Important and useful Information

Nicaragua:

 

Nicaragua lies in the heart of Central-America. It has borders in the north with Honduras and in the south witch Costa Rica. The official language is Spanish.

Nicaragua is also known as the "land of lakes and volcanoes". Here we have aprox. 40 volcanoes, more than half a dozen are active volcanoes.

There are countless lagoons and small lakes. But the country is characterised from the Lake-Managua (Lago Xolothlán) with his perfect coned volcano Momotombo at his shores and the much more bigger Lake-Nicaragua (Lago Cocibolca) with the tropical volcano-island Ometepe and the Solentiname Archipelago.

 

The country is not overrun from masses of tourists and is probably the most authentic country of Central-America.

Nicaragua is rich on different landscapes and culture. Here you can experience the beaches from the pacific ocean - ideal for surfing. Or the white and tranquil beaches of the Caribbean sea.

You can climb one of the many, sometimes still active, volcanoes and enjoy the view.

You can hike in the virgin forests and observe wild animals or visit a coffee-farm. All this is possible in a relatively short time, because Nicaragua is a pretty small country with a surface from approx. 130.000 square kilometre and approx. 5,8 million inhabitants.

 

 

Nicaragua is a developing country. We therefore ask for your understanding if things do not always work 100% as planned and as requested by us. But you can find almost always a solution for a problem. You also have to reckon with unforeseen events such as a minor earthquake or a volcanic eruption or even a very heavy thunderstorm.

 

 

Safety:

 

Nicaragua is considered the safest country from the whole region Mexico and Central-America. You can move around nearly everywhere in the Country. Exceptions are some districts of Managua and some areas at the Atlantic coast.

Violent attacks are pretty unknown. Of course exists pick pocketing but this happens unfortunately in the whole world.

 

 

 

Climate and travel season:

 

Nicaragua has a tropical climate. The temperatures are between 28 ° to 36 ° Celsius or 82 ° 92 ° Fahrenheit. In higher mountain regions you will have 5-10 ° C less (64 ° to 79° Fahrenheit).

There are no 4 seasons like in Europe or North America. There is a dry-season and a raining-season. Whereby the locals call this summer and winter.

 

Here you can escape from the european or north American winter in any case. Especially in the lowlands, and most of Nicaragua is lowland, you can expect the whole year warm to hot weather. The dry-season is normally from November to may. Then you won't have any rain and have always blue and sunny sky in the lowlands, that means pacific coast and central Nicaragua.

 

The best travel season in the lowlands is from November to April. After the raining season the whole country is green, the air is fresh and it's not to hot.

  

From may starts the raining season and it's getting a bit cooler. Raining season doesn't mean that it's raining the whole time. It rains sometimes, mostly in the evenings and in the night.

September and October are normally the months with more rain. But also from mid July to mid August you will have normally less rain. A kind of "inter-dry-season".

You can travel in Nicaragua the whole year.

 

In generally there is more precipitation on the Atlantic coast than on the Pacific coast.

 

In the raining season everything is green and the temperatures are not as high than at the end of the dry-season (April/May). Both seasons have their advantages and disadvantages.

 

The annual rainfall varies from year to year.

 

 

Money:

 

The national currency of Nicaragua is the Cordoba. 1 Euro is worth aprox. 32 Cordobas and 1 US $ is worth aprox. 25 Cordobas

The exchange rate is changing always. Generally we can say that the Cordoba is loosing his value against the US Dollar step by step.

Normally you can pay everywhere with Cordobas and US Dollar (in small bills). There is mostly no acceptance of 100 $ bills.

At the airport and in all cities are ATMs where you can withdraw money with debit-cards (Maestro or EC-card) and Credit Cards (Visa, MasterCard). Mostly you have the choice between Cordoba and Dollar.

 

Nowadays traveller checks are not common for travelling, because there are ATMs everywhere and it's complicated to change them.

 

It makes sense to store money, passport and credit cards in a funny pack. You should wear it invisible under your pants, skirt etc. That means below your belt.

 

It makes sense as well to have copies from all important documents and store them separately from the originals.

You can also scan or photograph your documents and upload them on a server (can be an email-account as well).

The server access must be password protected of course.

