Nicaragua -Traveling Safely

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Nicaragua  will tempt  even the most discerning travelers with its volcanoes, beaches & natural landscapes.

Despite the fact that Nicaragua is the safest country in Central America, one should always take necessary precautions to protect  your personal security.  Some basic things to remember:

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1. Nicaragua is a developing nation and it is your choice how to view the experience.  Fortunately  not being fully “developed”  means you will find  an economy that  is  largely untouched, with natural splendor .  Viewed as an opportunity to learn about differences,  the developing nation status of Nicaragua is a plus.

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2.  Nicaragua has been blessed by relatively low levels of crime.  However petty crime does exist is larger cities such as  the capital city of Managua but is more directed at locals than at tourists.

 

3. Areas to Avoid:
Avoid walking alone at night in Managua and other urban areas. If you must get somewhere, use an official cab (with a red license plate). Extra caution should also be exercised when traveling to remote parts of the country, as well as on the Atlantic/Caribbean coast.

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If at all possible avoid travel during political demonstrations—they can become violent. If renting a vehicle plan your trip to avoid driving on rural roads at night. . If you must, stay on major highways and carry a cell phone. Cell phones can be purchased relatively cheap for around $25 including the sim card with prepaid minutes.  If you are approached in a robbery attempt do not resist as many criminals   carry weapons. Make sure to keep all important documents  in a safe place.

When in crowded areas or on public transportation avoid wearing expensive jewelry and large cameras.  These items  may attract undue attention..

IMPORTANT NUMBERS 

For police emergencies, dial 118
For traffic accidents, dial 119
To contact the U.S. Embassy in Managua, dial (505) 266-6010 or 268-0123

For more about safety in Nicaragua, read the Nicaragua Consular Information Sheet.

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  • Whenever possible, withdraw cash from inside a bank atm. However many banks do have 24  hour security guards in place.

 

  • When travelling via taxi in large cities,  Make sure your taxi is authorized and look for the driver’s I.D on the right hand side of the front mirror. Always agree on a price before you get in.

 

  • Hikers should always  have appropriate dress, footwear, and sufficient consumables for any trek/tour you go on.  Make sure when taking tours in  remote areas its always best  to hire a trusted local guide familiar with the terrain and the  area. You may pay a few dollars more but it will be well worth it.
  • (Please note-Individuals hiking Volcan Maderas or Volcan Concepcion on Ometepe Island are by law required to hire a local guide.

 

  • Don’t ever leave valuables in your backpack while in transit.  Often  you may need to leave your backpack under the bus or on top of the bus on long journeys. Also avoid  puting your bag under the seat as it can be taken (or cut open).

If you follow these basic guidelines , Nicaragua is a safe  place to fulfill your travel dreams, with colorful surroundings, wonderful cuisine, warm and friendly smiles, stunning volcanoes and budget friendly accomodations.

1 thought on “Nicaragua -Traveling Safely”

  1. Great post and very informative.

    Perhaps I can add a little bit of value to this excellent and much-needed piece.

    Areas to avoid: The Caribbean coast is actually one of the safest places in the country.

    Important numbers: Tourist police (english spoken): 101

    Taxis rates are set in every city except managua where you will have to negotiate before getting in.

    Thanks for the good work and keep it up!

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