Nicaragua

Central America’s largest, but least densely populated, country overflows with natural beauty. It can be hard to choose between chatting with monkeys, climbing volcanoes or picking a banana straight from the tree. The locals are incredibly welcoming and you’ll find new friends at every turn.

Nicaragua Tours & Travel

Top deals in Nicaragua

Departing Days Price AUD
20 Dec 2014 Nicaragua Discovery 8 $760

All our Nicaragua trips

Explore Nicaragua

8 days from
USD $1,400
CAD $1,420
AUD $1,475
EUR €1,025
GBP £880
NZD $1,740
ZAR R13,370
CHF FR1,260

Delve into the natural beauty of Central America. Explore colonial Granada, Ometepe Island and all the wonders of...

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Nicaragua Discovery

8 days from
USD $725
CAD $735
AUD $760
EUR €565
GBP £460
NZD $905
ZAR R6,905
CHF FR700

Become engrossed in the stunning landscapes, enthralling history and artistic culture of Nicaragua on a trip from...

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Nicaragua trip reviews

Our Nicaragua trips score an average of 5 out of 5 based on 3 reviews in the last year.

Nicaragua Discovery, March 2014

Nicaragua Discovery, March 2014

Articles on Nicaragua

Move over Mexico: 7 awesome foods from Central America

Posted on Fri, 12 Sep 2014 by Louise Burton

Move over Mexico, your neighbours have some pretty sensational tastebud pleasers of their own.

Read more

6 must-see festivals in Central America

Posted on Tue, 27 May 2014 by Sue Elliot

Whether you're after a raucous street party, holy vigil or flamboyant parade, there is a festival to enjoy every month in Mexico and Central America.

Read more

About Nicaragua

At a glance

Trips Available: 10
Capital city: Managua (population 1.8 million)
Population: 5.9 million
Language: Spanish
Currency: NIO
Time zone: (GMT-06:00) Central America
Electricity: Type A (North American/Japanese 2-pin) Type B (American 3-pin)
Dialing code: +505

Best time to visit Nicaragua

There are three distinct regions in Nicaragua: the Pacific coastal area, the north central mountains and the Caribbean lowlands, also know as the Mosquito Coast. Temperatures and rainfall vary depending on the region. Typically, the dry season is from December to May. Between June and October, the countryside is lush and fresh but humid. March and April are the hottest months, even in the north central mountain area. The Mosquito Coast experiences heavy rainfall even in the dry season.

nicaragua weather map chart

Geography and environment

Central America’s largest country is blessed with one of the most pristine and varied landscapes in the region. Most famous are its perfect coastlines (both Caribbean and Pacific) and Lake Nicaragua with its 310 islands. There are jungles, volcanoes and beaches to explore and with Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south, Nicaragua is in good company.

Top Picks

Top 5 Island Experiences in Nicaragua

1. Beach Bliss

Lying back on a perfect sandy beach is, quite literally, the least you could do while in paradise. For slightly more strenuous activities, take a dive into the Caribbean, Pacific or Lake Nicaraguan waters; or get to know the fishermen as they haul in their daily catch.

2. Get Fruity

Head inland to taste the real treats of Ometepe’s volcanic soil. Wander through watermelon crops, pick bananas off the tree, inhale the smell of citrus and gaze over miles of coffee plantations.

3. Climb a Volcano

If those steamy peaks have you hankering after toasted marshmallows, pack your sense of adventure and head uphill. Volcano Maderas reaches 1340m and a climb up here is certainly not for the faint hearted.

4. Monkey Around

Go on safari, island-style, and spot howler monkeys, colorful parrots and diverse plant life.

5. Go Petroglyph-ing

The call of Lake Nicaragua’s islands have been attracting people for centuries. Discover cultural artefacts strewn across the islands and try to decipher the petroglyphs’ meaning.

FAQs on Nicaragua

Tipping isn’t expected in Nicaragua but if you’ve received good service consider a 10% tip. Some high-end restaurants may include a service charge on your bill.
There are plenty of internet cafes available in the main towns.
Reception is good in most coastal and urban areas. Ensure you have global roaming activated with your carrier if you wish to use your phone.
It's likely that you’ll encounter different types of toilets while travelling in Nicaragua. Western-style flushable toilets are commonly found in high-end resorts, hotels and restaurants, while squat toilets are common in rural areas and homes. Be prepared by carrying your own supply of toilet paper and soap, as these aren't always provided.
Bottle of soft drink = 20 NIO
Beer in a bar or restaurant = 25 NIO
Simple lunch = 75 NIO
Three-course meal = 150 NIO
Short taxi ride = 50 NIO
Drinking tap water in Nicaragua isn’t recommended. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water. It's also advisable to avoid ice in drinks and peel fruit and vegetables before eating.
Credit cards are widely accepted.
There’s good access to ATMs in nearly all towns and cities.
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of your trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance
Jan 1 New Year’s Day
Mar 28 Holy Thursday
Mar 29 Good Friday
May 1 Labour Day
Jul 19 Sandinista Revolution Anniversary
Sep 14 Battle of San Jacinto
Sep 15 Independence Day
Nov 2 All Souls’ Day
Dec 8 Immaculate Conception
Dec 25 Christmas Day

Please note these dates are for 2013. For a current list of public holidays go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/Nicaragua/public-holidays
NICARAGUA:
Australia: Not required
Belgium: Not required
Canada: Not required
Germany: Not required
Ireland: Not required
Netherlands: Not required
New Zealand: Not required
South Africa: Not required
Switzerland: Not required
United Kingdom: Not required
USA: Not required

Please note that although a visa is not required, holders of British, US, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, and most EU passports are now required to pay US$10 for a tourist card on arrival.

Health and Safety

Intrepid takes the health and safety of its travellers seriously, and takes every measure to ensure that trips are safe, fun and enjoyable for everyone. We recommend that all travellers check with their government or national travel advisory organisation for the latest information before departure:

From Australia?

Go to: http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/

From New Zealand?

Go to: http://www.safetravel.govt.nz/

From Canada?

Go to: http://www.voyage.gc.ca/

From US?

Go to: http://travel.state.gov/

From UK?

Go to: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/

The World Health Organisation

also provides useful health information:
Go to: http://www.who.int/en/

Responsible Travel

Nicaragua Travel Tips

Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.

Top responsible travel tips for Nicaragua

1. Be considerate of Nicaragua’s customs, traditions, religion and culture.

2. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water instead.

3. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.

4. When bargaining at markets, stay calm, be reasonable and keep a smile on your face. It's meant to be fun!

5. Learn some local language and don't be afraid to use it - simple greetings will help break the ice.

6. Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.

7. Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals.

8. Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.

9. When on community visits or homestays, refrain from giving gifts or money to locals.

Further reading

Recommended reading

Title Author
The Jaguar Smile: A Nicaraguan JourneySalman Rushdie
Nicaragua: Living in the Shadow of the EagleThomas W. Walker
Culture & Politics in NicaraguaSteven White