Nicaragua travel advice
We think this country is a real hidden jewel in Central America and one to visit now.
Nicaragua is learning fast from its Costa Rican neighbour and it is rapidly changing: delightful new hotels are opening up, making whole areas of the nation accessible for the first time. We are constantly keeping up to date with the changes and we have sought out some fantastic hideaways.
Guides in Nicaragua
Our guides’ excellent knowledge will more than enhance your trip.
Combining Nicaragua with other destinations
Although most definitely a destination in its own right Nicaragua makes an excellent combination with Costa Rica and we have researched the best land routes between the two.
Spanish is the official language however English is spoken in some tourist areas and on the Atlantic Coast. Along the Atlantic Coast there are three Indian languages spoken — Misquito, Mayangna and Rama.
Food and drink
The traditional diet today is a delicious mixture of soups, meats and sweets which reflect the ancestry of the Creole people. One of the most fundamental components of Nicaraguan food is corn which is used to make drinks such as Chicha and Pinol. It is also used in the Nacatamal, Indio Viejo and Sopa de Albondiga dishes which are commonly served as a main meal. Popular sweets featuring this dynamic vegetable include Atolillo and Perrereque.
The cordoba (C$) is the unit of currency used in Nicaragua with one cordoba can be divided into 100 centavos. It is best to use larger cordoba notes in restaurants and in the hotels as using these notes to purchase smaller items may cause a problem with change. US dollars is the preferred currency for exchanging money and can be used to purchase items however be aware that if you pay in US dollars change will be given in cordobas at an unfavourable exchange rate for the tourist. Travellers cheques cannot be exchanged anywhere in Nicaragua so please take only cash and cards.
Tipping for good service is an accepted fact. It is common to be expected to tip the service you receive whilst eating in a restaurant also. A tip of around 10% is acceptable for good service.
Please ask permission before taking photographs of Nicaragua's indigenous people — it is discourteous not to and many may refuse you, those who do pose may ask for a tip. Please bear in mind that children earn more by posing for tourists than their parents earn in a week and so they are not going to want to go to school. Please consider donating to a local charity or giving a gift instead.
Our country specialists can advise on any safety concerns you may have. For current information, please refer to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office website.
When to go to Nicaragua
You'll find temperature and rainfall information, together with a month-by-month guide on visiting, on our guide for when to go to Nicaragua.