Nicaraguan Coastal Law prompts road trip

Nicaragua has finally passed the long-awaited Coastal Law which outlines rules for property development on land within a short distance from the ocean. We had been nervously awaiting the final passage of this law to see how it would effect the beachfront lot we already own as well as some property we were considering buying. In short, the government decided to clarify an old series of laws that related to the subject that were unclear and contradictory. The final decision says that there cannot be any building on any land within 50 meters of the high tide line. The key addition is that the law will not be retroactive and any land already legally acquired with a building permit will be exempt, as well as any already existing structures. To read more about the law, click here.

While I didn’t think we had anything to worry about, Ryan was still concerned. So we took a road trip down to the Rivas area to visit a lawyer about speeding up our building permitting process for our beachfront lot at the Hacienda Iguana development.


While in that area, we always stay at The Surf Sanctuary. It is walking distance to Rancho Santana, totally affordable, and is run by super nice people.


We felt like we were on vacation. Running water, air-conditioning, a toilet that flushed without having to pump a well first, and check out the view of the pool!


The Surf Sanctuary is truly a sanctuary!

Playa Santana, a short walk from the Surf Sanctuary.


If you are lazy, you can drive along the beach from the Surf Sanctuary to Rancho Santana. It’s a great spot to go to watch the sunset and have a few happy hour cocktails!

Ryan jumps the river.

The view of the surf from Rancho Santana

Happy hour nica libres!

Happy hour with friends.

Heading back to the Surf Sanctuary for dinner.


About 7 or 8 years ago, I met a guy named Miles Walsh in the Mentawais. He bought a lot in Rancho Santana and is building a 6 bedroom surf retreat called Venana A Las Olas. Watch for it as a Waterways destination soon!


Miles hired our friend Tony (who owns the Surf Sanctuary) to manage the construction of his house. We are considering using Tony to help with the construction of our house (if we ever get the building permit), so he took us up to give us some ideas.

The house is beautiful with some amazing views!


Taking in the view from a hill within the Rancho Santana community.


We also own a lot within the Rancho Santana community, but ours is much closer to the beach. Right now it is totally overgrown with weeds and trees. To check out the story of when we bought the lot and see more photos, click here.


For a little perspective on the distance, check out this view from our lot looking back up the hill at Miles’ house.

The view from our lot.

Our neighbor’s house.


After re-visiting our lot, we decided to try to surf. The swell was small and we weren’t too motivated but we met some friends who offered to lead us on a little off-road mission to take the back road to Popoyo.




Popoyo wasn’t happening, so we stopped by the Surfari Charters camp to check in with friends. Resident photographer Erin O’Kon offered to lead us down to the Beachy to have a look.


The waves weren’t worth the effort, so we cruised back to The Surf Sanctuary to enjoy the rest of our vacation with a couple cold Tonas in the pool.



Stay tuned for more updates!

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One Response to Nicaraguan Coastal Law prompts road trip

  1. I stayed at The Surf Sanctuary in 2007 and had the most amazing time. Tony and company are amazing hosts and run a top-notch operation! Lovin’ those pictures! Good luck with your Nicaraguan endeavors!

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