General Information of Nicaragua

​From info-nicaragua.com we always try to make it easier for travelers who are coming to Nicaragua. All the information they need to enjoy a perfect trip.

For this we have several sections on our website. In the destinations section you can find descriptions with information of all the tourist sites of Nicaragua. From each of the destinations, you will find in addition to all the tourist information necessary to get to the site, a list with the best tourist deals that we recommend. 

To our visitors, we also want to provide them with the information they need from Nicaragua. For this, in this section, you can find the following information with details that will greatly facilitate the trip:

  • Security in Nicaragua
  • Currency of Nicaragua
  • ​Language in Nicaragua
  • The capital of Nicaragua
  • ​Visas to travel to Nicaragua
  • ​Bus Schedule

Tips and practical information

HOW TO GET TO NICARAGUA:

The two most frequent routes to Nicaragua are air or land, but it is also possible to arrive by sea.

Airway:

If you travel by plane from anywhere in the world to Nicaragua, either directly or by making stops, you will arrive at the Augusto Cesar Sandino International Airport in the city of Managua.

Air ticket prices for Nicaragua have dropped significantly in recent years, as this country has become one of the emerging tourist destinations, offering a number of spectacular places to see, many of them virtually unknown; A wide variety of services that are up to the demands of tourists, a greater security climate than some of the other countries in the region, and all at lower prices compared to other Central American-Latin American countries.

Airlines that travel directly from the United States to Nicaragua are

American Airlines (http://www.americanairlines.es), from Miami, Continenal Airlines () and United Airlines (https://www.united.com) From Houston; Delta Airlines (http://en.delta.com/), from Atlanta and Spirit Äirlines (https://www.spirit.com/)

The company COPA Airlines (Panamanian airline) offers direct flights to Managua from Panama City, Guatemala City, San Salvador (El Salvador) and San José (Costa Rica). (Http://www.copaair.com/)

Nature Air (Costa Rican airline) has direct flights from San Jose (Costa Rica) (http://www.natureair.com/)

Taca Airlines (Central American Airlines) travels to Nicaragua from North America: Canada, Miami, Los Angeles, New York, Houston, from Mexico; From Cuba; From Belize; From Central America: Panama; From South America: Chile, Colombia, Peru, Argentina, Ecuador and Brazil. (Https://taca.alternativeairlines.com/)

Another airline that flies to Managua from Central America

Is Aeroméxico. (Http://aeromexico.com/en/mx/)

From Europe there are several companies that travel to Nicaragua

once in the Americas with some of the companies we mentioned. The most relevant are:

  • Iberia (Spain http://www.iberia.com/)
  • Alitalia (Italy http://www.alitalia.com/),
  • KLM (Netherlands www.klm.com)
  • British Airways (England http : Http://www.britishairways.com/)
  • Air France (France http://www.airfrance.com/)
  • Lufthansa (Germany http://www.lufthansa.com/).
Nonresident foreigners entering Nicaragua

have to pay the Tourist Card tax to INTUR (National Tourism Institute), which costs $ 10. Central Americans belonging to the CA-4 (Guatemala, Salvador, Nicaragua and Honduras), as well as foreigners who own the Nicaraguan residence, are exempt from payments. Please note that the payment of this tax is in dollars and cash, so it is recommended to bring the exact amount prepared to expedite the process of entry to the country.

To enter Nicaragua, Visa is not necessary except for these 45 countries: America: Cuba, Haiti; Costa Rica and Panama; Europe: Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina; Asia: Afghanistan, Bangdalesh, China, North Korea, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Laos, Liban, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Palestine, Syria, Sri Lanka, East Timor, Vietnam, Yemen and in Africa: Angola , Algeria, Asmara Eritrea, Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Liberia, Libya, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan.

The rest of the people only have to have their passport in order with a validity of at least 6 months, their round trip ticket, the payment of the entrance tax and the two cards that they gave to him in the airplane duly filled.

Remember that if your trip by plane passes through the United States you have to process the ESTA online. To apply for ESTA you need your valid passport, email address and a valid credit or debit card. The price of ESTA USA is variable depending on the country from which it is requested, but does not access the 90 $.

