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Celebrating Semana Santa 2016 in San Juan del Sur

Semana Santa in San Juan del Sur equates to the biggest party of the year in Nicaragua. To avoid the crowds and craziness this week long celebration brings many resident expats and locals prefer to get out of town, while on the other hand, many of us choose to stick around.

This year, like previous years, Gordon and I decided to round up some friends and get in on the action. 

Heineken Semana Santa 2016: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

The Heineken stage has always been a favorite spot of ours so it became the meeting place for our motley crew. With upbeat music pumping, the sun shining and cold inexpensive Heineken flowing our Semana Santa expat gathering was off to a great start!

~ Heineken Reps: Semana Santa 2016, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

~ Heineken Reps: Semana Santa 2016, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

- Semana Santa SJDS Expat Experience 2016

~ Celebrating Semana Santa 2016 with Expat Friends: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Unlike major festivals and events in Canada or the United States — where drink prices usually double or even triple — here in Nicaragua it’s the complete opposite.

Whether it’s beer, rum or Micheladas you’ll be hard pressed to pay much more than $1 USD for a drink. One place was even selling litres of Victoria Classica beer for just $1.25 USD.

Next we made our way a few steps down the street to the Claro booth. Local beer (Toña and Victoria Frost) were available for just $0.89 USD.

Needless to say more frosty cervezas were enjoyed by all!

Claro Semana Santa 2016: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

~ Semana Santa 2016: Claro Tent, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Claro Building: Semana Santa 2016, SJDS, Nicaragua

~ Semana Santa 2016: Claro Tent, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua (PHOTO CREDIT: DanCesar.com)

Victoria Frost Reps: Semana Santa 2016, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

~ Semana Santa 2016: Victoria Frost Reps, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Claro: Semana Santa 2016, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

~ Semana Santa 2016: Claro Tent, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

There was no shortage of cold (and even cheaper beer) at the Victoria Frost tent, which is where we found ourselves next. Here we paid just $0.71 USD per can.

High above us nubile young women representing one of Nicaragua’s big name beers gyrated to the beat of the music.

Victoria Frost Semana Santa 2016: SJDS, Nicaragua

~ Semana Santa 2016: Victoria Frost Tent, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Celebrating Semana Santa 2016: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

~ Semana Santa 2016: Victoria Frost Tent, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua (PHOTO CREDIT: DanCesar.com)

We made our way through the crowded dance floor and out onto the beach. The cool mist that sprinkled down on us and was a welcome reprieve from the heat.

Victoria Frost Semana Santa 2016: SJDS, Nicaragua

~ Semana Santa 2016: Victoria Frost Tent, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Here in the Victoria Frost tent — as with all the other venues we visited — purchasing multiple beers meant you were eligible to receive free swag. Our friend Everett scored a cap with a built in bottle opener.

- Our new expat friend Everett Sturge sporting his Vic

~ Celebrating Semana Santa 2016: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Victoria Frost Tent: Semana Santa 2016, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

~ Victoria Frost Tent: Semana Santa 2016, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

It’s fair to say that by this time many of us were feeling no pain! From here we wandered up the beach through the crowds of people in search of something good to eat.

The Bay of San Juan del Sur: Semana Santa 2016

~ Semana Santa 2016: The Bay of San Juan, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

After enjoying a little snack of fried chicken we made our way back to where we started – the Heineken stage – for a couple more cold ones, further people watching and — for some of us — a bit of dancing.

Papas Fritas con Pollo

~ Fried Chicken & French Fries: Semana Santa 2016, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Semana Santa 2016: Heineken Stage, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

~ Semana Santa 2016: Heineken Stage, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Semana Santa in San Juan del Sur is definitely not for people who don’t like crowds or loud music. For me it’s best experienced a couple hours at a time.

Having started this particular party at 2:30 in the afternoon I was impressed that I lasted as long as I did; it was 8 o’clock when Gordon and I finally decided to make our way home.

There’s no denying the fact that today I’m missing the flavours of turkey, ham and mashed potatoes with gravy…not to mention those oh so sinfully sweet Cadbury Creme Eggs…and more importantly time with family…but I can say I’m grateful to have enjoyed another day of fun in the sun with good friends celebrating Semana Santa here in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua.

