Travel Facts

US State Dept Travel Advisory

The US Department of State currently recommends US citizens Reconsider Travel to Nicaragua due to limited healthcare availability and arbitrary enforcement of laws. Exercise increased caution in Nicaragua due to crime and wrongful detentions. Consult its website via the link below for updates to travel advisories and statements on safety, security, local laws, and special circumstances in this country.

Passport/Visa Requirements

US citizens should make sure their passport is valid at the date of their entering the country and during the length of their entire visit. They should also make sure they have at least 1 blank page in their passport for any entry stamp that will be required. A visa is not required for stays of less than 30 days. You must purchase a tourist card for $10 USD at the airport (exact change recommended), valid for up to a total of 90 days.

US Embassy/Consulate

+(505) 2252-7100; US Embassy Managua, Km 5 ½ Carretera Sur, Managua, Nicaragua;;

Telephone Code


Local Emergency Phone

Ambulance: 128; Fire: 115, 911; Police: 118


Travelers must show proof of yellow fever vaccination administered at least 10 days before travel in order to be permitted entry to Nicaragua. See WHO recommendations.


Tropical in lowlands, cooler in highlands

Currency (Code)

Cordobas (NIO)

Electricity/Voltage/Plug Type(s)

120 V / 60 Hz / plug types(s): A, B

Plug Type APlug Type B

Major Languages

Spanish, Miskito, Mestizo

Major Religions

Roman Catholic 50%, Evangelical 33.2%, other 2.9%, unspecified 13.2%

Time Difference

UTC-6 (1 hour behind Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Potable Water

Yes, but some opt for bottled water

International Driving Permit

Suggested; additionally, if you plan to drive in Nicaragua, you will need an Inter-American Driving Permit issued by the AAA

Road Driving Side


Tourist Destinations

Somoto Canyon; Masaya Volcano National Park; Cerro Mogotón; Isla Ometepe; Cerro Negro; Pearl Cays; Bosawas Biosphere Reserve

Major Sports

Soccer, baseball, boxing

Cultural Practices

Pointing is accomplished with the lips - pucker the lips and raise the chin briefly in the direction you are pointing to.

Tipping Guidelines

Leaving a 8-10% tip at restaurants is appropriate. Tipping a porter 50 cents (USD), a doorman $1-2 (USD), and hotel housekeeping $1 (USD) per day is common.


Pottery, hand-woven hammocks, gold jewelry, leather goods, rum, cigars, coffee

Traditional Cuisine

Gallo Pinto — red (kidney) beans and cooked stale rice sautéed in oil with onions and garlic

Please visit the following links to find further information about your desired destination.

World Health Organization (WHO) - To learn what vaccines and health precautions to take while visiting your destination.

US State Dept Travel Information - Overall information about foreign travel for US citizens.

To obtain an international driving permit (IDP). Only two organizations in the US issue IDPs:
American Automobile Association (AAA) and American Automobile Touring Alliance (AATA)

How to get help in an emergency? 
Contact the nearest US embassy or consulate, or call one of these numbers:
from the US or Canada - 1-888-407-4747 or from Overseas - +1 202-501-4444

Page last updated: Thursday, December 08, 2022