The maximum stay in the country as a tourist is 90 days, after these have two options, or request an extension of stay in any of the immigration and foreign offices for the cost of approximately $ 20, which allows you to extend your stay in Nicaragua for a maximum of 90 more days. Or leave the country via Costa Rica (since if it leaves the north of the country enters the CA-4 and is considered the same region, it would only be valid the exit stamp to Mexico to be able to re-enter another 90 days To Nicaragua)

It is not allowed the option of a second request for extension, so in that case you must leave the country for Costa Rica, and remain in the latter for a period of one or two days. Although it is also possible to perform what is known as the "dog's turn" where you leave Nicaragua, you enter Costa Rica and immediately you enter Nicaragua again. Although it is not legally allowed if it is possible to do so by submitting in Costa Rica an airplane ticket or a bus ticket that shows that a period of more than 90 days will not be in Costa Rican territory and that it has the guaranteed departure from the country.

Managua Airport has undergone several renovations and extensions, currently offering modest but modern facilities. In the area of ​​collection of luggage are assistants duly identified by the name of the company that offers the services to all the passengers that require it. There is no fixed payment for your services.

When leaving the airport is invaded by a very peculiar humid heat of Managua, outside the airport you live a stressful atmosphere because of the number of people that accumulate on the platforms, people waiting for relatives, emotional scenes of reunions, representatives of hotels that come To look for their customers, cars parked ... is a time of chaos and confusion but within an extreme security. Inside the airport you will find several taxi cooperatives that offer their services. The approximate cost of a trip per person from the airport to the center of Managua can be around $ 10, but will depend a lot on the area where you are going, the amount of people and luggage. You can also get out of the airport area, on the Pan-American highway to request the services of a taxi, but although you will surely find better prices, it is not advisable and less at night.

It is necessary to take into account that when leaving the country by the International Airport Augusto Cesar Sandino all the foreign people has to pay a rate of 32 $.

BRING A DRONE

Forget the idea, DO NOT bring a drone under any circumstances. You will be requisitioned at customs and you will cause many problems, and may even cause the total loss of the device and the cameras that accompany it. Nicaragua is the only country in Latin America that totally forbids them.

By Road:

By land, you can enter or leave Nicaragua through the following border points.

From Costa Rica, by the border of Peñas Blancas. From Honduras you can enter El Espino (Madriz) through Las Manos (Nueva Segovia) or El Guasaule (Chinandega). In 2015 a new border post with Costa Rica, San Pancho in San Carlos (Rivas) began to operate, only for people at the moment.

Border posts are places of a lot of people, vehicles ... in these places it is possible to change money to the official currency of the country, although they are normally accredited and properly identified exchangers, it is always good to know in advance the official change, to avoid possible surprises .

You can enter Nicaragua either from Costa Rica or from Honduras buses, taking routed buses, ie making stops within each country until you reach the different border posts. The distance between the border crossings from one country to another is close and can be done walking quietly but always without losing sight of our belongings or companions.

There are also several companies that offer transportation services between Central American countries expressly and with support when carrying out the different procedures at the border posts. These are: King Quality (http://platinumcentroamerica.com/); NicaBusInternacional (http://nicabus.com.ni/); TicaBus (http://www.ticabus.com/esp/); Transnica (http://www.transnica.com/) and Transportes El Sol (http://busesdelsol.com/)

You can also enter Nicaragua by sea through one of its ports. In Chinandega is the Port of Corinto, in Leon the Port Sandino, in San Juan del Sur the Port San Juan del Sur, the Port of Puerto Cabezas, the Port of the Bluff (EPN http://www.epn.com.ni/)

HOW TO MOVE FOR NICARAGUA:

Inside Nicaragua we have several options to move from one destination to another, everything will depend on the time we have, the budget we have and our desire to live adventures and know the country from its daily, traveling as one more on public transport , Or prioritizing comfort and speed by traveling in a rented vehicle or by plane or boat.

