Nicaragua - Frequently Asked Questions
Table of contents
- When is the best time to go?
- Do you need a visa?
- How can I get there?
- What is the local currency and what currency should I take?
- What is there to see and do?
- What is the food like in Nicaragua?
- What language is spoken in Nicaragua?
- How much is the airport exit tax in Nicaragua?
When is the best time to go?
The first thing to note in terms of Nicaragua's weather is that it varies between its Pacific and Atlantic coasts. On the Pacific side of the country, there are distinct rainy and dry seasons. The former falls between May and November, although the wettest weather usually occurs in September and October. The dry season here runs from November to April and the months of December to March are typically the most popular for travelling to this region of Nicaragua. Temperatures in Nicaragua are typically in the high 20s to mid-30s, although they can be considerably lower in the mountains, with temperatures here dropping to around 12 degrees Celsius. Nicaragua's Atlantic coast has much less predictable weather than the Pacific side, so it's best to check the forecast before you travel and pack accordingly.
Do you need a visa?
British citizens and visitors from most countries don't need a visa to travel to Nicaragua. Instead they can purchase a tourist visa for up to three months on arrival in Nicaragua. You need to ensure you have at least six months validity on your passport from your date of entry and it's advisable to have an onward ticket booked, otherwise you can be refused entry, although most border crossings here are quite relaxed.
How can I get there?
There are no direct flights from the UK to Nicaragua. Instead, you will usually need to fly to the U.S. or Canada and take a connecting flight from there. Among the airlines that travel to Nicaragua from the UK with a stopover in North America are: American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Air Canada and United. Flight times will vary depending on where you stop to make your transfer to Nicaragua.
What is the local currency and what currency should I take?
The local currency is the Cordoba, but many places will also accept U.S. dollars. There are plenty of banks and hotels that can exchange currency for you. Most major credit cards are accepted in certain establishments around Nicaragua but not all. In rural areas you certainly shouldn't expect to be able to pay with a card, so make sure to carry some cash with you at all times.
What is there to see and do?
Nicaragua is a country of outstanding natural beauty and there is a lot to see and do here. Nature lovers will be spellbound by the incredible volcanoes, stunning lakes and beautiful coastline. There are amazing jungles, from tropical dry forest on the Pacific coast to the impressive expanses of cloud forest on the volcano and mountain slopes. There are lots of ways to discover these varied and stunning landscapes - you can go hiking or zip-lining through the tree canopy, take the plunge and scuba dive on either coastline or climb one of the numerous volcanoes. It's even possible to sandboard down the slopes of Cerro Negro, one of Nicaragua's 19 active volcanoes. Other adventurous activities include surfing, mountain biking and sport fishing. Among the nature reserves you should visit are the Los Guatuzos Wildlife Refuge and Indio Maiz Biological Reserve. There you can spot some of the hundreds of creatures that live in Nicaragua and really immerse yourself in the nation's natural rich
What is the food like in Nicaragua?
Nicaraguan food is quite varied, with meat, seafood and beans featuring in a lot of dishes. Fresh fish is easy to come by thanks to the country's proximity to two oceans, as well as its various lakes. Nicaragua produces excellent grass-fed beef, so the steaks are particularly tasty. Rice, corn and beans are other staples of Nicaraguan cooking - one of the local specialities is gallo pinto, a dish made from fried rice and red beans. The flavours used today have predominantly been taken from Creole and Spanish cooking.
What language is spoken in Nicaragua?
The official language in Nicaragua is Spanish. There are other regional dialects and languages spoken by many of the country's indigenous people; including Miskito, Rama, Miskito Coastal Creole, Garifuna, Sumo and Rama Cay Creole. In the Caribbean coast many Afro-Nicaraguans and creole speak English and Creole English as their first language, whilst also speaking fluent Spanish as a second language.
How much is the airport exit tax in Nicaragua?
Travellers have to pay a departure tax of USD$35 when leaving the country.
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Nicaragua looks to spruce up its tourism sector as it launches a new advertising campaign that encourages visitors to take part in authentic trips and tours. Titled "I like you just as you are", the campaign is designed to lure all kinds of travellers and emphasises on the country's three key points: Nicaragua's fascinating culture, stunning nature and friendly people.
The Nicaraguan Tourist Board has revealed a new annual plan that is aimed at increasing the number of UK travellers to the Central American country. Tourism officials are planning trips to the UK this year, plus collaboration agreements with airlines and tour operators, and events showcasing high end products such as coffee, chocolate, cigars, and rum.
The brand new Costanera Del Pacific highway in Nicaragua is scheduled to open this month, linking the south and south of the nation’s Pacific coast and connecting to several main tourist areas. The 131-kilometre highway will make it easier for tourists to visit the popular destinations of San Juan del Sur, El Naranjo, Ostional and Masachapa, while boosting tourism to the country.