IMPORTANT THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE GOING TO NICARAGUA

  • August 19, 2018

Backpacking through Nicaragua in Central America is quite an adventure. If you are planning a trip, there are few things first-time visitors should know before arriving. First of all, be prepared for truly amazing landscapes, many different animal species, and breathtaking views! There really is something for everyone who decides to visit Nicaragua. Ready guys? Let’s start!

Nicaragua

Arriving in Nicaragua

The entry fee to Nicaragua is $10 USD. Customs is really easy to clear, but some officers may ask for proof of onward travel to a different country. We booked our airplane tickets for Costa Rica one day before landing in order to avoid any difficulties with entry.  You can stay in Nicaragua for 90 days. There is a terminal for credit card payments, but I recommend coming prepared with cash just in case.

Best time to visit Central America

In my opinion, February-March-April is the best time for visiting Nicaragua. Nicaragua’s dry season is typically between December and April, while July and August are often the wettest months (be ready for more insect these months). We landed in February and left at the end of April — the last few days were extremely hot 24/7. We were so happy we left right before the hottest season in Nicaragua. Anyways, this country can be enjoyed almost year-round! :)

Rent a car/motorbike if you can drive

Otherwise it will be very difficult to do grocery shopping in the middle of jungle, if you don't want to spent large amounts of money in restaurants or paying taxi drivers. All depending on your budget, of course. Many places aren't in walkable distance and the nearest place for shopping looked like this. We did not rent a car, but fortunately the owner of the house we stayed in was extremely helpful and took us wherever we needed. Shuttled were also nearby, but I still recommend renting a vehicle for smooth relocations. Next time I visit Nicaragua, I’m definitely going to rent a car.

Nicaragua shopping

Be VERY careful on the roads!

The roads are an adventure. While there, I witnessed a car accident with two dead bodies. This is my worst and saddest Nicaraguan memory and it is deeply frozen in my mind. It was horrific to witness but the real horror was seeing life spontaneously cease. I also saw crazy people hooked behind the car on a main road in-line SKATING in full speed. My face was pale. It was crazy… You seriously need to be more careful wherever you are. Also, crossing roads there is dangerous. Nicaraguan drivers never stop when you want to cross the road, people just jump in front of the car and run. 

Negotiate a taxi price, otherwise you will get bamboozled

One time, we got a ride from Selina district to SJDS for a super cheap price – 100 cordobas ($3). Then another time, a taxi driver offered us same ride, with the same distance, for 25$. That's absurd. Most of them don't even know how much to ask for ride so try to negotiate and don't get fooled. We asked our house owner about the usual price for a certain distance and we generally knew what to expect. Being able to speak Spanish is a huge advantage in this case. Good luck, guys and always wear your seatbelt. And as always, do some local research before you go.

Speak Spanish or at least try to learn the basics

Spanish is widely spoken in Nicaragua. I went there with no basics and I fully regret that I’d learnt nothing in the past. I never got a chance to study Spanish, but for every traveler in this country —  you'll need to communicate with waitresses, taxi drivers, shopkeepers, Airbnb hosts, or even random people when asking for directions. We met very few people in our three months there who spoke English. Slowly, we learned some basics for all necessary phrases - but you know how crucial it is when you want to talk with someone and you just can't due to language barrier.

Keep your expensive things out of sight.

Nicaragua is a friendly country and one of the safest in Central America, HOWEVER, there is petty crime. For instance, the chicken bus experience is not to be missed if visiting Central America. There are sometimes chickens along with pickpockets and you really don't want to lose your expensive camera, right? Once when we were traveling on a chicken bus I hid my phone in my bra!! :D Yes, it's better to not attract attention to your expensive things, especially since you are standing out already because of your different nationality. Just put everything in your backpack and keep it out of sight. :)



I hope you guys enjoyed this post! Happy travels to y'all! :)

6 comments:

  1. I really like the idea of trying to speak a little Spanish (or whatever the local language is) when you travel. It shows that you're trying to learn more about the country. I think backpacking through Nicaragua would be so much fun and a great way to brush up on all of the Spanish classes I took in high school. Good idea to negotiate a taxi price ahead of time!

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  2. Wow, I found new place for vacation! Thanks for sharing!

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  3. Nicaragua sounds wonderful! I'd love to do a trip throughout Central America.

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  4. One of my favorite things to do in a foreign country is rent a moped!! I would love to visit here!

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  5. Got all nostalgic seeing that first picture of the Toñas. For some reason I just really loved the design of the cans haha. Nicaragua's a great country

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  6. Nicargua sounds a great place to visit. I would love to add it to my list when I travel to central America.

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