|Nicaragua has three regions which vary greatly in weather, geography, and population. These three areas are the Pacific Region, Central Region, and the Caribbean Region consisting of two sub-regions: the Autonomous North Atlantic Region (RAAN), and the Autonomous South Atlantic Region (RAAS). Situated at the very center of the Americas, Nicaragua is an ideal place to visit for anyone looking for something uniquely different and adventurous. In the heart of Central America, Nicaragua truly deserves the descriptive nickname of “The Land of Lakes and Volcanoes.” Visitors to Nicaragua are able to enjoy the natural beauty of dozens of volcanoes, rivers, and lakes, as well as two oceans.
Nicaragua offers an immense variety of activities such as visiting the Spanish colonial cities of Granada and Leon, surfing world-class waves, hiking up volcanoes, and zip-lining through the forest canopy. Ever-popular is the kayaking on the calm waters of Lake Cocibolca, also known as Lake Nicaragua, an immense lake with over three hundred islands and home to the only fresh water sharks in the world. Nicaragua is especially great for those interested in Eco-tourism as it is home to a rich diversity of animal and plant species.
The unparalleled natural beauty of Nicaragua is further enriched by its strong cultural heritage and legacy of warm and friendly hospitality. Nicaragua’s multi-ethnic and multi-lingual people take great pride in their culture and their country, and welcome visitors with open arms.
As a personal note regarding safety and travel within Nicaragua, we have been traveling here many, many times and have been bringing our son since he was 2 years old. As caring parents, we would never travel to a place that would endanger our son, so by us bringing him here (14 times and counting), that should speak volumes. We have NEVER had any issues what so ever with respects to personal safety or health issues (ex. Malaria, Dengue, Zika or food borne issues). You are in the tropics, so expect to see a scorpion, tarantula, ant eaters, monkeys, boas, deer and other insects and animals you most likely will not see in your home country (Canada / US specifically). We have found that the people of Nicaragua as a whole are some of the most friendly, warm and genuine people we have ever met.
For more general information, please see VisitNicaragua.
· Nicaragua, at 50,451 sq. mi. [slightly larger than the State of New York], is the largest country in Central America.
· Temperatures vary from 81-90°F (27-32°C) during the rainy season from May to October, and from 86-95°F (30-35°C) during the dry season from November to April. FYI, IT POURS IN OCTOBER, so don’t plan a trip during that month.
· According to statistics by Interpol and the United Nations, Nicaragua is one of the safest countries in the Americas and the safest in Central America.
· Spanish is the official language and is spoken by the vast majority of Nicaraguans. English and indigenous languages are used along the Caribbean coast and in parts of the Atlantic coastal plain. Many Nicaraguans also speak some English, especially in resort areas.
· For religion, 58% of the population is Roman Catholic; 42% practice other religions.
· The Córdoba (C$) is the official currency. Exchange rate: Approximately C$ 29.60 per US dollar (April 2017). Almost everybody will accept payment in US dollars, but you will most likely get change back in Córdoba’s. Major credit cards are accepted in larger establishments (ex. hotels, restaurants, and larger stores) but smaller establishments and many family restaurants only take cash. ** Note: If you bring bills larger than a $5, make sure they are in excellent condition with NO tears, NO marks or NO handwriting on them. The crisper / newer the better. Most merchants will NOT take a US bill that appears to have been damaged. I do not know why, it just is.
· Electricity in Nicaragua is 110 volts/60 cycles (same as the United States) and they use the same plug as in the US.
· The current entry tax is US $10 payable in US dollars or the equivalent in Córdoba’s. Checks and credit cards are not accepted as payment for entry tax.
· Sales tax (called IVA): 15% on all purchases.
· All visitors need a passport valid for at least six months to enter Nicaragua.
· It is said that the tap water in Managua is considered safe to drink, while it is most likely true, for my family we always drink bottled water. The only exceptions are restaurants that filter their water (the mid to higher end eateries) and at the resorts. Remember, that goes for ice too. The water is safe to drink at our house.
· Only in Nicaragua can you navigate through rivers and lakes from the Caribbean to the Pacific.