Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Vista Playa Madera Property Plans and Photos

Vista Playa Madera is a small ecologically oriented community nestled in the tropical forests above Playa Maderas, a few minutes north of San Juan del Sur Nicaragua. f you want more infomation you can visit our facebook page: or call Craig at 505-8754-2884.

 Stage 2 has numerous new properties for your choice and selection. Lots 1-5 Stage 2 Lot Plan:

Lots 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 have tremendous views from the south to Costa Rica and the west where the waves of Playa Madera are visible.

Lot 2 and 3 Stage 2 View to the south

View from the boundary between lots 2,3 stage 2

Stage 2 is an area with many old tropical trees lower down the slope. These form a buffer between the properties and other developments. The steep terrain there and poor potential access make this green space unlikely to be developed. Below the properties the slope increases so no other development can ever block your views to the south and west guaranteeing unobstructed views. All the lots were designed to incorporate the best views and privacy. Privacy hedges are being planted between the property.

View from lot 4 stage 2. The lot has great views south to the El Cristo statue and west. You can see the surf break at Playa Madera from the building site. The trees in the foreground are located on the property and will be pruned to open the view even further. This is one of the larger properties with abundant space for a pool, garden and guest house.


Lot 6 has some of the best views in the area. One can see from Costa Rica all the way north to Morgan's Rock; almost 270 ocean views. Lot 8 has similar views from a slightly lower position.

View from the boundary between lots 5 and 6 stage. These lots have tremendous views from Costa Rica all the way to the northwest. Lot 6 is one of the larger lots with road access to the top and bottom of the lot, both areas have great views and it is a great property for a nice home and guest or rental home for income purposes.

Lot 8 is one of the closest properties to the beach. It has road access to the top and bottom of the property with great views of the ocean and south toward Costa Rica and El Cristo. Lot 8 has more trees on the property. There will be some selective tree removal and pruning to further open up the property to the great views.

Lot 9 is one of the most affordable lots and closest to the beach. It is perfect for a home and garden.
Lots 10, 12 and 13 are adjacent and have similar views toward the ocean. They all have access to the top and bottom of the properties. Giving great flexibilty for home location, parking, garden and possibilities for a pool.

View from lot 12

View from lot 13

View from lot 13

Lots 15, 16, and 17 are lower down the slope. They have ocean views and great views down into the forested valley filled with old tropical trees. These are some of the bigger  properties with ample space for a home, garden and guest cabins.
Stage 2 is zoned for limited removal of the larger trees on the properties, and restrictions on the type of development to preserve the unique beauty and natural wonders of the area. They are zoned for solar and wind power, although subterranean connections to the electrical grid are allowed.
Deep fresh water wells have been drilled on both stages and provide clean, potable water to all lots

Stage 1 lots are located across the valley form the other properties.
Lots 1-4 Stage 1

They are located closer to the principle road into town and are close to the beach and restaurants These properties have great views of the beach to the west. There are currently three properties for sale in stage 1. They are all larger lots with great access and lots of room for a home and guest house. Lot 4 is the largest property. It is divided from the other properties by a large gully that is forest with beautiful old tropical trees. It has great views and tremendous privacy. It is the perfect location for a small hotel or multiplex. Selective clearing and pruning will open up the ocean views further. This is your decision. All the properties have been planted with a wide variety or fruit and ornamental trees and plants. This was the first stage of development and I have already harvested some papayas, citrus and vegetables from the properties. Within a few years there will be a great bounty of free fruits available.

View from property 4 stage 1. Lots 1 and 2 have similar views that need a bit of selective clearing and pruning to open the views.

Lot 2 view stage 1

Vista Playa Madera is a unique community nestled in the forests above Playa Madera. It is located 15 minutes north of San Juan del Sur. The road into town is scheduled for paving soon which will make the drive into town even shorter making it the premier location for a home, business, or investment. This is the fastest growing area in Nicaragua. And for good reason the natural beauty is unrivalled. It is close to the beaches and all the amenities. Come visit us and see the beauty and wonders of the area. You can also visit out Facebook page to get a larger sense of the area and local activities: or call Craig at 8754-2884.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Healthy living in the tropics Cool drinks and Refrescos

It is warm here in the tropics. One needs to drink a lot to stay hydrated. Our favorite drinks are called refrescos here, aguas in Mexico. They are fruit favored waters; our homemade favorites, they usually add too much sugar in the restaurants, are Jamaica peach, Tamarindo ginger, Madarin, and Passion fruit. They are incredibly delicious and healthy too. You can used ordinary tap water for these as they are boiled for a few minutes. Then you avoid the toxic leaching of chemicals from plastic bottles from drinking bottles water, and generate less waste.

Here is a recipe for one of our favorites:

Tamarindo ginger: throw about 1/2 lbs tamarindo pulp, with or without seeds, into 2 liters of boiling water, break into small pieces first. Throw in about two to three inches of ginger root. Boil 3 minutes, this is just to sterilize them, for health safety. Add a bit of honey or raw cane sugar to taste. Let it cool and then throw it into a blender for a minute or two, pour it through a colander, add 2 more liter of cool water, let cool a bit more, and place in fridge. Enjoy

Here are some great recipes for aguas frescas from a whole variety of fruits, vegetables, and grains. You will never think of a cool refreshing glass of water the same after trying some of these. Aguas Frescas Recipes.

