Moving to Nicaragua in 3 months - what to bring - and where to buy


We are moving from Denmark to Nicaragua (Managua) in December. (Family of 5)

I feel like I have a 1000 questions, so hope you can and will answer just some of them :-)

The power in DK is 220W, so we have to buy new kitchen machines, maybe a TV and some other things. Are these items best to buy in the US, or in Nicaragua? We can bring a converter, but not for all of our electrical items.

Are there any sports clubs? - I like to run, would this be possible? - safe enough? Maybe there is a running club or something?

Are there any riding schools? We are bringing a 13 year old girl :-)

I have looked at the thread about what you guys miss the most from US, but there is a lot of things and stores that we don't even have here in DK, so I guess we won't miss a lot in Nicaragua :-)

What about the power... is it stabile?

And water - can you drink the water or do you buy it?

That was it for now, hopefully we will know a lot more after October, when we fly over to seek for a house.

Thanks, Lidan

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Hi Lidan, We also moved here

Hi Lidan,

We also moved here from Denmark 2 years ago. We came with a 20 footer van (brought and bought all our small kitchen appliances from DK). From experience, once the MOMS is taken off the purchase price, it becomes substantially cheaper to purchase appliance in Denmark. I'm not sure how it exactly works because hubby did all the paper works but if you're declaring residency outside Denmark, you are entitled like any tourist (taking the purchase out of the country), to tax-free purchases.

That should save you further headache on travelling heavy and customs processing.

As to your other queries:

You can have 220 outlets installed in your house (like we did) and use surge protectors / voltage regulator (110 / 220 outputs) that we bought here for around DKK 300. Bring a lot of adaptors for your appliances as 220 outlets have vertical slots while 110 horizontal (or extension cords with round slots used in DK for less adaptors to use).

We have brought our TV from Denmark and it works just fine here. I don't know how much a TV costs there now but you can buy a 32" LCD here for somewhere between US 1,300 - 2,000 (around DKK 4,000 - 6,000) depending on the brand, to give you an idea.

One thing I've noticed is that most Danes have dishwashing machines (must be from DK, I know I haven't seen them here). If you plan to bring one, bring a good supply of soap (both liquid and tablet) as we cannot get them here.

What we are missing are quality pots and pans that hubby regrets we didn't buy in DK. Candles are also of poor quality and expensive, so 'hvis man skal hygge' bring a good supply specially of 'fyrfadslys'. In line with that also your traditional christmas and fødselsdag decors.

The sports club and running I believe have been answered...I know someone who lives in Carretera Sur and runs somewhere there every morning. The only thing that makes her uncomfortable are the stray dogs and dogs inside houses that bark incessantly each time she passes by, she said.

As to the riding school in Carretera Vieja Leon, I do know a couple of 13 yo or so Danish children who goes there.

Finally, there is a small Danish community here in Managua that meets quite regularly. Most of the younger children go to the Swedish School.

Send me a private message if you wish to learn more about the Danes here and I will hook you up with a couple of them who can better answer your queries in Danish, if more helpful.

I hope this helps and Goodluck.

Just living is not enough, one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower - H.C. Andersen

Another thing

This might be insignificant but we always ask someone to bring it to us from Denmark (like from my svigemor who's coming this weekend), fryse/kogeposer. I haven't found it here but is very helpful in stocking up on frozen meat (for identification and dates - force of habit, I guess). Wouldn't hurt to have.

Just living is not enough, one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower - H.C. Andersen

You can request 220V

You can request 220V electrical service for you home from Union Fenosa and then its just a matter of having an electrician do the proper wiring so you can still use you equipment. I strongly suggest using surge protectors on as many equipment as you can. Power is stable most of the time but there are lows and spikes that can damage your equipment. I even have my refrigerator on a surge protector and all my computers and telecomunication equipment on a surge/backup system. I also recommend you buy fuente pura in the 5 gallos drums that are delivered to your house. Managua water has a wierd taste for me.

220V 50hz or 60 hz?

Some equipment like irons or curling irons will work fine on 220 V in Nicaragua. You may have a problem with anything that has a motor. You may find a difference in the running speed due to the different frequency.

Many of the European appliances have a dual voltage selector switch and all you will have to bring for those are plug converters.

Enperadore is giving you good advice when suggesting to protect your equipment with surge protectors.

