What makes Nicaragua Unique

Nicaragua is a unique travel destination due to its natural beauty, rich culture, and laid-back vibe. The country is known for its stunning volcanoes, pristine lakes, and beautiful beaches, as well as its colonial architecture and vibrant arts and crafts scene. Nicaragua is also a great destination for adventure seekers, with opportunities for surfing, hiking, and eco-tourism. With its warm and friendly people and delicious cuisine, Nicaragua offers a truly authentic and unforgettable travel experience.

Top Highlights in Nicaragua


Nicaragua is known for producing high-quality coffee, and visitors can tour coffee farms and sample the local brew.

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Indigenous Culture

Nicaragua is home to many indigenous communities with unique cultures and traditions that visitors can learn about and experience.

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Mombacho Volcano Nature Reserve

Volcano Nature Reserve: A nature reserve with hiking trails, stunning views, and opportunities to see wildlife such as monkeys and sloths.

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Cerro Negro Volcano

An active volcano near Leon that is popular for hiking and sandboarding down its slopes.

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Corn Islands

Two small Caribbean islands with pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and a relaxed island vibe.

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A historic city with beautiful architecture, cultural landmarks, and a lively arts scene.

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San Juan del Sur

A laid-back beach town with a beautiful bay and a popular destination for surfing and other water activities.

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Masaya Volcano National Park

A national park with an active volcano, lava fields, and stunning views.

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Ometepe Island

A volcanic island located in Lake Nicaragua, with beautiful scenery and opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking and kayaking.

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A beautiful colonial city with colourful buildings, historic landmarks, and a relaxed atmosphere.

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Travel Ideas for Nicaragua

Discover Nicaragua's Natural Wonders and Rich Culture

Your journey begins in Managua, from where you’ll head to the highlands of Matagalpa. After picking up your rental car, you'll make your way to Hotel Selva Negra, nestled in the cloud forest. Here, you can unwind among the peaceful surroundings, take in the cool mountain air, and explore the beautiful property on your own. Keep your eyes peeled for agoutis, and maybe even spot the majestic quetzal bird with its long, shimmering feathers. On your second day, you'll rise early to catch the misty morning in the cloud forest, join a bird watching tour and hike quietly through the woods to spot colourful and rare animals like toucans and the elusive quetzal bird. Spend the rest of the day at your leisure, soaking up the beauty of the area, or book an optional excursion. Your journey continues to León, where you'll stop by the volcanic fields of San Jacinto. Marvel at the bubbling mud holes that are fed by the nearby Telica volcano before heading to León, one of Nicaragua's most beautiful cities. With your local guide, you'll explore the colonial buildings and many churches of the former capital of Nicaragua, including the largest cathedral in Central America. The rest of your time in León is yours to explore at your own pace or book optional excursions. One option is to climb the active Cerro Negro volcano, one of Nicaragua's youngest and most active. You'll be rewarded with breath-taking views of the area and the smoking crater, and can even sandboard down the slopes. Your journey then takes you to Granada, located at the foot of the Mombacho volcano. On the way, you can stop by the ruins of León Viejo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and admire the views of Lake Managua and the Momotombo and Momotombito volcanoes. Another stop is the Masaya Volcano National Park, where you can explore the active Santiago crater and hike through the volcanic landscape. Finally, you'll have some free time to explore Granada, a fantastic base for excursions to nearby attractions like the Mombacho National Park or the Laguna de Apoyo crater lake. You can also visit the nearby pueblo blanco of San Juan de Oriente to purchase fine ceramics or enjoy the peace of this charming artist village.

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Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Nicaragua is during the dry season from December to April, when the weather is dry and sunny, and there is little rainfall. This is an ideal time to explore the country's cities and towns, as well as its natural wonders, such as the beaches, volcanoes, and lakes.

The dry season is also the high season for tourism, so prices can be higher, and there may be more crowds. If you want to avoid the crowds and get better deals, consider travelling during the shoulder season from May to July, or the rainy season from August to November. The rainy season can be challenging for some travellers due to the high humidity and occasional heavy rains, but it's also a time when the landscapes are lush and green.

Nicaragua has a rich cultural heritage, with many festivals and celebrations throughout the year. Some of the most popular events include the San Sebastian Festival in January, the Granada International Poetry Festival in February, and the Santo Domingo de Guzman Festival in August.

If you are interested in wildlife, the best time to visit Nicaragua is from December to April when the dry weather makes it easier to spot animals in the forests and nature reserves.

Overall, Nicaragua is a destination that can be visited year-round, but the best time to visit depends on your interests and preferences. The dry season from December to April is the most popular time to visit, but the shoulder season and rainy season can also be rewarding for those who don't mind a little rain and humidity.

