Interested in starting a small business in Nicaragua

Hello everyone,
Want to open a small business maybe a hostel / restaurant in Nicaragua.
I wanted to get some details I would like to open the business in Granada.
I wanted to know how long it takes to get a work visa here and how does the local market integrate or should you invest huge amounts of money?
And for the residence I would like to know the average cost of a home and whether it is recommended to buy a house or rent a house
Thank you very much to all the helpers.
Best regards,

Hi Ron,

In the past 2 years since I am living here (in Leon), the room offer has tripled - every new investor opens a hostal or hotel or restaurant to benefit from the special Law for investments in tourism (no tax during several years). Many hostals and restaurants are already resold or were closed. And many expats rent a house and subrent some rooms or offer Air BnB.

You can found a small company which will give you only 1 year of residency, or invest min. 30,000 $ to have 5 years. Take a look at the website of ProNicaragua for further investment options.

Asking how much is a house is the same as asking "how much is a car"... You can rent a simple house with 2-3 bedrooms in Leon for 250$ or a luxury one with swimming pool an US standard (AC and so on) for 1,500$.

I really recommend you to come and take a look at the country, the mentality, the infrastructure and everything, rent a room or apartment for 2-3 months and get your own impression.

And do not buy a house before having rented for min. 1 year and inspected various places - they all have their advantages and inconvenients.

Hi salsera.
Thanks for the comment.
I  will come to Nicaragua in March and have a little sympathy for the culture and whether it really suits me.
As far as I can tell from your answer, there are too many tourist businesses (such as hostels, restaurants, etc.).
Do you still recommend me to enter such a business?
And if possible explanation on "ProNicaragua" did not understand so what it is.
Thanks and blessings,

Hi Ron,
They are a government agency destined to promote investments and help the investors (mainly big investors).

Here is the site of the Migracion for long-term visas/residency: … ermanente/

With respect to investment in tourism - I would not do it. It is your business, your money and your existence. I can just talk for Leon and Granada; SDJS seems to be quite saturated too. And in the Northern regions there is much less tourism.

Check out various locations when you come and make yourself your own idea!

Hi Ronam!

Welcome to the forum!

In regards to your post about Hotels, Hostels, and Restaurants in Nicaragua, I believe that Salsera has pretty much hit the target with her replies.

I have been dealing with the realities of life here in Nicaragua for 21 years, and I have seen many businesses come, and many businesses go, simply for a lack of planning and research on the area where you desire to open your business.
The opportunities abound for new business here, but do yourself a favor before you invest your hard earned money on a business which is probably doomed to failure due to location and competition. Research, research, and more research!

The areas like Grenada, San Juan del Sur, and Leon are great tourist destinations, but they are also over- saturated with Hotels, Hostels, and yes...Restaurants!  Talk to people who have experience in the country, come here and spend some time, get to know the people and their culture, and then, make your decision. Nicaragua is not only the most "touristy" areas, it is another country, another world, if you will, and possibly, with enough research, and first hand experience, you may find you own "opportunity of a lifetime".

I hope that I have helped you to go in the right direction, but after all is said and done, the decision is yours and your alone.


Nicawarden is absolutely right - and after 21 years on site, he has definitely seen much more than I who am only here since 2 1/2.

One more word: My impression is that many people - especially from the US - base their opinion and decision on "International Living". This magazine made an extensive promotion of Nicaragua as a "cheap" country. If you live like a Nica - with a big family in grandma's house and eat Gallo Pinto 3 times a day, life is cheap - yes!

If you are not too demanding with respect to the standard of your housing, you can easily find a house with 2-3 bedrooms, patios etc for example in Leon, about 4-5 streets from the center. Mine has 3 small bedrooms, 2 patios (which I planted - there was absolutely nothing), a front garden, 2 bathrooms, a small sala, another small open sala where I have my office and a kind of open area with a roof close to the patio where you can take your breakfast watching the hummingbirds sipping your flowers.

But this comes unfurnished and with a quite low standard; I had an electrician revise the whole electric system which was not very trustworthy. And there is a tin roof - which is 50 years old and has a few leaks...

You can also find a refurbished villa with US standard and AC, maybe also with a swimming pool, which may cost you between 800 and 1,500$ - plus about 4,000 Cordobas for your excessive electricity bill...

The supermarkets are all by Walmart, and imported products are expensive. I buy my fruit and veggies in the market or from an organic plantation in the ..."green slaughterhouse of Leon"!


Thank you for the compliment! I have found, over the years, that having seen more is only relative to the intelligence level of the observer. You are a "quick study", as am I.

In my honest opinion, as an ex -subscriber, "International Living" is nothing more than a profit motivated scam which would gladly sell you tickets for a "special seminar" at an exorbitant price to glorify the incredible benefits, and affordability of living in the up and coming retirement haven of Vostok Station, Antarctica!

As you have shown, and a rule that I live by, "you make your own conditions". This , for me, applies to life in general. You may rent, or purchase a place to live which is not exactly what you really dreamed of, but, if you really want, you can make it anything that you desire. You have the power to effect change. It is up to you, and you bad do you want it?

On a final note: "the green slaughterhouse of Leon"! That is a CLASSIC!! I am still chuckling and smiling since I read that 10 minutes ago. Unless you have a copyright on that little gem, I fully intend to use it at every good opportunity (with full credit given to you, of course)!

Have a good evening,

Hey thanks for your comments.
Since Leon and Granada are busy with tourism, can I think of other places in Nicaragua where there is not much competition?
Are undeveloped tourist spots possible for living?
What about the Caribbean side, is it as dangerous as Costa Rica?
Thank you,


"The green slaughterhouse of Leon" - yes it sounds funny... But this slaughterhouse was subject to a holistic sanitation by BORDA, a German NGO, in cooperation with the Alcaldia: Before the wastewaters went directly into Rio Chiquito, now they are cleaned in a sophisticated natural system with stones of different size and - in the final stage - plants.

This cleaned water is pumped to the veggies plantation by a solar system and used to irrigate the plants.

Cowdung is used to produce and sell a natural fertilizer and to fertilize the veggies plantation of the slaughterhouse. The sales of the fertilizer and of the veggies provides an income (not yet very much, but the organic veggies market has yet to be developed).

The solid waste is used to generate energy with a biogas system.

My company produced 2 videos on this project:

(Fortunately I did not have to film the slaughtering of the poor cows and pigs which happens very early in the morning...)

I am a Nicaraguan Journalist , but I living in Florida 10 years ago. I do not recommend the Caribbean area.
Probable the properties are a good area for business .

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