Nicaragua Quick Guide

For travelers interested in exploring the rich cultural history of Central America and South America, Nicaragua Travel Guide is one indispensable guide that should be on your list. Nicaragua, often put between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, is an often overlooked South American country famous for its spectacular landscape of majestic mountains, deep valleys and sandy beaches. Vast Lake Nicaragua and the world famous Stratovolcano Momotombo are to the north of the main city of Managua. To its south lies Granada, famed for its Spanish colonial architecture and several isles rich in tropical flora and fauna. The country's largest lake (wash) is Lake Nicaragua, which is in addition to being the country's largest city.

As you likely have guessed, both the Caribbean and Central America contain many volcanoes. In both countries, these volcanic islands offer visitors a wonderful chance to observe and photograph nature. The Caribbean islands of Barbados, St Martin and St Vincent are full of stunning natural beauty. And Central America boasts numerous volcanoes such as Popocatepetl, Popocatan and Caracol. If you're looking for a way to combine two of the most exotic locations in the world, Nicaragua travel guide recommends taking a cable car from San Juan del Sur to Popocatepetl; then take a scenic train ride to the summit of Popocatepetl. If you're interested in visiting the volcanoes but not bothered by the possibility of getting lost and certainly not wishing to risk your life travelling around volcanoes then you may opt to visit Puerto Plata.

Situated between Nicaragua's Pacific and Caribbean coasts, the gorgeous lake Nicoya is home to over 80% of Nicaragua's total population. This peaceful region is also home to some of the most beautiful and unique active volcanoes in the world. Many of these active volcanoes lie on the foothills of the Sierra Madre mountains. If you're interested in hiking and experiencing the sights and sounds of this captivating region, a visit to the beautiful San Cristobal de Las Cruces National Park will allow you to do just that. For a more informative tour of active volcanoes, you can always consult a detailed section of the country's Nicaragua travel guide.

One thing you can count on when travelling to Nicaragua is the likelihood of encountering a large number of hostile tourists. You will undoubtedly come into contact with foreign money-making conmen, thieves and drug dealers. A common attempt to steal the local currency, which often goes by the name of" Nicaragua's Cold Stone Money" (SCMs), can be easily spotted by the ubiquitous "PNP" patches dotted all over the country. In addition to watching out for foreign nationals, you should also be wary of any strangers who approach you in the streets. These unsolicited solicitors are generally interested in acquiring hard currency from you in exchange for either their wares or services.

While you may expect to encounter plenty of unpleasant people while travelling throughout Nicaragua, there are some common activities that travelers should be aware of. One of the most important requirements of all travelers, no matter where they are going in the country, is to have a valid visa prior to entering the country. In this regard, obtaining a Nicaragua travel insurance policy is highly recommended.

The weather in Nicaragua is substandard. It is hot in the south and humid in the north. There are very few areas in which the sun does not reach the surface, making it a perfect environment for tourists to experience the warmth and comfort of Central America. However, if you are planning to spend time in the more remote and temperate regions of Nicaragua, you should plan on adding layers of clothing appropriate to the climate within your itinerary.

A visit to Nicaragua is not complete without an array of tours, which can span various topics and focus throughout Nicaragua. You might choose to explore the ancient Mayan ruins in the north, hike along the incredible Pacific Ocean coastline, explore the vibrant and colorful Caribbean coast, or explore the rich history of indigenous cultures throughout Nicaragua. In addition to the numerous tours available, you may also choose to participate in activities such as horseback riding, swimming, snorkeling, and more. This information is included within the Nicaragua travel guide to make sure that you are fully prepared for any destination that you choose to embark upon.

The high quality of life that is enjoyed in Nicaragua is highlighted in the many fine hotels that are easily accessible throughout the country. For a more personal experience, you may even consider staying at a private home or simply a comfortable hotel room. Regardless of which option you select, staying in a private home will provide you with a more relaxed experience while traveling to Nicaragua. Even though it may be slightly more expensive than staying in a larger hotel, staying in a private home allows you to completely focus on enjoying the time that you are there, rather than being concerned about the price of hotel costs and rates throughout the day.

What vaccinations do I need?

Up to date information for vaccinations before you travel to Nicaragua are available from the NHS Fit for Travel website.

Is it safe to travel?

Best time to visit?

The best time to visit Nicaragua is during the dry season, between December and April.

Do I need a Visa?

British nationals can visit Nicaragua for up to 3 months without a visa. You may be refused entry if you don't have an onward ticket out of Nicaragua.

See which forms you may need for entry into Nicaragua.

What currency do i need?

The official currency of Nicaragua is the Nicaraguan Córdoba Oro (NIO). If you're looking to transfer or spend money in Nicaragua you can grab amazing Nicaraguan Córdoba Oro deals via (GBP to NIO).

What about the wildlife?

Nicaragua's fauna includes mammals such as pumas, jaguars, ocelots, margays, various monkeys, deer, and peccaries; birds range from eagles to egrets to macaws to pelicans; reptiles include crocodiles, snakes, turtles, and lizards; and a variety of toads, frogs, fish & molluscs.

What is the traditional food?

Miskito food? Most people in Nicaragua eat Gallo Pinto almost daily and it is considered a national symbol. It is composed of a mixture of fried rice with onion and sweet pepper, red beans boiled with garlic. They are mixed and fried all together. Nacatamal: a dough which is prepared with ground corn and butter.

What Languages are spoken?

Miskito, Sumo, Rama and Garifuna are native languages but the most widely used and official language is Spanish. You can learn some basic Miskito before you travel to Nicaragua and really impress the locals!

How much do you tip?

The currency in Nicaragua is the Nicaraguan Córdoba Oro (It's very common for restaurants to add a 10% voluntary tip to your bill. This should not be confused with IVA, which is a 15% sales tax.).

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Useful Numbers

  • Police: 118
  • Ambulance: 128
  • Fire: 115
  • UK Embassy: +506 2258 2025

Time Difference

The GMT time difference is -6 hours

Travel Apps

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Learn Miskito

Learn some Miskito before your trip to Nicaragua

Nicaragua Guidebook

Stay informed before, during and after your trip to Nicaragua by buying a guidebook.

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