Throughout the four years living in Nicaragua, I’ve tried a lot of products and services to try to make our lives healthier and happier, more economical and ecological and sometimes even just easier! On this resources page, I’ve made a list of products and service that help visitors and residents to feel more comfortable in Nicaragua.
Nicaragua Immersion is a trip planning agency owned and managed by long-time traveler and volunteer Martha Nieset. Martha’s expertise is in creating a personal, customized experience for the first-time traveler to Nicaragua. Anyone who has been daydreaming about Nicaragua but doesn’t know where to get started or is nervous about taking the actual plunge can benefit by her careful attention to details. She caters to families with young children, single moms, couples, homeschoolers and worldschoolers, and travelers that seek safe adventures to broaden horizons. The trips she creates brings travelers close to Nicaragua: the culture, the people, the history, the food and the natural geography. Emphasis on the immersion! Best option for getting started is just to shoot her a message on her site to let her know what you have been thinking about.
If you value having access to organic products and quality vitamins and supplements to keep your family healthy, you’ll love using Vitacost while you live in Nicaragua. With Vitacost, you can order all your favorite products that you use in the United States at the very best prices and they will mail you a package by DHL ground shipping to your house here in Nicaragua for $9.99.
You can read about my favorite products that I order about every 8 weeks here and also how easy it is to make an order online and how to pick it up at your local post office (for me that’s Granada but I have also ordered care packages to remote Somoto, Nicaragua, as well for three years).
My favorite online trick for virtually appearing in the United States is using ZenMate VPN There are a number of critical American services that I like to access online that either require me to appear as if I am in the United States or seem to flow more smoothly if I appear to be within American borders. ZenMate VPN fortunately does both for me. When I turn ZenMate on in my Internet browser, my ISP address instantly appears American instead of Nicaraguan.
American online banking services are more easily executed using Zenmate and as are any applications for credit cards (critical to expats who still like to stay in the miles and points game). I also like that ZenMate works well on Amazon Video, so that I can stream video content that is intended for American audiences only.
Additional bonuses regarding a good VPN include added encryption to protect sensitive online information such as a credit card or personal contact details. ZenMate will also hide your personal ISP address so that your Internet trail runs cold to anyone tailing you! You can check out more about Zenmate and exactly what VPN means here.
Magicjack Go, your American phone number in Nicaragua!
I highly recommend that you grab a Magicjack Go device before you head out to Nicaragua. This small, simple piece of technology gives you an American phone number (with any area code you choose) that plugs into your computer or any Internet modem. Voila! If your Magicjack Go is plugged into your modem, even if your laptop is off, your American house phone number will ring!
You can also download the Magicjack app and your cellphone will ring simultaneously with your house phone. Using the app works equally well for free outgoing calls to any US number.
No company can tell that this phone number is connected with a digital service. For four years no matter where I have moved in Nicaragua, I have had a constant American home phone number where friends, family and businesses can reach me (very useful particularly with banks).
The first year of calls is free when you purchase the Magicjack Go device. The second year there is a $30 annual fee for unlimited calls to the US and Canada.
The Children’s Place
My favorite online retailer for children’s clothes is The Children’s Place which I also use to order all of Aiden’s school uniform apparel. The Children’s Place uniforms hold up well even with drying outside in the fierce Nicaraguan sun. I like that the clothes are cut and sewn well with 100% cotton fabrics. They look well-presented but not over the top luxurious, which I don’t think would be appropriate here in Granada.
Although our family has residency in Nicaragua now, we still enjoy crossing over the border into Guanacaste, Costa Rica to head to the beach. Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort is our favorite family retreat spot and you can read my review of it here.