 

 

Arrival:

 

Travellers from Europe, North America or Australia do not need a special Entry-Visa for Nicaragua.

You only have to pay 10 US $ entry fee on arrival at the airport.

If you travel overland from Honduras or Costa Rica you have to pay 12 US $ entry fee.

Please pay attention that you need a return ticket or a onward travel ticket.

 

The only international airport is in the capital Managua. The acronym for the airport is MGA. So it's easier to find.

 

Unfortunately there are no direct flights from Europe to Nicaragua. It's possible to fly via Panama or Costa Rica.

But this is only one booking. You only have to change the flight.

  

Or you can fly over the United States.

There are flights, depending on the season from 560, - EUR, from Europe to Nicaragua over the United States.

 

If you are not an US-citizen you have to make the ESTA registration.

This is possible for travellers from many European and other countries.

 

Here is the link for the ESTA registration:

 

https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/

 

These countries participate in the Visa Waiver Program

 

 

Andorra

Estonia

Ireland

Monaco

Singapore

Taiwan[1]

Australia

Finland

Italy

Netherlands

Slovakia

United Kingdom

Austria

France

Japan

New Zealand

Slovenia

 

Belgium

Germany

Latvia  

Norway

South Korea

 

Brunei

Greece

Liechtenstein

Portugal

Spain

 

Czech Republic

Hungary

Lithuania

Republic of Malta

Sweden

 

Denmark

Iceland

Luxembourg

San Marino

Switzerland

 

 

You can fly as well to Costa Rica and take a direct bus for 35 US $ to Managua and farther on to León. More information on request. 

 

 

Communication + Electricity:

 

You will have in nearly the whole country cell phone coverage, mostly even in 3 G. Modern cell phones are mostly tri-band or quad-band. They should work in Nicaragua as well. If you have an older mobile phone with European standard it's possible that it won't work.

If you want we can provide you with a cheap local sim card for you cell phone.

In our school/house and in our partner hotel there is WiFi internet. Many restaurants and bars provide WiFi as well.

There are everywhere in the cities internet-cafes, called "cyber".

 

The voltage is normally 110 volt with US-American plug system.

Modern chargers from cell phones, laptops and cameras work normally from 110 - 240 volt. This shouldn't be a problem.

As a precaution look at the sticker on your charger from your gear. Who uses Laptops, chargers etc. with European plug system should by an adapter for the US-American system at home. You will find them cheap in electronic stores or in the internet.

 

Insurance:

 

To save you possible cancellation costs we recommend you a travel insurance as a package with health-insurance, pre-trip cancellation, medical transport and many more.

 

You will find one here, including coverage for damaged rental vehicles.

 

http://www.worldnomads.com/

 

There are more different insurances on the market.

 

What should I bring:

 

Most of the things for the normal live you will find in Nicaragua as well.

Mostly even cheaper than in Europe or North America.

 

In every case you should bring following things:

 

• Own riding gear such as a helmet, breathable protector jacket, breathable protector pants, boots, gloves,

  rain jacket and pants

• (international) driving license, it must be clear that you are allowed to ride a motorcycle

• Passport, with minimum 6 month validity

• Debit- and Creditcards and the corresponding numbers (store separate)

  for cash withdrawing. Please watch the validity.

• Travel-Insurance (certificate)

• from doctor prescribed medication (copy of prescription)

• vaccination card

• (international) drivers licence (if you want to drive a car or a motorcycle)

• glasses, spare-glasses, sunglasses, contact lenses

• cash money in US $ or in Euro (€ you can only change in some banks or at

  money changers)

• copies from your travel-documents. Store separately from the originals.

 

  Maybe leave some copies at your friends or family at home.

 

Please carry your luggage if possible in a flexible bag. Big and bulky suitcases are difficult to transport in a vehicle.

 

 

As well useful are following things:

 

• Spanish-dictionary or high grade electronic dictionary (it's useful in the courses).

• Travelbook and map from Nicaragua

• Sun-protection like hat, cap, sunblocker with high UV-protection

  (it's rather expensive here)

• waterproof (trekking) sandals, trekking- or hiking-shoes

• flashlight with common batteries like AA or AAA

• maybe some earplugs. Latin-America is generally noisier than Europe

  or North America. 

 

Like this you are prepared for any case.