Travel Advisory for Nicaragua

Some Facts about the Country Nicaragua in Central America

Travel Information Nicaragua

Nicaragua is located in Central America. It borders Honduras and Costa Rica. It also has beaches on the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. To fully enjoy your next trip to Nicaragua, you certainly will need all the necessary facts so you can travel to this Central American country without any worries.  With that order of ideas, find below the information you may need to travel Nicaragua:

Table of contents:

Practical Travel Information

Top Rated Activities in Nicaragua

Practical Travel Information Nicaragua

🏢 Capital City
💬 Language
🕐 Time zone
⚐ Flag
📄 Travel Documents & Visa
✈️ Airport Tax
💶 Currency
🏦 Bank Facilities
🍴Local Cuisine
💉 Vaccinations
☤ Health
🔌 Voltage
☁︎ Weather
🚨 Travel Safety

Capital City

Its capital is the city of Managua. It is located between the popular colonial cities of León and Granada, making it very easy to visit these cities also. 

In addition, the location of its capital city also gives you easy access to nearby lagoons, natural reserves and a smattering of fun beaches.  To sum up, Managua works as an ideal center of great adventures when you visit Nicaragua.

Language

The official language is Spanish, however English is spoken as well at the Caribbean coast, bigger cities and on Corn Island.

Time zone

GMT – 6

Nicaragua’s Flag

🇳🇮

It is composed of three horizontal lines in a pattern of blue-white-blue. In the middle of the stripe, the national coat of arms lies in the shape of a triangle.

Travel Documents

Your passport should be valid for at least six months after departure from Nicaragua. Please note that passport requirements can change in a short notice. Therefore, we advise you to check the passport requirements with the embassy or consulate of your country.

Visa

A visa is not required if your stay is shorter than 90 days in Nicaragua.
Please note that visa requirements can change in a short notice. Therefore, we advise you to check the visa requirements with the embassy or consulate of your country.

Airport Tax

Upon departure from Nicaragua you are required to pay a departure tax of around 35 dollars per person. The amount is subject to local changes.

International Airports of Nicaragua

Airport – Location

  1. Augusto C Sandino Airport, (MGA) – Managua
  2. Corn Island Airport, (RNI) – Corn Island
  3. Bilwi Airport, (PUZ) – Puerto Cabezas
  4. Blue-fields Airport, (BEF) – Blue-fields
  5. San Carlos Airport, (NCR) – San Carlos
  6. Costa Esmeralda Airport, (ECI) – Tola

Domestic Airports of Nicaragua

Airport – Location

  1. Waspam Airport, (WSP) – Waspam
  2. Nueva Guinea Airport, (NVG) – Nueva Guinea
  3. Siuna Airport, (SIU) – Siuna
  4. San Pedro Airport, (BZA) – Bonanza
  5. Rosita Airport, (RFS) – Rosita
  6. San Juan de Nicaragua, (MNSN) – Greyton
  7. Los Brasiles Airport, (MNBR) – Mateare
  8. Montelimar Airport, (MNMR) – San Rafael del Sur
  9. Fanor Urroz Airport, (MNLN) – Leon
  10. Ometepe Airport, (MNLP) – Ometepe Island

Currency

Córdoba (NIO)

Bank Facilities

Bank cards are accepted at ATMs. Usually if you use your bankcard, it is less expensive than using your credit-card at an ATM. Credit-cards are accepted in the larger hotels and restaurants. 

Local Cuisine

Like most South-American countries, the main meal consists of beans, mais and rice. Chicken is also very popular as is it can be eaten in several ways for example in soup, breaded, grilled and fried. You can try out a typical native dish such as ‘gallo pinto’ and ‘quesillos’ on the streets. Gallo pinto consists of rice, beans, served with eggs. “Quesillos” are tortillas with cheese and unions. At the coast people mainly eat fish. In this area the food is prepared differently then in the rest of the country. The dishes are spicy and rice is usually cooked in coconut milk instead of water.

Vaccinations

Vaccinations against yellow fever are mandatory when traveling from a yellow fever infected area, seven days prior to your arrival in Nicaragua.

Furthermore, there are no vaccinations required to entry Nicaragua. However, you are being advised to take precautions against hepatitis A, diphtheria, tetanus and polio. Malaria occurs in some parts of the country, therefore precautions against malaria are also advised. Also, you are being advised to discuss your travel plans with a health- care provider to determine which vaccination you might need.

