What are the customs regulations in Nicaragua?
No customs duties are charged on personal luggage, which includes an array of items for personal and professional use, as long as they do not appear in quantities that suggest commercial intent. Nicaragua laws require that baggage be examined and that travelers submit customs declarations listing all articles acquired abroad, whether you enter through the airport or a border.
When is the best time to travel to Nicaragua?
Nicaragua has 2 “seasons”: the dry and the green season. The dry season lasts from mid-November to mid-May; no rain during this time, the most pleasant period being from December to March. April and May are getting a little warmer.
Nicaragua generally gets good amounts of rain at the start ant the end of the rainy season, in June and October. But nothing terrible: we usually have between 0 and 2 hours a day, in the late afternoon.
Landscape is most beautiful from June to January.
What are the entry requirements?
Most of citizens don’t need a visa to visit Nicaragua; you just need a passport with at least 6 more months of validity, and to pay the tourist card (US $ 5) at your entrance in Nicaragua (airport or borders).
Is bus transportation available?
Nicaragua has a cheap bus system. However we recommend to avoid using public transportation as you will be an easy target for pickpockets when the bus is loaded… If you want to use it to travel by bus you have to be aware that most busses aren’t in good mechanical conditions and/or don’t respect elementary safety traffic rules. Also don’t expect to get a/c in public transportation, and don’t forget the temperature will range between 85 and 94 degrees (30 to 38 Celsius) year round… So basically our recommendation is to not use public transportation.
Our recommendation if you want to save money on transportation: use our new service Nica Express, shared shuttles: efficient, economical and comfortable service! Go to the following link:
What about taxis?
Taxis abound in most cities. They are quite inexpensive, but never forget to negotiate the fare before you aboard the cab; many times the fare is per person. Also taxis are not always safe, mostly in cities. And don’t forget you are an easy target… You’d rather go for hotels taxis, more expensive but safe, to street taxis, or much better and much safer, use our shared shuttles or our private transfers!
Which special precautions do I need to take?
Please consider the following precautions during your trip, which are the same wherever you travel around the world:
Do not leave your luggage unattended at the airport or with a stranger, do not carry any stranger’s luggage through customs or immigration, and always carry your money within an inside pocket or a body pouch, or money belt.
Daily spending money could be carried in your bag or front pocket. Credit cards and travelers checks are good tools when you travel. Carry a separate package with the following information: a copy of the identifying pages of your passport, the number of your credit cards, traveler checks, bank accounts, airplane tickets, and emergency phone numbers. Valuable items should be left in a safe box. Avoid crowds as well as dark and lonely places, and deal with well-known tourism agencies instead of unknown persons. In other words, take the same precautions you would have when visiting any other country, but do not let that decrease your enjoyment of this experience.
While traveling in international or local flights, or in our vans or in boats or horse back carriages, don’t forget to check that you haven’t forgotten any personal item such as camera etc… Even if you may be traveling in the same van the next day, it may be cleaned during the evening and we can’t respond for any forgotten item.
Health -- Should I takes pills against malaria/dengue fever?
We have no doctors among our staff, so this is a delicate question. In 11 years no tourist at all (traveling with us) reported to have contracted Dengue/Malaria while in Nicaragua, so we know that the possibility is extremely remote. However, if we advise you to not take pills etc and you happen to contract one of these tropical diseases, you may tell us that we gave a wrong recommendation… So our recommendation is to ask your doctor.
Should I drink the tab water?
If the water is safe to drink in all areas of the country, it still will be different from the one you are used to drink. So we strongly suggest you to buy bottled water for drinking. If you purchase fresh fruits and vegetables, carefully wash them with water before eating.
Telephone, fax, internet:
Internet cafes are available in most towns and hotels Internet cafes are available in most towns and hotels Direct-dial telephone service, facsimile, telex, radio and cable television are all available. Bilingual operator assistance for international calls is: 116, local information: 113, long distance information: 124.
What are the entry and exit taxes in Nicaragua?
Entry taxes are U$ 10 to U$ 12 according to the entry point. Exit taxes are between U$ 4 (borders) and U$42.00 (Int’l airport, subject to changes) to be paid cash, in U$ upon departure. Travelers must be at the airport at least two hours before departure.