Important Information for Your Travel Plans

Special Travel Tips from our Experts

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Where to Stay

Nicaragua offers a range of accommodation options for travellers. Here are some examples:

  • Hotels: Nicaragua has a variety of hotels, from budget to luxury. Some popular hotel chains in the country include Marriott, Hilton, and Intercontinental. Boutique hotels are also popular, particularly in cities like Granada and Leon.
  • Eco-Lodges: Nicaragua has many eco-lodges that offer a more sustainable and nature-focused experience. These are particularly popular in the rainforest and around Lake Nicaragua.
  • Guesthouses: Guesthouses, or posadas, are a popular option in Nicaragua, particularly in smaller towns and rural areas. These are typically small, family-owned establishments that offer a more personalised experience.
  • Haciendas: Haciendas, or historic estates, are a unique accommodation option in Nicaragua. Many of these have been converted into hotels, offering a glimpse into Nicaragua's rich history and culture.
  • Glamping: For a unique and luxurious experience, travellers can try glamping in Nicaragua. There are several glamping sites around the country that offer comfortable tents and facilities such as hot tubs and outdoor showers.
  • Surf Camps: For those looking for a surfing adventure, Nicaragua has several surf camps that offer accommodation, surf lessons, and guided surf trips.

Getting Around

Nicaragua is a beautiful country with a rich culture and history. Here are some ways to travel around Nicaragua:

  • By Bus: Buses are a popular and affordable way to get around Nicaragua, with many companies operating services between major cities and towns. The buses can be crowded and uncomfortable, but they offer a unique experience and a chance to interact with locals.
  • By Taxi: Taxis are widely available in Nicaragua, and can be a convenient way to get around, especially in cities. It's important to negotiate the fare in advance, as taxis do not always use metres.
  • By Car: Renting a car can be a good option for exploring Nicaragua at your own pace, especially if you plan to visit more remote areas. However, be aware that driving in Nicaragua can be challenging, and road conditions can be poor in some areas.
  • By Bicycle: If you enjoy cycling, Nicaragua is a great destination for cycling tours, especially in rural areas. There are several tour operators that offer guided tours and equipment rental.
  • By Boat: Nicaragua's many lakes and rivers offer plenty of opportunities for boat tours and island hopping, with many companies offering day trips and longer tours.

Travel Themes Most Common for Nicaragua

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Local Cuisine

Nicaraguan cuisine is a blend of indigenous and Spanish influences, with a focus on fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. Here are some of the most popular local foods to try in Nicaragua:

  • Gallo Pinto: A popular dish made with rice and beans, typically served for breakfast.
  • Nacatamal: A traditional Nicaraguan tamale made with masa (corn dough), meat, and vegetables, wrapped in a banana leaf and steamed.
  • Vigorón: A dish of boiled yuca (cassava), topped with pork rinds and a cabbage salad.
  • Quesillo: A popular snack made with a fresh tortilla, cheese, and onions, often served with sour cream.
  • Indio Viejo: A traditional stew made with meat, vegetables, and masa, giving it a thick, hearty consistency.
  • Sopa de Mondongo: A soup made with tripe (cow's stomach) and vegetables, often served with rice.
  • Carne Asada: Grilled or roasted beef, often served with gallo pinto and plantains.
  • Tostones: Fried plantain slices that are commonly served as a side dish or snack.

Other local specialties in Nicaragua include Rondon, a seafood soup made with coconut milk, and Rosquillas, a type of crunchy, savoury biscuit often enjoyed with coffee. Don't forget to try the famous Nicaraguan coffee, which is known for its rich, full-bodied flavour.

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Festivals & Public Holidays

Nicaragua is a country with a rich cultural heritage, and there are several festivals and holidays that are celebrated throughout the year. Here are some noteworthy ones:

  • Semana Santa: Also known as Holy Week, Semana Santa is a religious celebration that takes place in the week leading up to Easter Sunday. In Nicaragua, it is celebrated with processions, parades, and other events that commemorate the passion and death of Jesus Christ.
  • Fiestas Patronales: Celebrated in different towns and cities throughout the year, Fiestas Patronales are religious festivals that honour the patron saint of the town or city. The festivities typically include parades, concerts, and other cultural events.
  • La Purisima: This is a popular religious celebration in Nicaragua that takes place in December. It involves singing carols, lighting candles, and decorating altars in honour of the Virgin Mary.
  • Carnaval de Managua: The Carnaval de Managua is a vibrant celebration that takes place in the capital city every December.

When to Start Planning your Trip

Currency & Payment

The official currency of Nicaragua is the Nicaraguan córdoba (NIO), which is divided into 100 centavos.