Health

While traveling in Nicaragua, you are being advised to avoid tap water, fountain drinks and ice cubes. Also try to avoid street-food and always wash your hands before eating.

 

Voltage

The electricity current is 120 volts, 60Hz. Nicaragua generally accepts the following plugs:

➢ Flat blade plug

➢ Two parallel flat pins with ground pin

Weather

Nicaragua has a subtropical climate which means that the seasons are not distinct and there is not much of a difference in temperature throughout the year. Nicaragua has a dry and rain season. The rain season starts approximately in May until October. The most rainfall is in September and October.

Travel Safety in Nicaragua

Many people visit and travel safely in Nicaragua nowadays. Mayan Gateway Tour Company stays abreast of the events and safety throughout the countries we visit. It is recommended that you currently travel with a guide or with information from a knowledgeable source when visiting Nicaragua. 

No matter where you travel, all travelers should be aware of surroundings at all times. It is best to keep a limited amount of money and personal items on you, as robberies do occur in all parts of the world. Many people prefer to use crossbody purses or waist bags for more security. For extra peace of mind, consider using tour guides and traveling during the day. 

Top Rated Activities in Nicaragua

The colonial towns, volcanoes, islands and beaches of Nicaragua are the most noteworthy attractions. People enjoy relaxing in hammocks and in the sand, while gazing at the beautiful water. Between November and March each year, sea turtles can be seen nesting on the beaches also. 

If you choose a good time to visit, you may be able to help with a baby sea turtle release to the ocean. The city of Leon will provide you with Spanish colonial architecture and art. Check below some of the top rated activities you will find in Nicaragua. 

Adrenaline Adventures
Nature Reserves
Visit Colonial Towns
For Natural Lovers
Beaches

Adrenaline Adventures  

This country offers a wide range of activities for those who love adrenaline and outdoor activities. From climbing its amazing volcanoes to zipline adventures or volcano boarding, Nicaragua has it all. Find below the information of a couple of them:

Surfing  in San Juan del Sur:  

With beautiful beaches lapped by warm water, this is literally a paradise for surfers, both beginners and the more experienced. However, you always need to check the local surf report, so you can enjoy the adventure with the specific information of the times of the tides. 

Travel Nicaragua and visit this amazing destination with several beaches and countless waves.  Its large beaches give lots of room to enjoy without massive crowds. San Juan del Sur and its constant swells is the most popular surf destination in Nicaragua. 

Night tour at Active Masaya Volcano:   

Shortly before sunset, your adventure begins here. If you’re lucky, you will see the green parakeets, ‘Chocoyos,’ returning to their nests inside the crater.  Once you arrive at the visitor center, learn the interesting way this lava belt works and also about the historical events of this volcano.  Moreover, you can lift volcanic rocks with your own hands in the museum. 

Take stunning pictures of the lava reflecting on the crater. Of course, you will be a safe distance away in the lookout on top of the volcano by the edge of the crater.  Enjoy this amazing experience feeling the power of mother nature that you can hear running underground inside the crater.  This is a very active volcano that is an amazing experience to witness.  

The whole adventure takes about 2 hours, including the transportation from your hotel in Masaya or Managua and round trip.

Natural Reserves  

With more than 70 unique ecosystems and 7% of the world’s biodiversity, Nicaragua is considered the second lung of the Americas.  A trip though Nicaragua is ideal for those who are looking for natural adventures with 24 volcanoes and countless lakes, rivers and lagoons.  

As a result, a unique experience in Nicaragua only is that you can navigate through rivers and lakes from the Caribbean to the Pacific Ocean.  Its tremendous ecological diversity and wide assortment of landscapes and habitats allow for many different types of vegetation and animal species to thrive. Here is the information of one of this destinies you can visit by traveling Nicaragua:

Mombacho Volcano Nature Reserve:   

Looking for a natural adventure? This national reserve has everything to offer in that matter.  Among its several attractions, you can enjoy its different hiking trails or a visit to an organic coffee farm.   Moreover, let yourself gaze at the butterfly garden and orchid garden or zoom down a zip-line through a cloud forest.  

Several trails offer you different levels of difficulty that make it easy to get to the crown of the cloud forest, while enjoying the misty vines and orchids. Although the Mombacho Volcano has a few decades without activity, it is still most certainly active and sends up the periodic puff of smoke and steam with fumaroles and other bubbling volcanic activity.  

With a wide range of wildlife that includes three species of monkey, 168 species of bird and more than 100 types of orchids, you will certainly enjoy your visit to this amazing natural reserve.