I will add more recipes over time.

Another favorite refresco is Hibiscus Peach. They grow a great deal of hibiscus here in Nicaragua. Our favorite supplier is a women's cooperative in Nandaime. They grow organic hibiscus and sell huge sacks for about $4. Hisbiscus is very high in the flavanoids and anti-oxidants that are contained in red wine....without the alcohol.

Soak a couple of big handfuls into a large pot of cool water (eight liters) overnight. Bring to a boil, again for health reasons. Let it cool. Put in glass pitchers and place in fridge. Pour over large glass of ice and add a touch of peach nectar. Enjoy! Here is an article on some possible health benefits of hibiscus.

Passion fruit refrescos are one of my favorites. Passion fruit is loaded with numerous healthy elements. It is very high in dietary fiber, one cup has the equivalent of four cups of bran! It is loaded with vitamins A and C, and a wealth of anti-oxidants. Here are a couple of articles on the nutritional and health benefits of passion fruit: Passion Fruit.

It is one of the easiest and fastest to make:

Scoop out the inner flesh of half a dozen passion fruit into a blender, add a bit of honey or raw cane sugar to taste. Throw in a couple handfuls of ice. Two liters of water. Blend and enjoy.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Healthy Living in the Tropics Part 2 Cool Soups

And now that we have come back from the Masaya market, let us get cooking. Here are some delicious and easy to make soups that evokes a taste of Latin America.



4 large fresh tomatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 English cucumber, peeled and finely diced
1/2 cup finely diced red bell pepper

1/4 cup minced green onion
1 large jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 pinch dried oregano

1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 pint cherry tomatoes

1/8 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 lime, juiced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil

  1. Combine diced tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, green onion, jalapeno, and garlic in a large bowl. Stir in salt, cumin, oregano, cayenne pepper, and black pepper.
  2. Place cherry tomatoes, olive oil, lime juice, balsamic vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce in a blender. Cover and puree until smooth. Pour pureed mixture through a strainer into the tomato-cucumber mixture; stir to combine.
  3. Place 1/3 of the tomato mixture into the blender. Cover, turn blender on, and puree until smooth. Return pureed mixture to the remaining tomato-cucumber mixture. Stir to combine. Cover and chill in refrigerator for 2 hours.
  4. Season cold soup with salt and black pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls and top with basil.

Avocado Vichyssoise:

Avocado Vichyssoise

This is an easy soup to make. It is served cold so it is a refreshing lunch or beginning to supper.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large pot. Add 3 peeled and cubed potatoes and 3 trimmed and chopped leeks. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring, until softened. Add 4 cups stock, vegetable is best. Boil, cover, lower the heat and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Purée, then let cool. Stir in a mix of mashed and coarsely chopped flesh of  2 avocados before serving. Garnish: Chopped cilantro. If you can not find leeks here some mild onions with green attached can be used, just reduce the quantity a bit.

Lime and Tortilla Soup:

Not cool but declicious

In this classic soup, called sopa de lima, from Mexico's Yucatan region. You can use chicken breasts or my favorite is with shredded BBQ chicken it goes well with the chipotle peppers. Be careful not to add too much chili or the soup may be too fiery for comfort. You want to maintain a good balance between the tartness of the lime and the heat of the chilies. One large avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and diced, makes a soothing garnish to the spicy broth. 


  • 4 quarts chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 corn tortillas, cut into strips 2 inches long
  • 2 cups shredded BBQ chicken (I like the smoky flavor)
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbs. minced garlic
  • 1 to 3 tsp. finely minced chipotle chili peppers
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh peeled, seeded and diced tomatoes 
  • 6 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 6 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 12 paper-thin lime slices, cut into quarters


In a large saucepan over high heat, bring 3 1/2 quarts of the stock to a boil. Reduce the heat so the broth boils gently and boil until reduced by half to about 7 cups, about 30 minutes. Buy a BBQ chicken and use bones and skin to make stock.

Brush tortillas with light coating of oil. Cut into narrow 1/4 inch strips and place in 350 oven for about 15 minutes until crisp.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until tender and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeño chili and cook for 1 to 2 minutes to soften. Add the reduced broth, increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, add the shredded chicken, tomatoes, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper, and simmer until the chicken is heated through, about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

Ladle the soup into warmed bowls. Sprinkle the lime pieces and tortilla strips evenly over the top. Garnish with queso fresco and avocado.  Serve immediately. Enjoy

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Hooray mandarin, mango and avocado season are here

Hooray mandarin, mango and avocado season are here !!! Some of my favorite fruits.
Fresh squeezed madarin juice
Fruit prices are incredibly low here if it is domestically produced. At the wholesale market in Masaya we bought 2200 madarins for $8. Eight dollars and made over 12 liters of fresh squeezed juice and 100 fresh madarin popsicles, yummy.
Wholesale fruit market in Masaya
 And fresh tomatoes for less than two dollar a bucket.
Wholesale fruit market in Masaya
It is easy to live a healthy life here, eating locally produced fruits and vegetables, and wonderful seafood.