10 things you’ll need to know before visiting Nicaragua

It won’t take long to fall in love with Nicaragua. Between the rainforests,  Colonial cities, palm-fringed beaches, refreshing mountain towns and genuinely friendly locals, it’s hardly any wonder so many foreigners came to Nicaragua just for a visit—and then decided they never wanted to leave.

But while there’s a lot to love about the Nica lifestyle, there are a few things first-time visitors should know before arriving in Nicaragua. Keep your expectations in check and these tidbits in the back of your mind, and you’re sure to have the trip of a lifetime.


1. The Roads Are An Adventure

Driving in Nicaragua takes patience, caution and confidence. While most of the major highways across the country are paved and in relatively good condition, you’re also sure to stumble upon potholes, dirt roads, traffic blocks and (if you’re lucky) even the occasional cow procession. Cars with 4×4 are essential, not optional. And though there are official speed limits, we’ve found most people seem to drive as fast as their cars allow—until they get stuck behind 18-wheelers.

2. Don’t Flush Your Toilet Paper

Visitors are always shocked when asked to throw their toilet paper in the trash bins rather than flushing it down the toilet. In many places in Nicaragua, the plumbing isn’t strong enough to handle toilet paper without getting blocked up. Less embarrassing to toss your paper than block up the public restroom.

3. Water and Electricity Can Go Out Unexpectedly

This is one of those things that could drive you nuts as it always seems to happen at the most inconvenient times. Like when you’re just about to make dinner and then there’s a blackout. Or when you’re back from a day of sun, sand and sea and the shower won’t turn on. Luckily these outages tend to only last for a short while and then things are back to normal.

4. Don’t Put Your Hands Or Feet Anywhere You Can’t See

Nicaragua is a tropical country, which means there are creepy crawlies.  Try not to reach into dark places (such as shoes or dark closets) until you’ve checked for creepy crawlers hiding such as the ocasional scorpion or spider.

5. Diacachimba (dee-ah-ka-cheem-ba) means an awesome Lifestyle

This word can have either a positive or a negative meaning (we’ll stick to the positive meaning here).  This is  also Nicaraguan slang for “cool”.

7. Don’t Leave Anything Unattended

Nicaragua is typically a very safe and friendly country one of the safest in Central America, HOWEVER, there is petty crime. Don’t leave anything on the beach unattended, even if it’s just your sandals.. Even if your car is locked, don’t leave valuables unattended inside. Basically, stay smart and don’t leave anything around for easy snatching.

8. Things Are much  Cheaper

Many travelers expect Nicaragua to be a cheap Central American destination. However, in large part due to its  growing popularity as a tourist destination, many things  you purchase as a tourist  in Tourist destinations really aren’t that inexpensive. Since a large majority of foreigners own tourist related businesses they tend to charge a little more than local owned businesses for certain products or services. If you live or travel like a local you’ll certainly save money!

9. Nicaragua Is Truly One Of The Most Magical Places In The World

corn islND

10. Nicaragua is A Nature Lover’s Dream Destination

Over the years, travelers seeking a fun, cheap, and adventurous destination came here as an alternative to “touristy” Costa Rica and Panama once they realized Contras weren’t still roaming the jungles.

Since the secret’s out,  Nicaragua is a hot destination spot for families, retirees, and backpackers relishing the cheap beer, hiking, and good surf.  Nicaragua is filled with amazing natural beauty and extremely warm people. Though the country has been “discovered,” there are still many opportunities to wander off the beaten path, interact with locals, get in touch with nature, and avoid the hordes of travelers asking where they can get a pizza.While the driving can be crazy and the Spanish slangs may be difficult to understand, there’s a reason why Nicaragua is  becoming one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Scott Walker says:

    We are coming to León next February and one of us will attend a Spanish school there, but we’re wondering about contracting with independent Spanish teachers. Do they promote their services in cafés, etc? We would love to find a conversation partner who can correct our Spanish and tell us a lot about Nicaragua and Leon… Suggestions of smart and curious freelance teachers would be much appreciated.

    1. Caroline says:

      Hi Scott! How exciting to hear you will be coming to León! Once it gets a little closer to your arrival date I could reccomend several people for you to interview to see which one would be a good fit for the Spanish lessons.

  2. Jessica says:

    There is no #6… but other than that this is good advice. I am going in a week to Nicaragua and have been trying to read as much as I can before my travels. Thank you!

    1. Caroline says:

      Thank you so much for your comments Jessica. And thanks for catching missing#6. Let us know if we can be of assistance in planning your trip here. We hope you enjoy your stay!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s