Get to Know Nicaragua

Nicaragua, located at the heart of America is the ideal destiny for those who are looking for something entirely different.

Two seas, dozens of spectacular volcanoes, enormous lakes, magical lagoons, fabolous rivers, hundreds of animal species and plants, colonial villages, archeological treasures, natural marvels, crib to billiant men, lively music, intense nights, delicious typical dishes and much more reasons that, in addition to it's people's warmth, will make you fall in love with this land.

There's always a reason for you to come back to Nicaragua.

Nicaragua's name:

Nicaragua is an aboriginal word, with náhuatl root, wich was used during colonial times to name the territory that separates the Nicaragua Lake from the Pacific Ocean. The name was taken from the Nicarao Cacique, whom ruled the place during the arrival of the first conquerors. The term came to also apply, by extension, to the tribe that lived in the region: the Nicaraguas or Niquiranos.

Accepted Etymologies:

Nic-atl-nahuac: "Here by the water"

Nic Anahuac: "Here the Anahuac" or "the Anahuac from here".

The Nicaraos came from mexican lands after of Teotihuacán's fall, listening his priests' advice. According to the tradition, they had to head south and not to stop until they had found a lake with two volcanoes rising from the water.

How to get to Nicaragua:

Several international airlines such as American Airlines, Continental, Copa, Grupo Taca, Iberia and Sol Air, operate in Managua's International Airport. There are also national airlines such as La Costeña and Atlantic Airlines, that perform local flights.

Wardrobe:

Nicaragua is a warm tropical country. You should include light and fresh clothes. If you are heading the north area (Matagalpa, Estelí, Ocotal , etc) or are planning to climb a volcano, it is convenient for you to wear warm clothes. If you are visiting a mist jungle such as Mombacho or Maderas volcanoes you should use waterproof clothes and shoes.

Not to forget:

Camera, tanning lotion, sunblock lotion, swimsuit, a cap, mosquito repellent.

Travelling documentation:

Passport with a 6 months minimum validity, starting from the arrival date. Visa is not a requirement for visitors from most countries. Only a USD$5.00 tourist card is accquired while arriving Nicaragua at the airport.

Please consult the updated list for those countries that require visa.

If you would like to prolong your stay in our conutry, beyond what your tourist's card allows you to, you can ask for an extension at the immigration offices at Managua.

Shopping:

While visiting Nicaragua you can save a spot in your luggage to buy beautiful crafts, a hammoc, a carved sculpture among other souvenirs.

Don't forget to visit our shopping malls: Centro Comercial Managua, Metrocentro and Plaza Inter. And of course our crafts markets: Roberto Huembes and Masaya's market.

Taxes and tips:

The only tax the tourist pays in the country is IGV (Value-Added Tax) which is 15%.

Tips vary from 10% and 15%. Taxicabs don't receive tips. At hotels and at the airport USD$0.50 is a reasonable price for each bag.

Electricity:

110V, 60 Hz.

Driver's License:

Visitors to our country can use their country's driver's license for the 30 days following their arrival to Nicaragua.

Telephone Code:

Dial the international access number in your country, then add 505 and finally the 8 digits telephone number.

Converting your money to córdobas:

This can be made at the Banco de la Producción (bank) located at Managua's International Airport and at all banks and hotels. Most banks have branches in other cities than Managua on which you can convert your currencies to local currency. It's better to change US Dollars as other currencies are sometimes unavailable or hard to exchange.

Traveler's checks

In US dollars, they are also easy to exchange at local banks.

Credit cards:

Visa, Master Card, American Express are accepted on most estabilshments.

Press:

Nicaragua has two main newspapers and 13 TV channels. There are also several radio stations both public and governmental. Cable TV is also available almost nationwide, containing the main north american networks.

Work schedule:

Some government offices are open from monday through friday between 8:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. and from 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Private offices and banks share the similar scheduls and some even open on saturdays until 1:00 p.m.

How to move around Nicaragua:

There is a wide offer from car rental offices for you to travel to different places. You can travel in public transportation which is the perfect opportunity for those who are looking for the chance to explore and enjoy the nicaraguan idiosyncrasy in the urban areas or amongst cities and villages.

At Nicaragua Lake and San Juan River you will find ferry services and ships to travel to diverse destinies with touristic appeal.

National Airlines:

National airlines cover a vast number of destinies which include the caribbean islands.

Location:

Nicaragua is bordered on the north by Honduras, Costa Rica to the south, on the east by the Caribbean Sea and to the west by the Pacific Ocean.

Population:

Approximately 5.3 million habitants.

Extension:

130,668 km². It's the country with the mos land area in Central America.

Water surfaces

9,240 km² of the territory are covered by lakes and lagoons, from which Nicaragua lake takes up about 8,000 km², and Managua lake takes up about 1,000 km².

Usually, the lagoons are crater lakes, and are located in volcanoes that haven't been active since thousands of years.

Maximum height:

Dipilto-Jalapa cordillera, 2107m

Minimum height:

Sea level.

Language:

Spanish. In the Atlantic Coast English is spoken and mískito, among other native languages.

Weather:

The zone between the lakes and the Pacific is dry and has low rainfall. The temperatures vary between 27º C and 32º C during winter, comprehended between may and october and between 30º C and 35º C during summer, from november through april.

In the north and center of the country, the height due to the mountains allows you to enjoy a cooler weather which turns more humid towards east. From the center towards the Caribbean you can find a tropical rain forest weather, warm with frecuent rain.

Currency:

Córdoba Oro: ±C$33.07 = 1US$ (June 2019).

Ocasionally people refer to the currency as "peso" rather than córdoba.