Within the big cities

Within the big cities of the country, you can move from one side to another with public transport, the prices of intercity buses, known as routes, are moderate, between 2.5 córdobas and 5 córdobas, depending on the city And the journey. Another option are taxis, motorbikes taxis, known as caponeras, and bicitaxis. These last two options are cheaper than the taxi, of course they are not so fast and do not make long distance journeys. Before getting into a taxi, indicate the address where you are going and how many people are traveling for the taxi driver to inform you of the total price of the trip, thus avoiding surprises at the end of the journey. It is possible to negotiate the price of the trip, ie to haggle to get a better price.

Among national destinations in public transport:

Traveling by bus in Nicaragua is an adventure and an experience that if you have time you have to live at least once. Life on the buses is a reflection of life in Nicaragua, lively, bustling ... and sometimes even surreal. On buses you can engage in good conversations by meeting interesting people who can share information with you. In the buses you can buy everything from ice creams, to "baked goods" (typical country baked goods), to elotes or güirilas with curds, to donuts, but you can also buy medicines and receive free explanation about pests or weaknesses Of the human body, you can listen to the prayers of the preachers or enjoy a nice number of clowns ... do not miss the opportunity to ride a bus in Nicaragua you will not regret it.

In Nicaragua, the maximum number of passengers that can be loaded on a bus is not regulated, so normally more people travel than they should to ensure a minimum of comfort and safety. Buses in Nicaragua always reach more people, as the helpers say "the bottom goes empty". There are some days that the buses are more full of the normal, as they are the Saturdays due to the great number of students who travels to the big cities to study their university studies and technicians courses on Saturdays.

Throughout the year there are dates that there is practically no active public transportation. On January 1, Thursday and Holy Friday in Easter, on July 19 because all the bus units in the country transport people traveling to Managua to attend the celebration of the Triumph of the Sandinista Revolution, on 14 And 15 of September for the Celebration of the Patrias Patrias, 25 and 31 of December by the Christmas Parties.

Keep in mind that there are several modalities of buses, the "routes" that stop continuously and the "expresses" that travel directly, or making very few stops, to the final destination and inter local, which are microbuses that do Express trips between cities such as Managua and Granada, Managua and Leon, Estelí and Leon ...

"Routes" are cheaper but the trip lasts longer. The inter locals are a good option to travel fast but a bit uncomfortable for the reduced spaces of the transport.Managua has several bus terminals and points where to take buses to move through various destinations in the country

At Terminal Rigoberto Cabezas, known as the Mayoreo Terminal, buses leave for: North: Estelí, Somoto, Ocotal, Jalapa, Jinotega, Matagalpa. Caribbean Coast: Rama, San Carlos, New Guinea Rio San Juan. Central area: Boaco and Chontales

At the Roberto Casimiro Sotelo Market Terminal, better known as the Roberto Huembes Market Terminal: buses leave for Masaya, Granada, Carazo, Rivas, San Jorge, the southern border of Peñas Blancas.

At Terminal Iván Montenegro: Buses leave for Tipitapa, San Francisco Libre and Puerto Cabezas.

In the terminal of the UCA (Central American University) interlocal exit to: Jinotepe, Granada, Masaya and Leon. These do not have a set schedule but depart to their destinations once the vehicle is full of passengers.

At the Israel Lewites Market Terminal, buses leave for Carazo, León and Chinandega.

Among domestic destinations rented car

Another option to move around the country is to rent a car or car. In order to be able to drive a vehicle in Nicaragua, the 6 basic documents must be in force: vehicle circulation, current vehicle insurance, emission certificate, "sticker of bearings", annual registration fees And your driver's license in order

Transit police are always on the alert to fine the drivers offenders or take the already known "bite" (an extra official  payment to the traffic police to avoid official sanction). In the event that you are fined, the police will remove your driver's license and you will only be able to recover it by going to the police transit office of the municipality or department where you have been charged with the relevant identification document and proof Of the bank of the payment of the infraction. It is a process that can become a real headache and a considerable delay in your journey.

If you rent a vehicle, make sure you give it with all the legal conditions. For rent you only need a valid driver's license and a credit card. Some of the companies that rent vehicles are: Budget, Hertz, Lugo, ToyotaRentaCar, Hyundai, Avis. Some of these companies offer their services in the same International Airport.

