Nicaragua Travel Information
Local time is GMT -6.
Electrical current in Nicaragua is 120 volts, 60Hz. Flat blade plugs are used.
The official language in Nicaragua is Spanish. Some communities on the Caribbean Coast speak indigenous languages. English is understood at some tourist destinations.
Tips of 10 to 15 percent are expected at restaurants in Nicaragua. Standard tipping is usual at hotels. Taxi drivers do not usually expect to be tipped.
Rural areas in Nicaragua are notably void of police and there has been a recent increase in crime in these areas. Theft and violent crime are also becoming more common in urban areas of the usually safe country. Travellers should be careful of muggings in taxis and only use official taxis with a red license plate.
Buses should not be used after dark. Due to poor road conditions, highway driving is especially dangerous after dark and should be avoided. Political demonstrations and protests occur sporadically in urban areas and can become violent; tourists should avoid all street gatherings.
Powerful waves and currents can make Nicaragua's beaches dangerous, and swimmers and surfers should exercise caution. Despite these risks, Nicaragua is still one of the safest countries to travel to in the region and most visits are trouble-free.
It is usual for adults in Nicaragua to live with their parents, and visitors should greet the oldest or most important person in a group first. When shopping, it is customary to bargain for goods.
The international access code for Nicaragua is +505. The outgoing code is 00, followed by the relevant country code (00 44 for the United Kingdom). The city area code for Managua is 2. Mobile phones operate on GSM and 3G networks. Local mobile phone calls are usually cheapest with locally bought SIM cards. Internet is widely available in all major cities, although the connection speed is sometimes slow.
Visitors to Nicaragua may import up to 400 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 500g of tobacco, five litres of liquor, 2kg of confectionary, and perfume for personal use. Meat, dairy, and leather products, as well as matches, are restricted. Firearms require an import license.