Frequently Asked Questions
1) Is it safe to travel to Nicaragua?
Yes it is. Today in Nicaragua there is peace and freedom. Also the people are very welcoming and friendly. News coverage of the past political unrest in the 80’s along with natural disaster, paved the path to a country with a bad reputation. Fortunately Nicaragua has demonstrated in the last 19 years to be a country with a deep willing to move ahead and work strongly to rebuild a country for a better future.
2) What kind of cloths should I bring?
Nicaragua is a tropical country with two seasons: dry and rainy or locally called “summer and winter” respectively. Mostly all year round Nicaragua is sunny and warm, keeping temperature around 85 degrees Farenheit. You should bring light clothing such as shorts, cotton t-shirts, sneakers or comfortable walking shoes, hats or caps. If you plan to hike on volcanoes, traveling to Rio San Juan or during the rainy season between May and October, we suggest to also take long trousers, hiking boots and a light raincoat.
3) Do I need an International driver license to drive our rent-a-car in Nicaragua?
No, you will only need your valid drivers license from your country of origin to drive around Nicaragua. Roads leading to the most important tourist attractions are in good conditions. While you are traveling you might find some checking points where police officers control the documentation of vehicles and persons. Usually policemen are respectful and comprehensive with foreign tourists. ORO Travel delivers a well done documentation for the self drive tours in order to assist the visitors with useful driving information.
4) How do you define the difficulty level of each tour?
The physical difficulty of each activity is scored from 1 to 5, level 1 being the least difficult and level 5 the most difficult. For example if you click on “Tours & Travel”, then “Day Tours” and “Mombacho Cloud forest”, you will find a tip box on your right that will give you some suggestions about what to bring or wear during your excursion, below you will find the difficulty level for this tour which is difficulty level 2. You can interpret difficulty level as follows:
1 : for everybody, very easy including families with little kids (Granada city tour)
2 : still easy no special conditions requested (Leon Viejo)
3 : not hard, but you will began to sweat... ( Cerro Negro Volcano)
4 : good physical condition required (Maderas Volcano)
5 : excellent physical condition required (Concepcion Volcano)
5) How easy it is to cross the border of Costa Rica and Nicaragua?
The official name between the border of Costa Rica and Nicaragua is “Peñas Blancas”. Do not expect a neat or super modern border with signs everywhere. This is a very typical border of Central America, with no clear instructions, with lots of trailers, buses and car lines, street and lottery vendors, people offering their assistance, shoeshine boys, money changers, luggage carriers, little restaurants, duty-free shops, vehicle fumigation office and the list goes on. All these things can confuse you at first, but don't worry, this is part of the cultural experience of your trip and you will get to cross the border without trouble. First you will fill out a small form with personal information (name, surname, nationality, passport number, etc.). When entering Nicaragua you will pay a US$10.00 fee for the tourist card, US$2.00 for immigration formalities and US$1.00 for the local municipality. Make sure your passport has been properly stamped: one immigration stamp per country. When leaving Nicaragua through Peñas Blancas you will pay the local municipality and the immigration formalities fee of US$3.00. Either traveling from/to Costa Rica our experienced tour guides or drivers will assist you along the crossing formalities.
6) Which travel documents must I have to enter Nicaragua?
A six month valid passport is required to enter Nicaragua. A visa is not required for almost all nationalities; however a tourist card must be purchased for US$10.00 upon arrival. Tourist cards are typically issued for 30 to 90 days.
A valid entry stamp is required to exit Nicaragua. Pay attention to the authorized stay that will be written into your entry stamp by the immigration inspector. Visitors remaining more than the authorized time must obtain an extension from Nicaraguan Immigration at http://www.migracion.gob.ni/. Failure to do so will prevent departure until a fine is paid.
There is also a US$42.00 departure tax. Many airlines include this tax in the price of the airfare. If the tax is not included in the ticket, payment can be made at the airline counter upon departure.
7) If something happens are we able to reach the ORO Travel office anytime?
ORO Travel's main office is based in Granada's historical center on “Calle Corral” only two blocks north from “Parque Central” and half block from San Francisco Convent. Our office working hours are Monday to Friday from 07:00 A.M to 07:00 P.M and Saturday to Sunday from 08:00 A.M to 05:00 P.M. Our office telephone number is (505) 2552-4568. Outside our office hours, we are also reachable in case of emergency. Our emergency cellular number will appear in your travel documentation and an English/Spanish speaking staff will attend your call.
8) Is it necessary to receive any vaccine to travel in Nicaragua?
Individuals traveling to Nicaragua should ensure that all their routine vaccinations are up to date. Vaccination against Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, rabies and typhoid is recommended. However a healthy person traveling to a common tourist destination has very remote probability to be affected. A yellow fever vaccination is not required to enter Nicaragua unless the traveler has recently visited a country where yellow fever is endemic. Travelers taking prescription medications should bring an adequate supply with them when coming to Nicaragua. Many newer combination medications are not available in local pharmacies.
