General FAQ's about Nicaragua.
Q: Where is Nicaragua located?
- Nicaragua is found in Central America. Nicaraguaâ€™s neighbor to the north is Honduras and to the south, Costa Rica. To the west it borders to Pacific Ocean and to the east the Caribbean Sea. Nicaragua is roughly the size of the state of New York and is home to the largest fresh water lake in Central America and the 20th largest in the world.
Q: How do I get to Nicaragua and do I need a visa?
- Nicaragua is serviced by American Airlines, Continental, Taca, Copa and Delta. All international flights arrive in the capital city of Managua with the exception of Nature Air flights from Granada to Costa Rica. It is also possible to travel to Nicaragua by land. There are many border crossings from both Costa Rica and Honduras.
- A valid passport is necessary to enter Nicaragua. It is not necessary to have a visa to enter Nicaragua. However, a tourist card must be purchased on arrival for $5. This tourist card is valid for a stay in Nicaragua of up to 90 days.
Q: What is the weather like in Nicaragua?
- Nicaragua has 3 distinct regions: the Pacific, the Atlantic and the northern mountains.
- There are two seasons on the pacific coast of Nicaragua. The dry season which is from December to April and the rainy season which is from May to November. In the dry season it rarely rains in Nicaragua and in the rainy season it will rain for a portion of most days. October is by far the wettest month in Nicaragua. The average yearly temperature on the pacific coast of Nicaragua is 81Â° F (27Â° C) with an average rainfall of 75 inches annually.
- It is much wetter on the Atlantic coast of Nicaragua. Annual precipitation averages almost 150 inches and the average temperature is 79Â°F (26Â°C). There is a rainy season which lasts about 9 months on the Atlantic coast of Nicaragua with a dry season from March through May. In the northern mountains temperatures are much cooler with an average of 64Â°F (18Â°C).
Q: When is the best time to visit Nicaragua?
- Nicaragua appreciates very mild weather most of the year. There are only a few months out of the year when it is too rainy or too hot to visit. At the end of the Dry season (november - april) it can be very hot and dusty in Nicaragua. Although these seasons are the best in the Atlantic Coast, the vegetation is normally dried out and the heat is intense.
The months of May to October comes with an intense amount of rain. It will normally rain everyday and for most of the day. The rest of the rainy season is characterized by daily showers, which break up the sun, but October can have constant rain the whole month. This makes roads difficult to pass and sunny days are few.
- May- September and November through Februrary are really the two best seasons to visit Nicaragua. Peak conditions for surfing are in June through August. November through February boasts a nice breeze, green vegetation, mild temperatures with little or no rain.
Q: What currency is used in Nicaragua and where do I get it?
- Nicaragua uses the Cordoba. One American dollar is worth approximately 18.9 cordobas. Dollars are also readily acceptable in most places in Nicaragua. Be sure to have smaller denominations, ($10s or $20s) as most businesses will not accept large bills. It is also important to note that the local banks are very picky about the condition of dollars. Be sure that the dollars you bring are crisp and in near perfect shape. All Nicaraguan banks will exchange dollars for cordobas. Normal bank hours in Nicaragua are from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Be advised that there are many holidays in Nicaragua and banks will close for a few days at a time without much warning.
- There are many ATM machines throughout Nicaragua and most businesses accept major credit cards.
Q: Do I need to bring cash or Traveler Checks?
- No. In most major towns in Nicaragua there are several banks and ATMS. You will actually have to pay a fee of 5-10% to change travelerâ€™s check so we recommend using ATMS to get Dollars or Cordobas. Most places (restaurants, bars, hotels, rental cars, etc.) accept Visa, Mastercard or AMEX.
Q: What type of electrical current do they use in Nicaragua?
- In Nicaragua 110 volts standard American plugs are used.
Q: How are the roads in Nicaragua?
- The road from Managua to San Juan del Sur is in great.
- The roads that lead to the beaches north and south of San Juan del Sur are dirt roads. It is highly recommended that you rent a 4-wheel drive vehicle to access these beaches. Click here to look at the rental car options. The condition of the roads varies greatly from the rainy season to the dry season.
Q: How far is Leon from Managua?
- Leon is about 90 KM north of Managua. The drive will take you about 90 minutes depending on how fast you drive.
Q: Is there good medical care in Nicaragua?
- San Juan del Sur has a rudimentary health clinic. There is a hospital in Rivas, approximately 30 minutes from San Juan del Sur. The best medical care is found in Managua at the Hospital Metropolitano Vivian Pellas.
- This facility provides first class medical service with state of the art equipment.
Q: Is Nicaragua safe?
- The answer is yes! Nicaragua is the safest country in Central America and among the safest in the world. According to a survey conducting by the UN, Nicaragua is the second safest county in Latin America, behind Uruguay. Crime is very low in Nicaragua and people are very friendly.
- The only real problems we have seen is with petty theft, so donâ€™t leave your camera, cash or other valuables on the beach while you take a dip in the ocean, lock your car when you park it, etc. etc.
Q: Is there good surf in Northern Nicaragua?
- The waves are incredible and many of them you will find empty. Wind is always good in the morning and many days offshore winds hold up all day.
Q: Is there anywhere to rent surf boards in Northern Nicaragua?
- There are many places you can rent boards in the North. Contact Aurora Leon we can point you in the right direction according to your travel plans.