Riding and sports club

There is a riding club over on Carretera Viejo Leon, unfortunately I do not know the name but you can ask around when you get here. There are a couple of sports clubs: Club Terraza is a private club and is very expensive to join ($12,500 membership fee and $100.00 per month maintenance fees) or the Sporting Club which is on Carretera Masaya across from the 1st entrance to Las Colinas. It runs about $450.00 membership and $100.00 month maintenance and they offer classes for children (swimming, karate etc) and work out equipment and aerobics. I think they also offer pilates and yoga and I knew someone who was playing floor hockey there at one point.

The grocery stores are good in Managua and there are other little tiendas that have American products. Also, Pricesmart which is the equivalent to Costco in the US is fairly decent (they also sell American appliances).

Jogging in Sto Domingo is popular (there is a group that passes our house every morning) though the terrain is hilly.

We buy our water from Fuente Pura. They deliver to the house two times per week so it is really convenient. It is around 30 cordobas per bottle.

Good luck with your move.

minced meat, gravy and potatoes

You all will enjoy the food here, like yours, its simple and very tasteful. Your famous Danish cookies can be found in any major supermarket. If you set up your Camp on Carretera Sur, you will find all the schools you need and jogging is okay in most areas. We have 110 and 220 so no need to buy new stuff. Granada is the closest to Danish Architecture you will see and you will enjoy the varity of woods the country has to offer. Other than Copenhagen, I spent summers in Tonder and Haderslev. You have a lovely country. There is a Dane and a few Europeans on this site, maybe they will contact you and give you better update.

Jorge Giraldez-Benard Latin American Advisors Company Ltd Texaco El Cortijo 1/2 C al Sur Casa 300 Res. El Cortijo, Managua, Nicaragua C.A.. e-mail Skype, YahooPager & MSN User name: JGiraldezB Managua Office: 011 505 2682874

Riding school

That would be in Granada too. It boasts one of the best and oldest in Central America. Its Private but if you ride, you will make friends quickly. I remember a Dane living in Peral Lagoon , on our Atlantic coast. Owns together with his Nica wife and kids, Hotelito Casa Blanca.

Jorge Giraldez-Benard Latin American Advisors Company Ltd Texaco El Cortijo 1/2 C al Sur Casa 300 Res. El Cortijo, Managua, Nicaragua C.A.. e-mail Skype, YahooPager & MSN User name: JGiraldezB Managua Office: 011 505 2682874

Hi Lidan

I am Nicaraguan living in the US, for now, and visiting Nicaragua, regularly. Some of the US expatriates may answer better some of your questions but these are my views.

Only Managua resembles a cosmopolitan city in a sort of disorganized way. The rest is more like primitives towns as built by spaniards 400 years ago. The culture remains also primitive. Most of the east 1/2 side of the country, is even more backward and isolated as there are no paved roads. This is not a bad thing. I would prefer it would stay that way forever, as it is more natural than "civilized"

When it comes to sport clubs, maybe in Managua, or some resort like places thriving on foreigners. Most nicaraguans would say, QUE ES ESO? What is that?... Riding Schools? For a bicycle? Nicaraguans would say;just get on it, fall a couple of times, and you are done. Running? Most locals would frown upon it. Why would anybody waste their energy doing that? You can do it, they'll say: it is just a crazy foreigner.

Power is 120 V and yes, probably is better to get new appliances. Electronics is more expensive in Nicaragua than the US for same quality, however, it may not be worth the hazard of dealing with customs. Unless you have a legal brake as a retiree. Expect all government services to be highly inefficient, incompetent, and discourteous. We nicaraguans do not understand the concept of governmet workers being public servants.

Most basic things are available, but they are difficult to find, and low quality. They are a few supermarkets, but other you are not going to find "Retail Stores" like Walmart in the US.

Power is not that reliable, but all depends on where you are. I visit Leon often, and usually it is dependable. Mostly only the West 1/2 is in a power grid. Most of the east 1/2 is on spot local generators.

I grew up in the 60's in Leon drinking tap water, and I am still alive. Hope this helps, and does not discourage you. I myself want to return.

Some advice

I just moved. My take on your question. As you see on the site there are lots of life styles represented. Mine is city based and in the local community as opposed to a gated enclave.

Water...I drink it but I think you need to check where you are. My house will have UV purifier which is cheap protection. Esp. if you have young kid. Get Hep A and Typhod vaccinations.

Sports clubs...none that I have seen , but lots of places to run and I can find safe areas in Granada. Managua? You will find out when you get there. will find what you need in NICA, no reason to buy in the USA.

Power seems OK when on but does go out regularly. I filter power for computer.

I have a good person who can help you find a house in Managua if you like. PM me and I will send it on.

Good luck. Country has a lot of liabilities, but is quite a place to live and seems great.ZZT