« December 2021 »
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Colored ceramic lamp base
Made by an internationally known local artisan who creates pieces exclusively for Hotel Estrada and our guests!
Items 1
Cost US$62.50
+ Local Taxes
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Travel Hints & Tips

Entry and Visa Requirements

To enter Nicaragua your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your intended stay in Nicaragua. Furthermore, an onward or return ticket and evidence of sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay are required. No visa is needed for citizens from the United States or Canada. When entering the country you will have to purchase a tourist card ($10.00 per person) which is valid for 90 days. Please note that there is an airport departure tax of US$ 35.00, which most airlines have already included in their ticket. If the tax is not included in the ticket, payment can be made at the airline counter upon departure.


Time Zone

The time zone in Nicaragua is the same as US Central Time. Miami and New York are two hours ahead of Nicaragua during daylight saving time and one hour for the rest of the year. This means when it is 8 am in Nicaragua it is 10 am (9 am) in New York and Miami.



As in all tropical countries, Nicaragua has only two distinct seasons, the dry season (summer or “verano”) and the rainy season (winter or “invierno”). Both rainy and dry season have their advantages and disadvantages. While you might experience some heavy downpours during wet season (June to November), these will usually only last a couple of hours and you will be rewarded by beautiful green vegetation. However, this also means more insects and bugs. On the other hand, this is also the best time to watch turtles on the beach. The dry season (December to May) can get very hot, but road conditions are better and there are fewer insects. Most guidebooks consider the months of December and January the best months to visit Nicaragua, but for us Nicaragua is a fantastic place to visit year-round.



Electricity in Nicaragua is 110-120 Volts which is the same as in the United States and Canada. Power cuts do happen in Nicaragua and affect smaller towns as well as cities such as Managua or Granada. Most hotels are equipped with a generator so you will have electricity even during a power cut.


National Holidays

New Year’s Day January 1
Semana Santa 
Thursday, Friday & Saturday before Easter Sunday 
Labor Day May 1
Mother’s Day May 30
Anniversary of the Revolution July 19
Battle of San Jacinto September 14
Independence Day September 15
All Soul’s Day
November 2
Immaculate Conception December 8
December 25


How to call to/from Nicaragua

To make a call to Nicaragua, dial the international country code for Nicaragua which is +505, followed by the local eight digit phone number. Please note that there are no area codes. To make an international phone call, dial your country code (United States & Canada 001), then the area code and your local phone number.



Banks can be found in all major and medium sized cities in Nicaragua and there is also an extensive network of ATMs throughout the country. The national currency is called Cordoba (C$), but US$ are also widely accepted. Bring a supply of US$ 1 or US$ 5 bills, as it can be hard for locals to change large bills. Most banks are open from 08:30 am until 5 pm without closing at midday. Some banks might also be open between 9 am and midday on Saturdays. Major credit cards, i.e. Visa, Master Card and American Express are typically accepted in hotels, restaurants, shops and other businesses in urban and tourist areas.



There are no fixed rules about tipping in Nicaragua. Most restaurants include a 10% tip (propina voluntaria) in the bill. Where the tip is not included, you can leave behind a few coins. Also note that the local tax (IVA) of 15% is often not included in the menu prices, but will be added to your bill later. We recommend a tip of US$1-2 per person/day for your drivers and guides if you are satisfied with their service. Taxi drivers are not tipped unless they provided you with an additional service (advice etc.). In hotels, porters expect a tip of about US$0.50 per bag. For the cleaning staff you could leave about US$1 per day at the end of your stay.


We recommend that you see your doctor or health care provider at least six weeks prior to your trip to allow time for your vaccines to take effect. There are currently no vaccines required upon entry to Nicaragua. However, make sure your routine vaccinations such as tetanus, diphtheria and polio are up to date and think about getting vaccinated against Hepatitis A and B as well as typhoid.

Malaria is present throughout the country in areas at altitudes less than 1,000 meters, therefore you should also ask your health care provider about anti-malarial drugs. We suggest that you do not bring along lots of medication – only the ones you need to take regularly - as pharmacies are well stocked. While in Nicaragua make sure you wash your hands with soap before you eat. Drink bottled or boiled water only. Make sure food is fully cooked and avoid dairy products if they have not been pasteurized. For up-to-date health recommendations and advice, visit the website of the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC): http://www.cdc.gov


Travel health insurance is one of the most important purchases and we strongly recommend you get one for yourself that carries medical evacuation or air ambulance coverage. We also suggest that you take out insurance against theft and lost luggage.


Nicaragua is considered to be the safest country in Central America and you will find its people to be friendly and welcoming. In the cities, street crime such as pick-pocketing is a concern, but can be prevented if basic precautions are taken. So do not walk through dark places at night, avoid wearing brash jewelry and only carry the money you need for the day. If your credit cards are lost, immediately notify your credit card company. The safest place for your passport and other valuables is the hotel safe, so we suggest you only carry a photocopy of it with you.
The Nicaraguan Tourism Board has recently launched a free emergency number to provide assistance to all tourists visiting Nicaragua. Tourists can dial “101” if they need immediate attention because of an accident, loss of travel documents, or any other situation that requires immediate response. The 101 number is available 24 hours a day and will be answered by a bilingual touristic police officer who will assess the situation.


Do’s and Don’ts in Nicaragua

• …extend a greeting such as buenos días or buenas tardes before approaching somebody. Remember that a few words of Spanish will go a long way.
• …ask people for permission before taking a picture of them.
• …pay attention to your appearance. Nicaraguans take great care in their looks and daily showers are a must.
• …remember that you are a guest in Nicaragua and a representative of your country, so leave a good impression.
• …expect everything to rush at New York City pace.
• …buy illegal drugs such as cocaine or marihuana in Nicaragua as penalties for possessing and/ or using illegal drugs in Nicaragua are severe.
• …give food or money to children begging in the streets. Many children are sent by their parents to earn additional income for the family. Instead of going to school, these children spend their days and nights on the streets. Giving money to these children will destroy their lives instead of help them. There are many charitable organizations all over Nicaragua that take care of street children, so if you want to help, give to a reputable organization that can really make a difference. We would be happy to provide you with a list of organizations. Please ask us.


What to Bring

We suggest you pack light for your trip to Nicaragua. Wear and pack only comfortable shoes and choose clothes made out of cotton as they will breathe in the heat. Laundry services are available in hotels and elsewhere. You will also want to bring swim-wear, sun protection including a hat, flashlights, binoculars and a camera. Dress culturally appropriate, meaning more conservative the smaller the place you are going to visit. You might want to bring your own reusable water bottle which can be filled up with purified water at hotels, shops and restaurants.