Backpacking Nicaragua is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
With this Nicaragua travel guide, I’d like you to get to know the ins and outs of the country and be able to gain richer travel experiences.
Many people skip Nicaragua thinking that there is not much to see. In this guide, we are going to look at what to do in Nicaragua.
By the end of this guide, you should be inspired to stop off in Nicaragua somewhere along your journey through Central America.
Let’s start off by looking at the logistics and requirements you will need to be able to get into the country.
How to get to Nicaragua
Depending on where you travel from, getting to Nicaragua can be easy. Traveling from the U.S. or Europe? Then fly direct to Managua.
How long does it take to get to Nicaragua?
If traveling to Nicaragua via land, you can get shuttle buses from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras or Costa Rica.
Depending on which type of bus you get, you may have to get off at the border and manually go through immigration.
Providing your stay is fewer than 90 days; there are no visa requirements for both UK or U.S. citizens. If you overstay your visa in Nicaragua, expect to pay a fine before leaving the country.
Central America Border Control Agreement
Nicaragua is part of the Central America Border Control Agreement, so make sure you’re aware of the CA-4, which states the following:
British tourists can travel within any of the CA-4 countries (Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala) for a period of up to 90 days without completing entry and exit formalities at border immigration checkpoints. You can find more information atgov.uk.
In Nicaragua, money goes far. Remember, if you’re crossing the border to Costa Rica, there’s a 5 USD exit fee on the Nicaraguan side.
Nicaragua typical costs and budget
🇺🇸 1USD – 🇳🇮 34NC
My daily budget:
Up to 1200NC per day
1-2K NC / $US30-60
From my experience, backpacking Nicaragua was one of the most economical countries in Central America to travel to.
This is great news for all those who are traveling on a budget but don’t expect luxury in every part of the country.
Depending on your specific Nicaragua itinerary, you’ll find many places that are below the average of what you’re used to, especially if you’ve done any backpacking in South America at all.
In this Nicaragua travel blog, I aim to show you what to do in Nicaragua and the places you can go no matter what budget you have.
There are many tips, tricks, and hacks to achieve while backpacking in Central America.
For the cheapest hostels in Nicaragua, you can pay as little as $5 per night. You can find cosy homestays and cabins on some of the best beaches in Nicaragua. I didn’t use Airbnb whilst here.
If you like your food, get ready. If you’ve heard of dishes like Gallo Pinto and Vigorón, a dish from Granada, you’re in luck. In Nicaragua, the food was never boring.
What you have to learn to love about Nicaragua are the chicken buses. So, getting around Nicaragua is easy, and it’s the only way to travel. I spent many hours going from place to place using chicken buses. If you’ve got space, expect to have a little dance even while you’re sitting down.
Volcano boarding is one of the most popular activities in Nicaragua. It can be done as a private tour for two people for just $30, including travel from Leon. I found the best activities in the country to be more than affordable for a backpacker’s budget.
Places to Visit in Nicaragua
This Nicaragua travel guide will list some of the most interesting places in the country.
To visit all the places, you’d need around a 3-week minimum itinerary. That’s if you’re in a rush.
I slow travel to allow more time to connect with locals on route.
Use the quick links to find things to do in Nicaragua:
Nicaragua Travel Tips
Below are some Nicaragua travel tips, including books to read to help you make the most out of your experience.
Travel Insurance for Nicaragua
Have you looked much into the safety in Nicaragua by any chance? Things are normally okay for backpackers.
However, if you’re not fully insured when traveling around Nicaragua, I always recommend backpackers and travelers (no matter who you are) use World Nomads Insurance for fully comprehensive cover.
If you are due to travel soon, you can get a Get A Free Quote by clicking the link or the image above and filling out your details – that way you’ll get instant cover from the exact date that you choose.
On many occasions World Nomads has provided me with reliable insurance cover for travel in Latin America and the rest of the world.
Books to Read on Nicarauga
Interested in Nicaraguan culture? You’ll love these books I’ve listed:
- Nicaragua : Living in the Shadow of the Eagle – Learn all about Nicaragua’s tumultuous historical relationship with the USA.
- Blood of Brothers: Life and War in Nicaragua – A chilling tale of the cycle of suffering that took place in Nicaragua over the centuries.
- Birds of Nicaragua – A must have for any birding trip to Nicaragua filled with range maps and call descriptions.
- The Ladies of Managua – Read this novel to get a good feel for the changes in upper class Nicaragua over many generations.
- Lonley Planet Nicaragua – Practical and helpful information, including organised maps and colourful images.
These Nicaragua travel books are recommended if you’d like to do some further reading about Nicaragua before or during your trip.
Backpacking Nicaragua – Travel Guide
Because I made backpacking Nicaragua was a part of my first trip to Latin America, I wanted to quickly become familiar with the culture.
I had met with a Costa Rican that had some good links in Nicaragua and was able to visit some of the famous Nicaraguan points of interest in a short space of time.
Even though I crossed the border from Nicaragua to Costa Rica, it will always hold a special place in my heart and is on my list of places to revisit.
Whether you’re looking for general travel tips or an adventure in Central America and still undecided on where to go, this guide should have helped you decide which places to visit in Nicaragua.
There’s no one best time to go to Nicaragua, and you should feel the confidence to do Nicaragua solo travel with the advice from this guide.
Nicaragua is a truly unique country that will add more depth to your trip all year round if backpacking Central America and beyond.
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