Nicaragua travel guide

Nicaragua Tourism | Nicaragua Guide

You're Going to Love Nicaragua

Nicaragua is home to one of the most sublime climates in the world, delivering magnificent rainforests and winding sandy beaches. Bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east, there is no shortage of water sports and waves to enjoy. Back on land, you'll find active volcanoes, colonial architecture, coffee plantations, and dense jungle landscapes.

What to do in Nicaragua

1. Go surfing in San Juan del Sur

The small coastal town is located in the southwestern corner of the country and offers smooth breaking waves. There is a strong backpacker culture with many cheap bars and surf schools.

2. Hop on to Little Corn Island

Embrace the natural beauty of the Caribbean with a trip to the island, situated roughly 50 mi from mainland Nicaragua. No cars are allowed on the island, while coconut trees and open-air restaurants provide the perfect setting for some well-deserved relaxation.

3. Ponder the History of Granada

Granada was founded in 1524 and is the country's oldest city, having flourished as one of the most important economic hubs in Central America. You can observe architecture dating back to the colonial era and a thriving population that has a strong indigenous community.

4. Check Out the Countryside Near Jinotega

The fields and plantations surrounding the city of Jinotega are estimated to produce 80% of Nicaragua's coffee, which is renowned throughout the world and exported globally. Tasting the pure beans and seeing the harvesting process is a joy for all coffee lovers.

5. Try Your Hand at Volcano Boarding

The rising gravel slopes of Cerro Negro volcano create a spectacular natural ramp to fly down on a custom-built board. Lace up your jumpsuit and prepare for a blood-pumping adrenaline rush like no other.

1. Go surfing in San Juan del Sur

The small coastal town is located in the southwestern corner of the country and offers smooth breaking waves. There is a strong backpacker culture with many cheap bars and surf schools.

2. Hop on to Little Corn Island

Embrace the natural beauty of the Caribbean with a trip to the island, situated roughly 50 mi from mainland Nicaragua. No cars are allowed on the island, while coconut trees and open-air restaurants provide the perfect setting for some well-deserved relaxation.

3. Ponder the History of Granada

Granada was founded in 1524 and is the country's oldest city, having flourished as one of the most important economic hubs in Central America. You can observe architecture dating back to the colonial era and a thriving population that has a strong indigenous community.

4. Check Out the Countryside Near Jinotega

The fields and plantations surrounding the city of Jinotega are estimated to produce 80% of Nicaragua's coffee, which is renowned throughout the world and exported globally. Tasting the pure beans and seeing the harvesting process is a joy for all coffee lovers.

5. Try Your Hand at Volcano Boarding

The rising gravel slopes of Cerro Negro volcano create a spectacular natural ramp to fly down on a custom-built board. Lace up your jumpsuit and prepare for a blood-pumping adrenaline rush like no other.

When to visit Nicaragua

Nicaragua in May
Estimated hotel price
$86
1 night at 3-star hotel
Nicaragua in May
Estimated hotel price
$86
1 night at 3-star hotel

The dry season between November and April is heaven on earth, with average daily temperatures hovering just above 86°F. September and October are the only months with considerable rainfall, and the middle of the year welcomes a more humid climate.

How to Get to Nicaragua

Entry Requirements

Citizens from several countries throughout Europe, the Caribbean, and Asia can enter without a visa. Other tourists, including Canadians and Americans, can visit for between 1 and 3 months, obtaining a visa upon arrival.

Plane

Almost all international flights arrive at Augusto C. Sandino Airport in Managua, with direct services available from American cities, such as Miami, Los Angeles, and Houston. There are no nonstop flights from Europe or South America as connections must be made in the USA, Mexico or Panama. A one-way ticket from LAX Airport with a premium carrier, such as Delta Air Lines, can be bought for roughly 14,800 NIO (440 USD).

Car

Border crossings are possible from neighboring countries Honduras and Costa Rica, with foreigners required to pay an arrival tax of approximately 400 NIO (12 USD).

