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Nicaragua: What you Need to Know Before You Go



I recently visited Nicaragua and noticed that there were significantly more Europeans than Americans exploring the country; this made me curious and motivated me to write this blog. Dear reader, why do you think that is? Could it be that Americans are less familiar with Nicaragua’s attractions? Or do they still carry unfortunate associations based on past relations? In this piece, I plan to provide helpful information for those who are not familiar with Nicaragua's offerings.

Let’s face it, the history between the US and Nicaragua was complicated – to put it mildly – decades ago. However, the relationship between the two countries has long since improved and become more cordial. Nonetheless, many Americans continue to overlook Nicaragua as a travel destination.

  • Lack of awareness: Many Americans simply aren't aware of what Nicaragua has to provide as a travel destination. This may be due to limited exposure in the media or the travel industry.

  • Safety concerns: Some Americans may perceive Nicaragua to be less safe than other countries in Central America. However, while there are certainly areas, like any country, that require caution, overall Nicaragua is a safe place to travel. In fact, the country has been working hard to improve safety and security to make it even safer for travelers. For example, most hostels in Nicaragua have a transportation system in place to help travelers get to and from activities and to other accommodations safely with drivers that are well trusted. Furthermore, of all the countries I visited in Central America, I felt the safest as a solo traveler in Nicaragua walking around at all hours. Don’t get me wrong, you should still be vigilant when you travel, but for the most part I never felt unsafe as a solo traveler while traveling around Nicaragua.

  • Accessibility: Nicaragua may seem less accessible to Americans due to limited direct flights and travel options, but don't let that discourage you from visiting. With proper planning, you can reach Nicaragua just as easily as I did by flying from Boston to Miami and then to Managua.

Let's address some more questions you might have:

Q: Why should I visit Nicaragua?

A: Nicaragua is a destination that has plenty for visitors. From stunning beaches ideal for swimming and surfing, to colonial cities and natural attractions like volcanoes and lakes, there's no shortage of things to see and do. You can also enjoy breathtaking sunsets, tree-house parties, and even the unique experience of volcano boarding. And, with friendly and welcoming locals, your trip is sure to be even more enjoyable.


Q: Is Nicaragua affordable?

A: Nicaragua is a budget-friendly travel destination in Central America, offering lower costs for food, accommodation, and activities compared to other countries in the region. Local meals are available for $4 to $10, and if you are not in a hurry you can take public transportation (chicken bus) for less than $2. Buses and taxis are the most common and affordable options. You may not know this, but Nicaragua has a hostel culture, which means you can find more hostels than hotels. I had the pleasure of staying in some really cool, and comfortable hostels ranging from $22 to $45 per night for a private room with bathroom and breakfast included. Shared dorm rooms are also available for as low as $8 per night.

Q: What is the food like in Nicaragua?

A: The food in this region has a mix of indigenous, Spanish, and Afro-Caribbean influences, resulting in a diverse cuisine. Gallo pinto, a dish made of rice and beans, and Vigoron, boiled yuca with pork rinds and cabbage salad, are two popular examples. My personal favorite is Gallo pinto, which during my trip I ate at least twice a day.

Q: What is the best time of the year to visit Nicaragua?

A: Dry season is from December to April and is generally the best time to visit Nicaragua. However, this is also peak tourist season and prices may be higher. I visited during the rainy season, and got lucky, because it did not rain at all, and it was more affordable.

Q: What is the local currency in Nicaragua?

A: In Nicaragua, the local currency is Cordoba. I would recommend that you have both Cordobas and dollars on hand for convenience.


Q: What language do they speak in Nicaragua?

A: Mainland Nicaragua's official language is Spanish, while creole is spoken on the Caribbean coast. Don't fret if your Spanish is not fluent, as most of the locals who work with tourists are proficient in English. Nonetheless, why not make an effort and learn some basic Spanish terms – si!

Overall, Nicaragua is a charming destination that everyone including Americans should visit. Its natural beauty, vibrant culture, and welcoming people make it a hidden gem worth discovering. So, if you are looking for an adventure off the beaten path, and you are still debating whether to go - GO! Or VAMOS!


To get detailed information about my trip including accommodation options and recommended activities, keep an eye out for another upcoming blog post about Nicaragua.

Thank you for reading and don’t forget to leave a like or comment and share this blog with someone who may find it helpful.



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