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Nicaragua is a struggling democracy with a developing economy. On November 5, 2006, Sandinista leader Daniael Ortega won the Presidential elections after sixteen years in the opposition. Many foreign governments and relief organizations provide economic assistance to Nicaragua and numerous individuals (official and non-official) from the United States and the rest of the developed world work on community-based projects throughout the country. Violent crime has not been a historical problem, but the strength of criminal enterprises appears to be growing.
The national language is Spanish, although many residents of the Caribbean coastal areas also speak English and indigenous languages. The climate is hot and humid, with the “summer” dry season running mid-November through mid-May and the “winter” rainy season running from mid-May through mid-November. Terrain ranges from the hilly and volcanic to coastal beaches and tropical jungles. 
Nicaragua lacks an extensive tourist infrastructure. Potential tourists may want to obtain information from INTUR, the governmental agency responsible for developing, regulating and promoting tourism in Nicaragua. INTUR's web site is
http://www.intur.gob.ni/ and offers some information in English. Read the Department of State Background Notes on Nicaragua for additional information.



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Image of Nicaragua
Country Name: Nicaragua
Continent: Central America
Capital City: Managua
Boundary Countries:

Costa Rica, Honduras.

Recommended Hospitals in Capital:

Clinica Medica Guitierrez Quant, Hospital Bautista, Hospital Monte España, Hospital Privado Salud Integral

Main Cities:

Managua, Granada, Chinandega, Leon, Matagalpa, Esteli, Bluefields

Country Size: 129,494 sq km
Population: 5,675,356



Spanish 97.5% (official), Miskito 1.7%, other 0.8% (1995 census)
note: English and indigenous languages on Atlantic coast

Currency: gold cordoba (NIO)
Predominant Religions:

Roman Catholic 72.9%, Evangelical 15.1%, Moravian 1.5%, Episcopal 0.1%, other 1.9%, none 8.5%

National Holidays: Independence Day, 15 September (1821)
Economic Status:

Nicaragua has widespread underemployment and the third lowest per capita income in the Western Hemisphere. Distribution of income is one of the most unequal on the globe.


Army (includes Navy, Air Force)

US Presence:
U.S. Embassy Managua
Kilometer 5.5 Carretera Sur
Managua, Nicaragua
Embassy Telephone: +(505) 2252-7100
Document Requirements:

A valid U.S. passport is required to enter Nicaragua.  Although there is a bilateral agreement that waives the six-month validity passport requirement, U.S. citizens are urged to ensure before traveling that their passports are valid for the length of their projected stay in the country.  U.S. citizens must have an onward or return ticket and evidence of sufficient funds to support themselves during their stay.  A visa is not required for U.S. citizens; however, a tourist card must be purchased for $5 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.  Failure to do so will prevent departure until a fine is paid.

There is also a $32 departure tax.  Many airlines include this tax in the price of the ticket.  If the tax is not included in the ticket, payment can be made at the airline counter upon departure.

Per Nicaraguan law, individuals should exit Nicaragua with the same passport with which they entered the country.  Dual national minors who have a claim to Nicaraguan citizenship are subject to departure requirements specific to Nicaraguan children under the age of 18, even though they may also be citizens of other countries.  More information on these requirements can be found on the U.S. Embassy web site.  

According to Nicaragua’s Laws for Foreigners, foreigners must be in possession of a valid identity document at all times while in Nicaragua and may be required to show it to Nicaraguan authorities upon request.  Acceptable identity documents are: (1) a permanent residency card, (2) temporary residency card, or (3) valid passport or travel document accompanied by an entry stamp.