Cash is the most commonly used form of payment in Nicaragua, especially for smaller transactions. Credit and debit cards are accepted at some hotels, restaurants, and larger shops in urban areas, but it's always a good idea to carry some cash, especially when travelling outside of major cities. Some international cards such as Visa and Mastercard are accepted in Nicaragua, but their acceptance is limited, and you should check with your bank beforehand.

There are also some electronic payment options available in Nicaragua, such as mobile payments and bank transfers, but these are not as widely used as cash.

When exchanging foreign currency in Nicaragua, it's recommended to do so at banks, currency exchange offices, or ATMs rather than on the street. ATMs are widely available in major cities, but they may be less common in smaller towns and rural areas. It's important to bear in mind that some banks and exchange offices may not accept certain types of foreign currency, so it's best to check in advance.

It's also worth noting that US dollars are widely accepted in Nicaragua, especially in tourist areas and for larger transactions. However, it's recommended to carry small denominations of US dollars, as larger bills may be difficult to break.


Nicaragua has experienced political and social unrest in recent years, and the security situation in the country remains volatile. Travellers should exercise caution and stay informed about the latest developments before travelling to Nicaragua.

Political demonstrations and protests have been ongoing in Nicaragua since 2018, and travellers should be aware that these protests can sometimes become violent. Travellers should avoid large gatherings or protests, and should stay informed about the situation through local media sources.

Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and theft, can occur in tourist areas and crowded places in Nicaragua, particularly in Managua and other major cities. Travellers should be vigilant with their belongings and avoid displaying valuables in public. It is also advisable to use a money belt or a secure bag to store important documents and money.

Nicaragua also has a history of violent crime, including armed robbery and assault, particularly in urban areas. Travellers should exercise caution when using public transportation, especially at night, and should avoid travelling alone in remote areas.

In addition, the U.S. government has issued travel advisories warning U.S. citizens about the risk of arbitrary arrest and detention by Nicaraguan authorities, particularly those involved in civil society or independent media. Travellers should be aware that their communications and activities may be monitored by the authorities, and should avoid any activity that could be perceived as political.

Overall, while Nicaragua can be a rewarding destination for adventurous travellers, the security situation in the country is complex and travellers should exercise caution and stay informed about the latest developments before travelling to Nicaragua.

Visa & Immigration Rules

EU citizens travelling to Nicaragua for tourism or business purposes do not require a visa for stays of up to 90 days. 

In general, EU citizens travelling to Nicaragua are required to have a valid passport, with at least six months validity remaining beyond their intended stay. Additionally, travellers may be asked to provide evidence of onward travel, such as a return ticket, as well as proof of sufficient funds to cover their stay.

Upon arrival in Nicaragua, travellers may be subject to a health screening, which may include a temperature check and/or COVID-19 testing. It is recommended that travellers also obtain travel insurance to cover any medical expenses while in Nicaragua.

It is important to check with the Nicaraguan embassy or consulate in your home country for the most up-to-date information on entry requirements and any necessary documentation, as these requirements can change at any time.

Health & Hygiene

As a tourist, it is important to take care of your health and well-being during your stay in Nicaragua. Here are some tips:

  • Medical check-up: Before travelling to Nicaragua, it is important to consult with your doctor for a medical check-up to ensure that you are fit for travel.
  • Vaccinations: You should ensure that your routine vaccinations are up-to-date, including tetanus, measles, mumps, and rubella. Additional vaccinations, such as hepatitis A and B, may be recommended depending on the areas you will be visiting and the duration of your stay. Consult with your Tripedeo Travel Expert or your doctor for recommendations.
  • Food and water safety: To avoid food and water-borne illnesses, you should only drink bottled or boiled water and avoid ice in drinks. You should also avoid street food and only eat food that has been cooked thoroughly.
  • Hygiene: It is important to practise good hygiene during your trip to Nicaragua, including washing your hands frequently with soap and water or using hand sanitizer when necessary.
  • Mosquito-borne illnesses: Some areas of Nicaragua are at risk for mosquito-borne illnesses such as dengue fever, Zika virus, and chikungunya. Use insect repellent, wear long sleeves and trousers, and use mosquito nets in areas where these illnesses are prevalent.
  • Sun protection: Nicaragua has a sunny climate, and it is important to protect yourself from the sun by wearing sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses.
  • Medical facilities: Nicaragua has some medical facilities, but they may not be up to the standards of those in developed countries. Medical treatment can also be expensive, and it is recommended that you have travel health insurance before your trip.

Additionally, it is important to be aware of Nicaragua's specific regulations regarding medications and medical supplies. Some medications may not be available in Nicaragua, and some medical supplies may require a special permit. It is recommended that you check with your Tripedeo Travel Expert before your trip.

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