Bus

Routes are scheduled from many major cities, including San Salvador, San Jose, and Tegucigalpa. Bus services are a popular way of entering Nicaragua and can sell out days ahead, so it is best to plan your journey in advance.

Boat

A ride can be caught up the Frío River from Los Chiles in Costa Rica. The price of the boat ticket is roughly 335 NIO (10 USD).

Entry Requirements

Citizens from several countries throughout Europe, the Caribbean, and Asia can enter without a visa. Other tourists, including Canadians and Americans, can visit for between 1 and 3 months, obtaining a visa upon arrival.

Plane

Almost all international flights arrive at Augusto C. Sandino Airport in Managua, with direct services available from American cities, such as Miami, Los Angeles, and Houston. There are no nonstop flights from Europe or South America as connections must be made in the USA, Mexico or Panama. A one-way ticket from LAX Airport with a premium carrier, such as Delta Air Lines, can be bought for roughly 14,800 NIO (440 USD).

Car

Border crossings are possible from neighboring countries Honduras and Costa Rica, with foreigners required to pay an arrival tax of approximately 400 NIO (12 USD).

Bus

Routes are scheduled from many major cities, including San Salvador, San Jose, and Tegucigalpa. Bus services are a popular way of entering Nicaragua and can sell out days ahead, so it is best to plan your journey in advance.

Boat

A ride can be caught up the Frío River from Los Chiles in Costa Rica. The price of the boat ticket is roughly 335 NIO (10 USD).

Popular airports in Nicaragua

Popular airlines serving Nicaragua

KLM
Good (844 reviews)
Air France
Good (980 reviews)
Iberia
Good (1,600 reviews)
United Airlines
Good (4,960 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (5,934 reviews)
Spirit Airlines
Good (4,549 reviews)
Avianca
Good (1,324 reviews)
Aeromexico
Good (815 reviews)
Air Europa
Good (329 reviews)
Copa Airlines
Good (775 reviews)
American Airlines
Good (5,787 reviews)
Show more

Where to stay in Nicaragua

If you are spending time in Managua, it is recommended that you book accommodation in the Carretera Masaya neighborhood due to its reputation for safety and amenities. Hostels are the most common accommodations in smaller towns; however, the majority do offer private bedrooms.

Where to stay in popular areas of Nicaragua

Most booked hotels in Nicaragua

Wayak Hotel
3 stars
Excellent (8.9, 465 reviews)
$60+
Hotel Globales Camino Real Managua
4 stars
Excellent (8.7, 543 reviews)
$107+
Hotel Rdg
3 stars
Excellent (8.7, 462 reviews)
$47+
DoubleTree by Hilton Managua
4 stars
Excellent (8.7, 439 reviews)
$92+
Hilton Princess Managua
4 stars
Excellent (8.5, 564 reviews)
$83+
Selina Granada
3 stars
Excellent (8.2, 1505 reviews)
$17+

How to Get Around Nicaragua

Public Transportation

Buses are the most regularly used mode of transport, with an expansive network of routes run by public and private operators.

Bus

Long-distance services as well as trips across town are possible by bus. A fare for a short journey costs roughly 35 NIO (1 USD), with intercity trips from major terminals available from approximately 135 NIO (4 USD).

Plane

Fights are the best way to reach the Corn Islands; a return trip from Managua costs approximately 5,550 NIO (165 USD).

Public Transportation

Buses are the most regularly used mode of transport, with an expansive network of routes run by public and private operators.

Bus

Long-distance services as well as trips across town are possible by bus. A fare for a short journey costs roughly 35 NIO (1 USD), with intercity trips from major terminals available from approximately 135 NIO (4 USD).

Plane

Fights are the best way to reach the Corn Islands; a return trip from Managua costs approximately 5,550 NIO (165 USD).

The Cost of Living in Nicaragua

Food is particularly cheap and a sit-down meal at an upscale restaurant can be enjoyed for around 440 NIO (13 USD) per head while a domestic beer only costs roughly 40 NIO (1.20 USD). Cash is almost always accepted aside from at restaurants and hotels. USD is widely accepted on the streets but it is better to carry NIO.