9) Are credit cards accepted?
Mayor credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club and others are widely accepted in hotels and restaurants in most important cities like Managua, Granada, Leon, San Juan del Sur, Masaya, Matagalpa, Jinotega, Chinandega, Estelí, Rivas, Bluefields and others. We also recommend carrying some local cash in low nominations for small purchases. Some souvenirs shops, little restaurants or bars are sometimes not able to accept credit cards.
10) How much should I plan to spend during my trip?
Nicaragua is known as the least expensive country in Central America and the Caribbean. A good lunch or dinner meal in a good restaurant or hotel can cost between US$10.00 to US$15.00 dollars per person, meanwhile we can also eat on a street restaurant for US$2.00-US$3.50. A bottle of local beer (Victoria or Toña) comes around US$0.65 to US$1.75 depending on where you buy it. Most prices at the market are very reasonable and affordable; a handmade hammock can be acquired for US$20.00, a t-shirt from US$3.00, paintings for $20.00, a bottle of 7 year old rum for $8.00. For those who like to drive, the liter of gasoline comes at this time around US$1.30 per liter and around US$1.20 per liter of diesel.
11) Is my cell phone going to work in Nicaragua?
Your cell-phone can be used in our country if you have a 1900 MHz band. Take also into account that your cell-phone provider should have a roaming contract with “Claro”, the local Nicaraguan cell-phone company under the ownership of America Movil. “Claro” signal has coverage throughout the whole country, there are only pockets of places like forests, remote and wild areas where signal is difficult or not available. In case you do not have service at all, there are lots of “internet café” in major cities or even small towns where you can make phone calls either to Europe or the United States with very affordable prices. ORO Travel can provide you with cell-phone rental during your stay in Central America.
12) Do I need to change my Dollars (Euros) into Córdoba’s while traveling in Nicaragua?
Even though US dollars are widely accepted through all the country, it is always a good idea to use the local currency (Cordoba), especially if you plan to buy in small shops and “pulperias” (local grocery stores). Please keep in mind that dollars that are torn up, stained or have writings on them can be rejected in most shopping places, restaurants or even banks. Make sure your bills are in good shape. You can change your Dollars in banks or even on the street with a better exchange rate. You can get bills of 20, 50,100 and 500 Córdobas. Coins are use for smaller denominations. Euros are still unusual in Nicaragua and these can be changed only by a few banks. For any information concerning about the exchange rate from US Dollar to Córdoba, consult our home page (below left corner).
13) How do I know the price of the services I would like to book?
When you get into contact with one of our travel planners, after sending us the reservation form, you will receive the detailed service as requested. We always arrange and personalize our offer according to your needs. Price depends on several aspects as : the number of the days, type of package, type of service, number of participants, if children are traveling, special request, the time of the year, special promotion if available, etc. Our staff will get back to you as soon as possible with the best offer.
14) Is it more expensive to plan your trip with ORO Travel or to do it yourself?
Based on the satisfied experience of many customers booking with ORO Travel (please check testimonials), you will rapidly find out that it is more expensive and time consuming to plan your trip on your own. Due to the large volume of visitors under ORO Travel's operation, our office staff is permanently negotiating with our providers the best pricing. Therefore our customers will always get our best offer as well as a high quality/pricing relation. There are great advantages to plan your trip through ORO Travel; better prices, high quality service, professional trained tour guides and drivers, own vehicle fleet, high qualified travel planners and 15 years of expertise in Tourism. When planning your own trip, you will have to deal and worry about a number of unknown providers, while travelling through ORO Travel there is a trustworthy support behind you.
15) Is it worth it to visit the Caribbean part of Nicaragua?
Visiting the Caribbean should definitely be part of your trip, if you decide to travel deeper into Nicaragua. The Caribbean is very interesting because of its rich culture and diversity of ethnic groups. It is also interesting because of its relevant differences with the rest of the country. Both towns Bluefields and Puerto Cabezas are the head capitals of the Autonomous Regions of the Caribbean, preserving afro-Caribbean traditions and customs. Orinoco, Brown Bank, Kakabila, Wawashang, Tasbapauni are some of the towns with strong presence of the Garifunas, Miskitos, Sumos, Ramas and Creoles people which way of living, ethnicity and customs are unique.
Other interesting places of the Nicaraguan Caribbean are Corn Island and Little Corn Island. In the last years, airport facilities, hotel infrastructure and other basic developments have been achieved without altering the authentic flavor of a real Caribbean island and keeping it free of massive tourism. Both sister islands enjoys phenomenal spots for scuba diving, snorkeling, hiking, walking, or just relax in a hammock by the sound of the ocean waves. This amazing tropical paradise with turquoise-crystal water, palm trees, white sand beaches and amicable weather can be reached by airplane from Managua. For more details please contact our travel planners.