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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.

What to Expect When Using Public Washrooms in Nicaragua

What to Expect When Using Public Washrooms in Nicaragua

~ An Eclectic Well Stocked Public Washroom: Bar Republika, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Wondering what to expect in regards to public washrooms in Nicaragua? This quick guide will help you be prepared when “nature calls”.

The most commonly used word for washrooms in Nicaragua is baño. 

You can walk into most restaurants and bars, politely and confidently, and find a bathroom. Assume it’s somewhere in the back. If you are so inclined to ask for permission, just smile and say, “Baño?” Sometimes as a courtesy I’ve bought a drink in order to use the facilites. Other times I’ve left a small tip. Generally neither is necessary.

Men’s restrooms will most usually be marked “Hombres” or “Caballaros”. Women’s restrooms are usually titled “Mujeres” or “Damas”. 

A WORD ABOUT TOILETS IN NICARAGUA

Almost all public washrooms in Nicaragua have sit down flush toilets.

But water is sometimes sporadic – even in cities – and you may be required to manually flush the toilet (el inodoro).

The manual flush maneuver is pretty simple. Just look for a large barrel of water with a bucket floating on top. These are usually found in – or just outside – the bathroom. Fill the bucket with a gallon of water and dump it into the toilet bowl. For best results try to provide as much force as an ordinary flush.

Occasionally – in very rural areas of Nicaragua – you may encounter an outdoor toilet (aka outhouse) with no plumbing.

PUT YOUR PAPER IN THE TRASH, NOT THE TOILET

Most plumbing systems in Nicaragua can’t handle a lot of paper. It is common practice to put your used paper in the trash, not in the toilet.

What to Expect When Using Public Washrooms in Nicaragua

~ “Do Not Flush” Sign: Fight Club Gym, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Even if you don’t see a sign in the washroom like the one shown above it is still the norm to put your toilet paper in the trash. The exception to this rule is in mid-range to expensive hotels, where it is probably safe to flush your paper.

PUBLIC WASHROOMS IN NICARAGUA ARE NOT USUALLY WELL STOCKED

Public washrooms in Nicaragua aren’t always stocked with the essentials like toilet paper, soap and paper towels. It’s a good idea to carry some tissue or a roll of toilet paper (papel higiénico) with you. You may also want to carry some wet wipes and hand sanitizer in your bag. 

Some public toilets have attendants who charge a small fee (5 – 10 Córdobas) and provide paper. This is most commonly seen at markets.

Additionally, public washrooms in Nicaragua rarely have purse hooks or baby change tables. You may even find yourself in a washroom where the toilet has no seat. Be prepared to hover!

THE BOTTOM LINE 

Using a public washroom in Nicaragua may not be the most elegant experience but when you gotta go … you gotta go … right?

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