Affable Nicaragua embraces travelers with offerings of volcanic landscapes, colonial architecture, sensational beaches and pristine forests that range from breathtaking to downright incredible.
VISAS & PASSPORT
Travelers from Europe, the US, and some Latin American countries do not need a visa to enter Nicaragua. After paying a US$5.00 entrance fee, you will be given a tourist card that is valid for 90 days
To enter Nicaragua, you need a passport valid for at least six months from the date of arrival. US travelers only require a passport valid for the duration of their stay.
Visit your health professional at least 4 to 6 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures.
FOOD & DRINK
Tap water in Managua has been tested and declared safe to drink. Nicaragua’s water is treated and chlorinated, but beyond the capital, it is advised to drink bottled water and avoid ice cubes. Milk in rural areas may be unpasteurized and should be boiled. Powdered or tinned milk is available and is advised. Avoid dairy products that are likely to have been made from unboiled milk. Only eat well-cooked meat and fish. Vegetables should be cooked and fruit peeled.
As a traveler, you must take safety precautions in mind when traveling to Nicaragua. In fact, you should take those precautions in mind when traveling to any country. There are certain particularities concerning safety that should be kept in mind, but overall Nicaragua is a safe country. Unfortunately, what Nicaragua mostly characterized is a bad reputation based on wrong assumptions and outdated stories.
Nicaraguan Gold Córdoba (NIO; symbol C$) = 100 centavos. Notes are in denominations of C$500, 100, 50, 20 and 10. Coins are in denominations of C$5 and 1, and 50, 25, 10 and 5 centavos.
Foreign currencies can be exchanged at the airport, at banks, and at official bureaux de change in major cities. US Dollars are the most easily exchanged currency and are also accepted as payment throughout the country.
Major credit cards are widely accepted by hotels, restaurants, and medium to large sized businesses. Smaller businesses and mom-and-pop operations may deal in cash only.
There are ATMs in most tourist areas. While the majority is reliable and will work with cards, there’s always the chance that they won’t work, so plan accordingly. Most ATMs give Cordobas and US dollars. When paying in cash, notes in less than perfect condition may not be accepted; don’t accept any that are ripped or have marks on them.
Lightweight cotton and linens are required throughout the year – bring shorts, t-shirts, and beachwear if you’ll be visiting the coast. Waterproofs are advisable during the rainy season. Warmer clothes are advised for the northern mountains; think woolly knits and layers that allow you to wrap up warm as the temperature drops.
Hotels: No matter what type of hotel, someone will always attempt to take your luggage to the room, even if it is small as a backpack. For anyone handling luggage, there is no set rule, but try to follow the same criteria from the airport: No less than US $1 or 20 córdobas per bag. Always give more especially for large, heavy pieces of luggage and for anyone looking like they are really going out of their way for you.
Restaurants: Many restaurants in Nicaragua generally add a 10-percent service charge to the bill. But this can vary depending on the type of restaurant and the time of day. Some restaurants add a service charge only for large parties or any bill in the evening while other restaurants don’t do it at all.
Electricity in Nicaragua is 120 Volt and 60 Hertz. This is the same as in the US, but it means that tourists from Europe and other countries cannot use their electrical equipment unless suitable for this voltage. Laptops will most likely work, although you need a special plug to connect it to the Nicaraguan outlets. You can buy these plugs in Managua or in your home country.