Information & Facts
Nicaragua has a tropical climate with two seasons. The wet
season from June to January is defined by short heavy rainfalls
that can occur daily. On the east coast rains can last longer into
the year. The dry season from December to May has almost no rain
although temperature differences between the two seasons are
slight. Temperature fluctuations result from elevation. These range
from sea level and lowlands to highlands and highland peaks.
Lowland daytime temperatures average above 86
°C) with sometimes 84 percent humidity and highlands above
The international access code for Nicaragua is +505. The
outgoing code is 00 (00 44 for the United Kingdom) followed by the
relevant country code. The city area code for Managua is 2. Mobile
phones operate on GSM and 3G networks. Local mobile phone calls are
cheapest with locally bought SIM cards. Internet is widely
available in all cities although the connection speed is mostly
limited to 56k.
It is usual for adults in Nicaragua to live with their parents
and visitors should greet the oldest or most important person in a
group first. When shopping, it is customary to bargain for goods.
Homosexuality was just made legal in March 2008.
Visitors to Nicaragua may import up to 200 cigarettes/500g of
tobacco, three litres liquor, and one large or three small bottles
of perfume. Meat, dairy and leather products as well as matches are
restricted. Firearms require an import license.
Electrical current in Nicaragua is 120 Volts, 60Hz.
Flat blade plugs are used.
Medical facilities in Nicaragua are only found in major towns,
the best of which are in Managua. Rural communities lack modern
hospitals and equipment. If a hospital is needed, travellers should
indicate they desire a private hospital. Insect repellent should be
used to avoid malaria and dengue fever, both of which are carried
by mosquitoes. They should take choloroquine, for two weeks before
travel through four weeks after, to prevent malaria. Hepatitis A
and B, and Typhoid vaccines are recommended for travellers and
rabies vaccinations for travellers in contact with animals. The
most common affliction is traveller's diarrhoea which is
preventable by safe water and food consumption. Travellers should
not drink tap water and use common sense when addressing uncooked
foods. Visitors from a yellow fever infected area in the Americas
or Africa are required to prove they have had vaccination before
The official language in Nicaragua is Spanish. Some
communities on the Caribbean coast speak indigenous languages.
English is understood at some tourist destinations.
The currency is named the Córdoba but commonly referred to as
the peso. American dollars can also be used for common
transactions. Bills must be in good shape to be accepted and
damaged bills can be exchanged at banks. Only some banks will
exchange travellers cheques. All major cities have ATMs and most
hotels and restaurants accept credit card payments.
Travellers entering Nicaragua must have at least six months'
validity remaining on their passport. Travellers from most western
countries do not need to arrange a visa prior to entry. Tourist
cards are granted on arrival for USD 10 and are good for stays up
to 90 days for travel among any of the C-4 countries (Nicaragua,
Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala). Extensions are possible for a
fee of USD 2 per day. All visitors must be in possession of onward
or return tickets, documents for their destination outside of
Nicaragua and at least USD 200.
Although rural areas in Nicaragua are particularly void of
police, there has been a recent increase in crime in these areas.
Theft and violent crime are becoming more common in the usually
safe country. Travellers should be careful of muggings in taxis and
only use official taxis with a red license plate. Buses should not
be used after dark. Resulting from poor road conditions, highway
driving is especially dangerous during night and should be avoided.
Despite these risks, Nicaragua is still one of the safest countries
to travel in the region.
Local time is GMT/UCT -6.
Tips of 10 to 15 percent are expected at restaurants in
Nicaragua. Standard tipping is usual at hotels. Taxi drivers do not
usually expect to be tipped.