Have you experienced Semana Santa in San Juan del Sur? What did you think? 

In Nica Now moves into yet another long term rental in San Juan del Sur!

In Nica Now moves into yet another long term rental in San Juan del Sur!

– Another Long Term Rental in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Yup, that’s right!

We’ve moved.

AGAIN!

I know what many of you are thinking,

“Moved? Again? Gosh these guys move a lot!”

Unfortunately just 2 1/2 months after moving into our two bedroom, two bathroom rental home in the neighbourhood of Las Delicias we received notification from the home owner that he was moving back.  

In 3 1/2 years of moving around this rental search proved to be the toughest one yet!

We started by telling everyone we knew we were looking for a rental. We posted on the Expats of San Juan del Sur Facebook page asking for help and we also spent some serious time pounding the pavement.

Over the course of a month and a half we viewed at least a dozen rentals in the $500 – $600 per month price range and sadly, none of them were suitable.

All but one, were lacking the quality standard and comforts we have become accustomed to and were looking for.

Thankfully — when I was just about ready to give up, pack my bags and move back to Canada — by some miracle we were able to secure an incredible rental we are both stoked about. 

Our new one bedroom, two bathroom rental home is located just outside of town in a small development called Montemar. 

SEALING THE DEAL

With some hard negotiating and a promise to lease for 1 year we were able to talk the home owners down from the advertised monthly rental rate of $950 USD to $550.

In addition to the base rent of $550 other monthly household expenses include the following:

~ Electricity (with no A/C use) $20 – $40 USD
~ Internet $70 USD
~ Satellite TV $17 USD
~ Water $4 USD

This all adds up to a bit more than we wanted to pay — the most we’ve ever had to pay for housing in Nicaragua in fact — but unfortunately these days in San Juan del Sur $500 – $600 per month, just doesn’t get you what it used to.

Like every other rental we’ve lived in there are some good things and some bad things about this home.

I’ll start with the good.

The house is situated up on a hill and has great airflow.

It’s big and bright and has a large deck.

In Nica Now moves into yet another long term rental in San Juan del Sur!
We have been sleeping very comfortably at night — sometimes under a light blanket — with just a floor fan at the foot of the bed.

Another Long Term Rental: Master Bedroom

– The coordinating bedding and pillows came with the house. Score!

Another Long Term Rental: A Bright & Airy One Bedroom

– We love waking up to a view of the tree tops

The water pressure is great and having on-demand hot water for showers is a bonus. Hooray for no more “suicide” showers!

In Nica Now moves into yet another long term rental in San Juan del Sur

Storage in the bathroom is also a good thing. 

In Nica Now moves into yet another long term rental in San Juan del Sur.

– The yellow feature wall coordinates very well with our painting.

Okay, now onto one of the best things about this property.

It has a pool!

Let me say it again.

WE. HAVE. A. POOL!

In Nica Now moves into yet another long term rental in San Juan del Sur

– Cool, clean and refreshing! Ahhhh, who wants a Toña?

In Nica Now moves into yet another long term rental in San Juan del Sur

– Our miniature schnauzer Maggie has been enjoying the pool — just as much — if not more than us!

THE BAD

Now onto the bad.

The living room is sparsely furnished.

There are no curtains in the dining room.

And the white ceramic tile floor show up every single bit of dust, dirt and gecko poop (which there seems to be a lot of!)

In Nica Now moves into yet another long term rental in San Juan del Sur

In Nica Now moves into yet another long term rental in San Juan del Sur
THE UGLY

Our kitchen sink is the size of what one would typically expect to have in their bathroom. Washing dishes in it is NO BUEÑO!

In Nica Now moves into yet another long term rental in San Juan del Sur

– Seriously what was the builder thinking!?!

A Bright & Air One Bedroom Long Term Rental: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

– Besides the teeny tiny sink the rest of the kitchen is very functional

Overall, we really have absolutely nothing to complain about. Once again we feel very lucky to have found such a great rental.

With three moves in the last six months it’s a relief to know we don’t have to move again anytime in the near future.

And since we’re going to be here awhile we aren’t fussed over the fact that we may need to spend a little money to purchase things like curtains and or some additional furniture to make the house feel like a home.

Boy am I glad we didn’t have to move back to Canada!

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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