Nicaragua is a country located in Central America with name that begins with letter N. The fact that Nicaragua is called the “land of 1000 volcanoes” is of course an exaggeration. But at least there are 19 mountains of fire that tower up to 2000 m high along the Pacific coast and spew ash. The extinct volcanoes of the Cordillera Isabelia in the north on the border with Honduras are even higher than the active ones, including the Mogotón, which is the highest mountain in the Central American country at 2,438 m.
Nicaragua can offer varied landscapes and a rich flora and fauna. Rare big cats like the ocelot and various species of monkeys live in the rainforests. The trees are home to exotic birds: parrots, hummingbirds and toucans. And an energy-rich fruit thrives that, when dried and roasted, gives life the vitality it needs: coffee. But bananas, cocoa and tobacco are also export goods.
Citizens of German-speaking countries only need a passport, which must be valid for at least six months. Proof of a yellow fever vaccination is required when entering via some Latin American countries. More detailed information can be found on the websites of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Foreign Office.
In Nicaragua there are summer temperatures of around 30 degrees all year round. The best time to travel is the dry season from December to May. Precipitation levels are also lower in July and August. In the rainy season the sun often shines, but the humidity is then very high. Hurricanes can also occur.
Food and drink
The “spotted rooster”, Gallo Pinto, is a popular breakfast dish in Nicaragua and in the southern neighboring country of Costa Rica: the bean-rice mixture is complemented with various side dishes from toast to bacon. Another national dish is the roulade nacatamal wrapped in plantain leaves. The filling consists of cornmeal, pork or chicken and various vegetables. The Latin American fish stew ceviche, which is enjoyed cold, is also one of the country’s specialties. Juices made from tropical fruits such as mango or papaya are preferred. And of course coffee.
Nicaragua is a colorful, lively country, and like almost everywhere in Latin America, emphasis is placed on a well-groomed appearance. The majority of the population has Native American-European or Indian ancestry. Among the seven larger indigenous peoples, the Chorotega with over 220,000 members and the Miskitu with over 150,000 people are the largest. Around 5% of Nicaraguans or Nicas have African ancestry.
In the rainy season between June and November in particular, it is important to have effective insect protection in order to avoid tropical diseases. Furthermore, one should pay attention to appropriate food and drinking water hygiene in order to prevent intestinal infections. It is recommended that you bring a personal first-aid kit with you. We also recommend taking out travel health insurance, as Nicaragua does not have any social security agreements with German-speaking countries. The medical standard in the country cannot be compared with Europe.
Property crimes are unfortunately not uncommon. Therefore, we recommend the globally recommended rules of conduct for tourists: Do not carry expensive jewelry and only small amounts of cash with you and exercise a healthy understanding of human nature when dealing with strangers. Individual travelers should also keep an eye on information about volcanic activities and any hurricane warnings.
Climate and travel time
Tropical to subtropical climate, the dry season lasts from December to April. On the Atlantic coast, however, there is precipitation all year round.
Nicaragua is in the cyclone-endangered zone. The hurricane season generally lasts from June to November. There are therefore repeated storms and floods, and obstacles in road and air traffic must then be expected.
All about money
The legal tender is the Cordoba (NIO). 1 cordoba is equal to 100 centavos.
The most convenient way to get money is to withdraw it from an ATM. With the usual credit cards (don’t forget your PIN!) It is possible to get cash in larger cities. In most cases, it is also possible to use a debit card (EC card), but a credit card offers more security. Fees are to be expected for each correction, which is why it is advisable to choose a larger amount. In remote regions and on hikes lasting several days, it is not possible to get money, so make sure you have enough cash.
Other essential information
Time difference to CET: -7h
110 Volt /, 60 Hertz, American flat plug (adapter plug required)