Visit Colonial Towns

The centuries of Spanish rule left Nicaragua with some amazing colonial architecture that can be enjoyed today by travelers.  You can visit some of its cities with stunning historical architecture and old-world attractions like Leon, Managua or San Rafael del Norte.  Nicaragua towns will amaze you and give you opportunities for taking nice walking adventures. Here a couple of suggestions for your next visit: 

Granada City and Its Local Cigars:  

Its breathtaking colonial architecture with streets lined in pastel-hued buildings make Granada one of the must-see areas in Nicaragua.  The tropical climate and the laid back atmosphere of its friendly and welcoming people create a traveller’s paradise. 

Enjoy this city full of both cosmopolitan culture and natural beauty. Enjoy delicious local dishes. Explore its beautiful streets lined with eateries, shops, and street performers or head out to the surrounding volcanoes, cloud forests, lagoons and pristine beaches.

While you’re touring this enchanted city, you cannot miss the opportunity to visit a local cigar factory and roll your own cigars.  Learn about all the steps in the cigar process from growing the tobacco plant to the final rolled cigar.   

Craft and Pottery in Masaya 

This is a picturesque folkloric town in southwestern Nicaragua, where you can browse stalls brimming with artisan treasures in Masaya Craft Market.  Discover the cultural richness along the lots of small stands with souvenirs within a friendly setting.  

Certainly you will find enough variety to buy something for everybody back home.  During the day, you can also visit the lookout point in Catarina and get the most spectacular views of Apoyo Lagoon.  

After that, you can also stroll the cobbled streets of San Juan de Oriente, a ‘Village of Pottery‘ and peruse its stores famed for their high-quality pottery.  In this area of the country, the pottery making tradition has been around since at least 500 BC.  

For Natural Lovers

With an exceptional heritage of biodiversity and a great marine richness, Nicaragua is a perfect destination for those who love wildlife.  Travel through the largest and best preserved tracts of tropical rainforests and lowland ecosystems in Central America. Below are suggestions for some of the natural adventures you can find.

Kayaking the Islets of Granada  

One of the things you surely must visit is Lake Nicaragua. It is Central America’s largest lake, holding an archipelago of 365 islands.  As a result, you will see a diversity that includes uninhabited islands and private residence to traditional fishing villages and luxurious resorts.   

You will get a glimpse of local life on the islands while you enjoy the adventure floating through the islets with stunning views of the islands and Mombacho Volcano. The wildlife of the archipelago can be explored by visiting Monkey Island, named after its large population of capuchin monkeys.  Here you can observe birds such as warblers, tanagers, hawks, and jays also.

Somoto Canyon Adventures:  

This adventure will take you on a hike through the canyon with small stops to cool off and swim. Then, you will explore the canyon in small local boats.   With a unique environment that offers panoramas of dry forest with small trees, as well as flora and fauna, this canyon is worth visiting.  

Some of the species that inhabit the area that may be seen during your adventure are deer, parakeets, rabbits and iguanas.  In addition, the canyon offers several thrilling possibilities to enjoy its surroundings, such as tubing along the waterway or even rappelling some of the walls that reach up to 60 meters high.

Beaches  

With coasts on both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, Nicaragua beaches have something to offer everyone.  Travel its seaboard of 910 miles of coastline and let yourself be astonished by its wide variety of beaches.  

Whether you are looking for isolated or busy, for white sand or black sand, for tamed or wild beaches, you will surely find the one for you.  Following is the information for a couple of these paradisiac places:

The Corn Islands  

These are two small islands. Little and Big Corn islands are located on the Caribbean coast and are in other words the epitome of tranquility and serenity.  You can easily lose track of time in this perfect place to relax and enjoy the sea breeze, the soy and the sand.   Snorkel in their beautiful pristine waters or just relax enjoying its great island atmosphere and hospitality.

Releasing Baby Turtles in Maderas Beach:  

This amazing beach is a bit further off the beaten track, located in a sleepy beach town with outstanding surf conditions.  From here, you will have quick and easy access to other small beaches and local attractions nearby.  Even when perhaps the most popular attraction here is surfing, you will also find great opportunities for kayaking, hiking or frisbee golf.  

In addition, if you’re here at the right time of the year, you may participate in releasing baby turtles back to the ocean at sunset.  In conclusion, this is a beach with an off the beaten track appeal and everything you may wish to have fun and relax.