Frequently Ask Questions About Travel in Nicaragua

Traveling to Nicaragua.  Answers to your questions about your trip to Nicaragua.  What is the weather in Nicaragua?  Is the country safe?  What do in case of an emergency?  Is there an entrance fee into Nicaragua? and many more questions

Frequently Asked Questions on Nicaragua

We have put together a visitors guide that answers many of the frequent ask questions about travel in Nicaragua.

1)  Where is Nicaragua located?

- Nicaragua is in Central America with Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south.

2)  What is the weather like in Nicaragua?

- Nicaragua has two seasons, a raining season and a dry season.  The raining season generally goes from May through November and the dry season runs from December through April.  It is warm year round with an average temperature of 81° F.  The humidity during the raining season can make it feel warmer than the actual temperature.

3) What language do they speak in Nicaragua?

-Spanish

4)  Do I need a passport to travel to Nicaragua?

- Yes you do and make sure it is not expired.

5)  Do I need to get shots before I go to Nicaragua?

- Yes, it is best to get your shots and talk to your doctor about which ones to take.

6)  What kind of clothes should I bring?

- Bring warm weather clothes.  The average temperature is about 85 F and with the humidity it can feel even warmer.

7)  Do hotels provide laundry service?

- It depends on the hotel.  If you are staying in one of the larger like the hotels in town, they will provide some sort of laundry service.  It may come at an extra cost.

8)   If I need to communicate with someone back in the US what should I do?

- There is usually lots internet cafés where you can use there computers and make calls to the US.  Another alternative is to purchase a prepaid cell phone to use while you are in Nicaragua.  You can get it at any service provider and use it as you need.  Calling long distance may have you needing to buy more minutes but may be worth it if you need it in case anything were to happen.

9)  Is Nicaragua a safe country?

- Yes, Nicaragua is among the safest countries in Latin America.  It has a low crime rate compared to other countries in the area.  Check out more on safety in Nicaragua
10)  Do they accept credit cards?

- Yes US credit cards (Visa, Mastercard) are accepted but you may want to bring cash too because a lot of attractions outside of Managua may only accept cash.  There is also ATM’s you can pull money out.

11)  Should I bring traveler’s checks?

- You are better just bring cash down and using an ATM machine to take out money.  Traveler’s checks can be hard to find a place that will cash them out for you.

12)  Is it safe to drink tap water in Nicaragua?

- In Managua the water is very clean but outside of Managua it is recommended to buy bottled water.  You may want to drink bottled water in Managua as well because even though it is clean, it may best to just play it safe and buy bottled water from the beginning.  More on Drinking Tap Water in Nicaragua

13)  Is there a fee entering the country?

- Yes, entering the country expect to pay $5 to $10 getting through immigration at the airport.

14)  How much for a taxicab fare?

- Before getting in the taxicab ask how much it will cost to get to your destination.  Within Managua expect to pay about $5 to $10 around town.  If you are going further outside of town or to another town you can ask around to different taxis to see how much they will do it.  Taxis are never in shortage during the day.

15)  Can I rent a car?

- Yes renting a car is available even from your arrival at the airport.  Just as in the US it is best to play it safe and purchase the insurance with the rental.  Check out the cost of renting a vehicle

16)  Is it safe to ride the bus?

- I would recommend against riding the bus if you are carrying a large quantity of valuables or money.  Foreigners tend to stand out on buses.  They are an easy target for theft.  However, if you have to ride the bus, put your wallet in your front pocket and take your watch off and put it in the front pocket as well.  Here is more info on Transportation in Nicaragua

17)  Is buying real estate in Nicaragua a good investment?

- Yes, buying real estate in Nicaragua is a great investment.  Make sure you are doing business with a legitimate owner or real estate agent.  A safe bet is to know others who have done business with whom you are working with.  Check our real listings to see what’s available.  Here is What to Know Before Buying Property in Nicaragua
 
18)  Is it pretty easy to travel to other Central American countries by land?

- Yes you can rent a car and drive two and a half hours to the Costa Rican border or you can drive north towards the Honduran border in about 4 to 5 hours.  One option is take a commercial bus.  They are greyhound style buses and show movies on the ride.  They also do much of the paperwork at the border for you making it convenient and easy.
 
19)  Is the food off the side of the road clean?

- For the most part it is clean but if it is food you are not used to eating it may not settle well with your stomach.  So the choice is yours whether to eat it or not.  It does not hurt to peak around and see how clean the area is, whether there kitchen area looks clean.  Also be on the look out if there is a lot of flies around the food that you will be eating.  Check out more on Nicaraguan Cuisine

20)  What is the exchange rate?

- The current exchange rate as of April 1, 2011 is 22.47 cordobas to the dollar.
 
21)  What is the best way to exchange dollars for cordobas?

- You can either go to a bank or do it with a money changer on the side of the road around town.  Money changers are men (sometimes women) who hang out on the side of the road with large wads of money looking to exchange dollars for cordobas.  Their exchange rates are usually pretty competitive with the banks.  It is a better option if you are in a hurry.  DON’T FORGET to count your money to make sure you got the right amount.  Sometimes they will try and shortchange foreigners.

22)  What should I do in case of an emergency?

- It depends on the emergency.  If it is a medical emergency, it is probably best to get to a Managua hospital ASAP!  If it is something else you may want to contact the US embassy or your home country’s embassy and ask them what you should do.  It is also good to let the state department know where you will be traveling to and staying while your are in the country.  This way if anything happens they know where they can find you.  Here is contact info for US Embassy

23)  Can you get high quality medical attention in Nicaragua?

- Yes, the best hospital in town is the Metropolitan Hospital a couple blocks off the Masaya highway.  If you have a medical emergency while you are in the country that would be the best place to go.  The Baptist Hospital is another option to consider.  Many people from the US are going to Nicaragua specifically to receive more affordable and yet still high quality medical attention.  Whether you need to get knee surgery or cosmetic surgery, you can get it done in Nicaragua at a more affordable rate.

24)  How much should I tip?

- In a restaurant it is customary to tip between 15 to 20% .  However, in many restaurants the tip is already included in the bill so look it over to see if it has been included.  In the some restaurants tips are distributed among all the restaurant staff so you may decide to leave a little extra on the table for your server.

25)  Is it ok to give kids on the street money?

- Yes it is but be careful because once you start handing out money you will have any kid within sight at your car window or wherever you may be.  One option is carry candy with you at all times and give the kids candy when they come begging.

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