You must take into account some recommendations for driving in Nicaragua. There are very few road signs along the main road that crosses the country from north to south, the Pan-American Highway. And less on secondary roads. Unfortunately most drivers do not respect the indications of traffic signs. Road lines are not always painted or are not always visible, and are not usually respected either, so it is usual for drivers to advance in continuous line or in dangerous places like curves or level changes.

It is usual to be surprised by a bump in the middle of the road, since some of them are in quite bad condition, especially in the rainy season.

On the road no precaution is too much, and alert the senses to the maximum is a good recommendation, since it is normal, in some areas of the country more than in others, invade the road won, cross animals, have children playing at Ball at the side of the road, it is good to blow the horn to alert people who ride a bicycle, even though most of them are on the side of the road.

At night it is a bit dangerous to drive since it adds to all the situations exposed, the fact that most people walking or cycling do not carry lights, and there are also some vehicles that do not carry lights.

Some of the companies that offer car rental services are:

Avis • TEL: (505) 265-0113 • E-mail: avis@ibw.com.ni

BUDGET TEL: (505) 266-6226 • E-mail: budget@budget.com.ni

HERTZ TEL: (505) 266-8399 • Fax: (505) 266-8400 • E-mail: mailto: hertznic@interlink.com

Hyundai TEL: (505) 278-1249 • mail: mailto: leos@lmunditel.com.ni

TOYOTA RENT A CAR TEL: (505) 266-1010

Between national destinations by air

In Nicaragua there are several internal airports that connect with Managua. Siuna Airport, Puerto Cabezas Airport, Corn Island Airport, Bluefields Airport, San Carlos Airport, Rio San Juan Airport, Puerto Cabezas Airport. In October of 2015 the Costa Esmeralda airport was inaugurated in the Pacific area, department of Rivas.

The airline that travels to the Atlantic area is: La Costeña. Tel: (505) 263-1228 / 263-2814

Between national destinations by sea

is also possible to move within the country by sea, it is more in some places it is only possible to arrive by this way or by the air, being more economic the maritime one. The internal ports of Nicaragua are: Granada, San Jorge (Rivas), Alta Gracia (Ometepe) and San Carlos.

To get to Bluefields can be done by land to the Rama and from there to Bluefields by water. To get to Rio San Juan and know part of its charm is essential to get around by boat. To get to Ometepe and Solentiname this is the most economical way.

TIME DIFFERENCE:

The time in Nicaragua is GMT -6. You can know the time in your country here in the following link: WORLD TIME

CURRENCY AND EXCHANGE RATE:

The official currency is Cordoba (C $), was created in 1912 and bears the name in honor of the conqueror Francisco Hernández de Córdoba.

The US dollar (USD-) is accepted in most local businesses and in all tourist shops. To know the official exchange rate for the day, look at the front pages of the most important national newspapers or the official bank signs.

If you are coming from a country where another currency is used, we recommend that you change your place of origin in dollars. Since it is much simpler to change and the exchange rates are favorable.

If you come with Euros, you can exchange them in some private banks, although they will not always be accepted and the exchange rate they give you is abusive.

Avoid as much as possible to change currency in the money changers of the street, as there have been several cases of scam or theft.

In recent years there has been a significant increase in the use of credit cards and establishments offering the possibility of paying for their services using this method. As a result, there has been an increase in the number of ATMs, either in the same banks, as in petrol stations or large supermarkets.

ELECTRICITY:

In Nicaragua the electric voltage of 120 volts or 60Hertz is used. Most electrical appliances use a flat peg, it is possible to buy adapters for round pegs in hardware stores. There are frequent drops and surges and electrical cuts. For this reason it is advisable to use stabilizers that avoid damage to electronic equipment.

COMMUNICATIONS:

In Nicaragua, two large cellular companies operate, Claro (Enitel) and Movistar (Telefónica España).

In recent years the internet connection has spread to more points in the country, although the connection is not very good in certain points. There are many restaurants, hotels and tourist services that offer free Wi-Fi.

Even in some parks of some cities there is free internet connection for the same modality wifi.In most cities and municipalities there are cyber cafes where it is possible to connect to the internet and make calls at affordable prices.

