Nicaragua is a tropical country with two seasons: dry and rainy or locally called “summer and winter” respectively. Mostly all year round Nicaragua is warm and sunny, with an average temperature of around 85 degrees Farenheit or 29⁰C. The temperatures are generally cooler in the northern region and hotter in the southern region. You should bring light clothing such as shorts, cotton t-shirts, sneakers or comfortable walking shoes and a hat or cap. If you plan to hike volcanoes, travel to Rio San Juan or during the rainy season between May and October, we suggest you also bring long trousers, hiking boots and a light raincoat.
No, you will only need your valid driver’s license from your country of origin to drive in Nicaragua. Roads leading to the most important tourist attractions are in good conditions. While you are traveling you might find some check 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.
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 the difficulty level a the bottom of the tour description. For this tour the difficulty level is 2. You can interpret the difficulty level as follows:
1 : Very easy, for everyone, including families with small kids (Ex: Granada City Tour)
2 : Still easy, no special conditions required (Ex: Leon Viejo)
3 : Not hard but you will began to sweat... (Ex: Cerro Negro Volcano)
4 : Good physical condition required (Ex: Maderas Volcano)
5 : Excellent physical condition required (Ex: Concepcion Volcano)
The official name between the border of Costa Rica and Nicaragua is “Peñas Blancas”. The border crossing has recently undergone some renovations and changes to make your crossing easier. However, do not expect a neat 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 be able 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.
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$32.00 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.
ORO Travel's main office is based in Granada's historical center on “Calle Corral” only two blocks north from “Parque Central” and half a block from the 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.
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.
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.
Nicaragua is known as the least expensive country in Central America and the Caribbean. A good lunch or dinner 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$3.00-US$4.00. 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.
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’s” 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.
Even though US dollars are widely accepted throughout 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 the Local Information section on our home page (bottom right corner).
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 such as: the number of days, type of package, type of service, number of participants, if children are traveling, special requests, the time of the year, special promotions if available, etc. Our staff will get back to you as soon as possible with the best offer.
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/price relation. There are great advantages to plan your trip through ORO Travel; better prices, high quality service, professional trained tour guides and drivers, our own vehicle fleet, high qualified travel planners and 20 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.
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 whose 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 enjoy phenomenal spots for scuba diving, snorkeling, hiking, walking, or just relaxing 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 us.