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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Yup, that’s right!
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.
The water pressure is great and having on-demand hot water for showers is a bonus. Hooray for no more “suicide” showers!
Okay, now onto one of the best things about this property.
It has a pool!
Let me say it again.
WE. HAVE. A. POOL!
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!)
Our kitchen sink is the size of what one would typically expect to have in their bathroom. Washing dishes in it is NO BUEÑO!
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!