town.

Elisha and I went out during the day and night to join in the festivities. There was an abundance of drinking and dancing on the street, in the temporary event bars, as well as all of the usual hangouts. Everyone was smiling, laughing and jumping to the beat.

Semana Santa 2014: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

– Things were just getting warmed up Wednesday afternoon at the Flor de Caña stage.

Semana Santa 2014: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

There were a few over indulgers taking “naps”, but nothing compared to US Spring Break standards. We didn’t see any signs of drunk aggression or any real illegal activities.

What we did see was Nicaraguan families enjoying a much needed and deserved vacation at the beach. There were also legions of hard working Nicas running concession stands.

Semana Santa 2014: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Semana Santa 2014: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

– Not a bad place to sell your products and spend the night.

During my morning run I saw people working away setting up for sales. They were still hard at it when Elisha and I headed home for the night after enjoying the evening festivities. Often their children were sleeping on mattresses or hammocks after a long day in the sun.

Together Elisha and I drank cheap Heineken, enjoyed great live music and ate Tip Top Chicken twice.

Semana Santa 2014: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

– We found good service, great music and value priced beer in the Heineken tent.

I rode the rides AND jumped off the Claro tower.

Semana Santa 2014: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

– My jump took place at night and therefore couldn’t be photographed…but you get the idea.

Hopefully next year the crowds will be back, our town will be just as prepared and more of our expat community will stick around to enjoy Semana Santa in San Juan with us.

(Click on any thumbnail to view larger sized images)

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