BEFORE YOU GO
If you're interested in a trip to Nicaragua, you've come to the right place.
Below you'll find all the information you need about how to pack for your adventure, what to prepare for logistically with your flights and travel documents, and the nitty-gritty details like if you need to pack your surf board. Take a look and let us know if you have any additional questions! We're always happy to chat and can be reached directly at 1.888.870.0903.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: WHAT'S THE WEATHER LIKE?
Nicaragua has three distinct regions: the Pacific, the Atlantic, and the northern mountains. There are two seasons on the Pacific Coast of Nicaragua. The dry season, from December to April, and the rainy season, from May to November. October is by far the wettest month in Nicaragua. The average yearly temperature on the Pacific Coast is 81° F with an average rainfall of 75 inches annually. The Atlantic Coast is different—it is much wetter (annual precipitation averages almost 150 inches). Here, the rainy season lasts about nine months and the dry season is from March through May. In the northern mountains temperatures are much cooler with an average of 64°F.
Q: WHEN SHOULD I GO?
Unlike what you might think, the dry season is not the best time to go. The Pacific Coast (most likely where you'll be surfing) can get very hot and dusty, with dry vegetation and high temps. May through September and November through February are really the two best seasons to visit Nicaragua. Just avoid October, when it can rain the whole month! Peak conditions for surfing are in June through August. November through February boasts a nice breeze, green vegetation, mild temperatures with little or no rain.
Q: IS IT EASY TO GET AROUND?
Getting around can be easy, enjoyable, and safe throughout Nicaragua. Major rental car companies are located at the airport and in other locations. Visitors can use their driver’s license for thirty days after entering the country. Taxis are plentiful and relatively inexpensive throughout the country. It is advisable to use officially registered taxis, which have red license plates (the numbers should be legible), or licensed tour guides. Inter-city buses are also plentiful. Colonial cities such as León and Granada are more pedestrian-friendly than Managua. Visitors can see all the main sights on foot.
Q: IS NICARAGUA SAFE?
The answer is yes! Nicaragua is the safest country in Central America and among the safest in the world. According to a survey conducting by the UN, Nicaragua is the second safest country in Latin America, behind Uruguay. Crime is very low in Nicaragua and people are incredibly warm, hospitable, and friendly.
Q: HOW MUCH MONEY SHOULD I BRING?
Nicaragua’s currency is the córdoba (C$), sometimes called a ‘peso’ or ‘real’ by locals, or a ‘cord’ by expats. US dollars are accepted almost everywhere, unless they are worn or damaged, but you might want to have some spending cash and tipping money in local currency. For information on current exchange rates, visit xe.com.
Q: WHAT'S THE DEAL ON TIPPING?
Tipping is completely up to your discretion, but if you would like to tip, here is what we would recommend: $5 USD per traveler, per day for guides, $3 USD per traveler, per day for drivers.
Q: CAN I USE MY CELL PHONE?
Even if you have an international plan, you might not get service while in Nicaragua. But hey, don’t you want to unplug anyway?
TRAVEL DOCUMENTS AND VACCINATIONS
PASSPORT & VISAS
All visitors need a passport valid for at least six months to enter Nicaragua. Upon arrival, U.S. citizens receive a 30-day or 90-day visa automatically. We suggest all our guests make a photocopy of the pages in your passport that have your photo and information.
Before you leave home, make several photocopies of your passport. We also recommend bringing at least two extra 2x2 passport photographs. This will facilitate the replacement of your passport in the event your passport is lost or stolen. Keep your passport, money, vouchers, and international air tickets in a money belt or pouch.
- Your passport must be valid for six months after your date of entry into antarctica
- Please have 2-3 blank pages in your passport, you world traveler you!
The entry tax is US $10, payable in US dollars or córdobas and will be expected at customs. Checks and credit cards are not accepted.
CHARGERS AND ADAPTORS
Nicaragua uses 110 volt electricity, the same as the US. Plugs are typically the 2-pronged flat type so US travelers don't need a plug adapter (unless your device requires 3 prongs—make sure you check before leaving home).
No shots are required for U.S. citizens.
YELLOW FEVER UPDATE
If you are entering Nicaragua from a country the World Health Organization (WHO) has determined has a risk of active transmission of Yellow Fever, you must meet the requirement to present a certificate of vaccination with validity of ten days from the corresponded Health Organization from origin country.
Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Panama, Venezuela, Paraguay and Peru. The measure also includes all African countries except the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Sao Tome and Principe, and Somalia.
If your flight connects through Panama or any of the other countries mentioned above, please note you will have to comply with this new requirement.
THINGS YOU'LL NEED
- 3-5 quick-dry, breathable t-shirts
- 2-3 pair of casual and lightweight pants or shorts
- 1-2 long sleeve shirts for evenings
- Sundresses for casual sightseeing
- Nicer outfit for a romantic night
- Underclothes and socks
- Swimsuits and trunks
- Rash guard for surfing
- Jacket or light windbreaker
- Fleece/sweater or sweatshirt
- Comfortable and functional walking shoes, including sandals
- Hiking boots just in case you go for an adventure
- Day pack to take to the beach or into town
- Insect repellent with deet
- Sunglasses and waterproof sunscreen
- Sun hat to keep yourself protected
- Extra money and money belt to securely carry all passports, vouchers, and air tickets
- Normal prescriptions and traveler’s meds for heartburn, indigestion, diarrhea, etc.
- Doctor’s note if you have a metal hip, knee replacement, etc.
Remember! Your carry-on should include your passport, money, toiletries, camera, and a spare set of clothes.
WHEN YOU'RE IN THE AIR
Check-in time for all international flights is three hours prior to departure time. This allows for delays at the security screening units in each terminal. There is no first class fast track through security screening, so get there early to avoid any stress.
EASY FLIGHTS TO NICARAGUA
Nicaragua is a short, two- to three-hour non-stop flight from Miami, Houston, Ft. Lauderdale and Atlanta. International flights land at Sandino International Airport in Managua, the nation’s capital.
- American Airlines – 3 daily flights from Miami
- TACA – daily flight from Miami
- Delta – daily flight from Atlanta
- Continental – daily flight from Houston
- Spirit – 3 flights a week from Fort Lauderdale
First of all, take a deep breath. You’ve already packed a spare set of clothes, your passport, money, and camera in your carry-on. Next, provide your airline with contact and delivery information for your first stop. Let our ground operator there know that your luggage has been lost, and they will track it while you enjoy your stay.
IN CASE YOU MISS US
If your family needs to contact you for emergency reasons while you are away, please have them call the Outside GO office in Santa Fe at (505) 795-7710.
For after hour emergencies, please use the following:
SANDY CUNNINGHAM | (505) 231-0699 | firstname.lastname@example.org
BRITTANY BENGRY | (616) 401-9058 | email@example.com
CHIP CUNNINGHAM | (505) 231-0355 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Ground Operator in Managua | Careli Tours 24-hour Emergency Contact: Rodrigo Jerez | 00-505-8885-2344
- When dialing from the United States, the U.S. exit code “011” must be dialed prior to the international number
- When dialing locally within Nicaragua, the country code “505” should be dropped and replaced with a “0”