What are the local taxes in Nicaragua?
There is a 17% sales tax at hotels, and a 15 % in most other services such as restaurants, rental cars and other services, industries, and an additional 10 % for service will generally be added at your restaurant and bar tab.
How should I plan a perfect trip to Nicaragua?
Find an advisor that knows the country. Many tourists are looking for the best deal which many times do not match with quality. Nicaragua is a new country regarding tourism, so there many professionals in this business and many people who aren’t. Don’t hesitate to ask for references when you are dealing with a travel agent or hotels. Nicaragua Adventures is a full service tour operator and ground transportation company with 12 years experience in Costa Rica and Nicaragua and we have our offices in Granada’s, Nicaragua’s most touristy city, in “la Calzada” street. Our owners and managers are European and moved to Central America in 1996 (We know our English can’t be perfect and deeply apologize for that!). We are now long time established in Nicaragua and you can ask for references by the Ministry of Tourism (INTUR).
What should I bring?
Walking shoes (hiking shoes if your program features volcanoes hikes), sunscreen, swim suits, casual light clothes for nightlife and fine dining, insect repellent, map of Nicaragua, sandals - sunglasses & hat, necessary medications, light rain jacket, a pocket-size English/Spanish dictionary, a headlight (in case of power shortage!), a small first aid kit, binoculars – Digital camera, passport, some cash - bills on very good shape only (and in US Dollars only, Euro are not accepted here!), Credit cards, driver’s license (only in case you will drive yourself/car rental), copy of your travel insurance contract.
What is the time zone in Nicaragua?
Nicaragua is the same as U.S. Central Standard Time, but does not observe daylight savings time. Sun rise is around 5.30. am, sundown about 5.45 to 6.15pm all year long.
About money and banks
There are banks in all major cities, and ATM's in Managua, San Juan del Sur, Granada. Moyogalpa in Ometepe, Rivas, Leon, Esteli, Matagalpa, Masaya etc. You can normally get either local currency (Cordobas) or U$. You may also exchange U$ into local currency inside the bank, NEVER in the street (except if you are with one of our tour guides). Exchange in March 2012: 1 U$ = 23 Cordobas. Also don't bring Thaveler's Checks, almost no business will take them, bring cash (only bills in excellent shape, $ 1 to 50 for most expenses). Major credit cards are accepted in many busibnesses but make sure you got some cash for small expenses (U$ and/or Cordobas).
What are the business hours?
Most banks are open from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30p.m. and from 8:30am to 12pm on Saturdays, and do not close for lunch. Governments offices are generally open from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Stores and other businesses in shopping centers and malls are open from 10:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. Most restaurants open from 11:00 am to 11:00 pm. Most commercial business open from 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Most hotels are open 24 hours.
Tips about driving!
To rent a car you must be at least 21 years old, have a valid driver's license and a credit card (Visa, Amex or MasterCard). Gasoline is available at stations throughout the country, most are open 24 hours. You need good car insurance, which is included in your contract with the car rental.
If you are involved in a traffic accident: Do not loose your temper, do not leave the place of the accident, do not move the car, cooperate with the legal authorities, do not sign any agreements nor accept any liability, and contact your rental car company immediately. For more information, please look at our section: car/van rental
How much should I tip?
Most bars and restaurants will add a 10 % tip to your bill so read your bill before paying a tip. However you are free to tip the waiter if you are happy with the service you have been given!
Concerning your tour guide and driver, the average we have noted for a driver is U$ 3-10 per day, and the average for a guide is U$ 5-25 per day. Again this is at your discretion (not an obligation).
Making a Reservation
Reservations can be made through one of the following methods.
-By e-mail, the best way: send a mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
You will receive a confirmation of your request within 24 hours.
-By fax if you don’t have a mail: 011 (505) 2552-5566
-Our mailing address is: Nicaragua Adventures
Calle la Calzada, Catedral 3.5 cuadras al Lago
Emergency phone numbers
Our emergency phone numbers (to be used outside office hours, for emergencies) are the following: 011 (505) 8988-8127 or (505) 8883-7161