In June 2006, Nicaragua entered a Central America-4 (CA-4) Border Control Agreement with Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.  Under the terms of the agreement, citizens of the four countries may travel freely across land borders from one of the countries to any of the others without completing entry and exit formalities at Immigration checkpoints.  U.S. citizens and other eligible foreign nationals who legally enter any of the four countries may similarly travel among the four without obtaining additional visas or tourist entry permits for the other three countries.  Immigration officials at the first port of entry determine the length of stay, up to a maximum period of 90 days.  Foreign tourists who wish to remain in the four-country region beyond the period initially granted for their visit are required to request a one-time extension of stay from local Immigration authorities in the country where the traveler is physically present, or to travel outside the CA-4 countries and reapply for admission to the region.  Foreigners expelled from any of the four countries are excluded from the entire CA-4 region.  In isolated cases, the lack of clarity in the implementing details of the CA-4 Border Control Agreement has caused temporary inconvenience to some travelers and has resulted in others being fined more than one hundred dollars or detained in custody for 72 hours or longer.

For the most current information about visas to visit Nicaragua, visit the Embassy of Nicaragua web site .

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Nicaragua. 

Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website.  For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page.

Major Airports:

Airports: 176, Airports w/paved runways: 11

Managua – Augusto C Sandino International Airport (MGA/MNMG)
Managua Airport, Nicaragua, Aptdo 5179, Managua DN, NICARAGUA
Managua Airport, Nicaragua, KM 11 Carretera Norte, Managua DN, NICARAGUA
Tel: +505 (0)2 331624
Fax: +505 (0)2 631072
Website: www.eaai.com.ni

Servicing Airlines:
Risks and Precautions:






US Dept. of State Travel Alert Issued 15 Nov 2008 Expires 12 Dec 2008






We remind U.S. citizens that even events intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence. We urge American citizens to avoid the affected areas if possible, and to exercise caution when in the vicinity of any large gathering. U.S. citizens should monitor media coverage of local events and be aware of their surroundings at all times.
Americans traveling abroad should regularly review the U.S. Embassy’s website.

Mortality Statistics:

Infant MR total: 27.14 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth: TOTAL 70.92 years (male 68.82/female 73.13)

Immunization Indicators:

Required: None
Recommended: Malaria, Hep A & B, Rabies, Typhoid
Boosters: MMR, DPT

Infectious Disease Concerns:

Malaria risk area in Nicaragua: Risk in rural areas and in outskirts of Managua.
If you will be visiting a malaria risk area in Nicaragua,
chloroquine is the recommended antimalarial drug.

Diarrhea in travelers is common and may be caused by bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Diarrhea caused by enterotoxigenic E. coli predominates, but other bacteria and protozoa (including Giardia, Cryptosporidia, and Entamoeba histolytica) can also cause diarrhea.

Vaccination against Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B is strongly recommended.

Overall Quality of Medical Services:

Medical care is limited, particularly outside Managua. Basic medical services are available in Managua and in many of the smaller towns and villages. However, treatment for many serious medical problems is either unavailable or available only in Managua. Certain types of medical equipment, medications and treatments are not available in Nicaragua.
In an emergency, individuals are taken to the nearest hospital that will accept a patient. This is usually a public hospital unless the individual or someone acting on their behalf indicates that they can pay for a private hospital. Payment for medical services is typically done on a cash basis, although the few private hospitals will accept major credit cards for payment.

Providers in Network:
Direct Payment: 1
Referrals: 1
View Network Providers
Recent Medical Threats/ Concerns/Warnings:

Dengue epidemics have affected most countries in Central America in the past 5 years. Filariasis, leishmaniasis, onchocerciasis (River blindness), and American trypanosomiasis (Chagas' disease) are diseases carried by insects that also occur in this region, mostly in rural areas. Risk to the usual traveler is low. Myiasis (botfly) is endemic in Central America. Protecting yourself against insect bites (see below) will help to prevent these diseases.
Outbreaks of leptospirosis have occurred in travelers to the area (including whitewater rafters in Costa Rica and U.S. troops training in Panama). Sporadic cases and outbreaks of coccidioidomycosis and histoplasmosis have occurred in travelers to Central America. Risky activities include disturbing soil and entering caves and abandoned mines. Cutaneous larva migrans occurs in visitors, especially those visiting beaches.

Communications Info:

Country Code: +505
Internet Code: .ni


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