HEALTH

Only if you are a citizen of a South American country is it necessary to put the YellowFever vaccine to enter Nicaragua.

Yellow fever is a disease transmitted by mosquito bites and in some cases can become deadly.

For children under 5, it is mandatory that they have the following vaccines per day: Polio, DPT, MMR, rubella, measles and mumps.

For children, vaccination against tuberculosis is recommended.It is recommended, despite not being mandatory, the vaccines of: Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, DT vaccine against tetanus and diphtheria; And the Triple Vírica, that offers protection against measles, rubiola and mumps.

Among the most frequent diseases we find malaria and dengue, caused by the bite of mosquitoes or better known as sanctuaries. These diseases are endemic throughout the country. They present the following symptoms: fever, headache, bone pain, vomiting and diarrhea. There are two types of dengue, the classic and the hemorrhagic, the latter being the most dangerous, and may cause death.

In the course of the year 2015 there has been an outbreak at the national level of chikungunya, also transmitted by mosquito bite and that in the most severe cases can be carried to death.

Other illnesses common to travelers are gastrointestinal diseases, usually the result of ingestion of water or fresh made from contaminated water or contaminated fresh food (fruits and vegetables). There are a large variety of intestinal parasites, causing, among other symptoms, diarrhea, stomach pains, vomiting and in some cases fevers.

Another frequent illness in travelers are infections of the eyes or conjunctivitis.

Sanitary and hygienic recommendations:

It must be taken into account that in Nicaragua, being a tropical country, there is a risk of being exposed to some diseases characteristic of the area. We recommend that you, while preparing your trip, visit your GP and explain the situation so that you can advise on the issue.

Although most diseases are not very common and are fairly controlled, the best prevention is to avoid mosquito bites as much as possible and try to eat in healthy places.

It is imperative to bring mosquito repellent and administer it on a regular basis throughout the day and do not forget to wear before going to sleep. Sleeping with mosquito net is another highly recommended precaution to avoid several diseases. In the rainy season, extreme caution is recommended, as well as in certain areas of the country.

As for food, make sure that all food you eat has been properly washed, disinfected and cooked for as long as necessary to kill all viruses and bacteria. Make sure the fruits and vegetables you eat have been properly cleaned.It is very common among visitors to have stomach problems from drinking tap water.

Avoid it as much as possible, drink bottled water and when you take a typical "fresh" ask before if it has been made with bottled water.

SECURITY:

Nicaragua is the safest country in the region, but you have to take into account the region you are in. Like everywhere else, there are places that are more dangerous than others and where you have to go with a little more care. In general, you will not have problems, avoid walking alone and at night through dangerous areas, if you do not know the directions ask the people you have around.

It is good that in every destination where you go ask the locals which are the safest areas and which places is best avoided. In all the cities there are their more "conflictive or dangerous" neighborhoods or zones and it is good to know what they are to avoid taking unnecessary risks.

Be wary and do not make ostentation of money, jewelry, cell phones, cameras or electronic equipment. It is advisable to keep your money in a wallet or bag somewhere not visible from your body. If possible always carry a photocopy of your passport and the original document leave it in a safe place, if you are forced to travel with your documentation above take it well guarded with you, as the loss of the passport can cause you genuine headaches.

If you go to a bank or an ATM try to save the money as quickly as possible and in the same establishment avoiding going outside with the money in hand.

When you are going to take a taxi make sure that you have their identification tower, their identification plates as taxis and that the driver has a visible official driver's license in a visible place. In the bus terminals and inside the buses always have your belongings with you or in a visible place and easy access. Some buses that carry longer journeys have luggage carriers to store suitcases, other buses place suitcases and packages on top of the bus properly secured. It is safe and there is no risk that your luggage will be lost.

In the city of Managua there are some points that are best avoided, such as Reparto Chic, the Oriental Market and have many precautions in the area where the TicaBus office is located, since it is an area where many travelers move and where they have Reported an increase in assaults in recent years.

In Nicaragua the National Police has a specific line to attend to tourists, the number of said line is 101. The number of emergencies is 118. If you have any situation that requires the intervention of the Police it is advisable to go to the office Of the closest police station.