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Nicaragua

If you’re travelling to Nicaragua, our travel advice and updates give you practical tips and useful information.

Get travel and medical insurance

Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.

Overview

Security status

We advise Irish citizens in Nicaragua to exercise a high degree of caution.  

Latest travel alert

Tropical Storm Nate passed over Nicaragua on 5 October 2017; a yellow alert has been declared across the country. The most affected areas are Bilwi and Rivas, and transport to the tourist destination of Ometepe Island has been suspended. Airports remain open but travel may be disrupted as some international flights have been cancelled. Irish citizens should follow the advice of local authorities and check with their airline/tour operator before travelling.

Seismic and volcanic activity

Nicaragua is prone to significant seismic and volcanic activity. If planning to visit Nicaragua, you should familiarise yourself with what to do in an earthquake, remain on alert, particularly in the event of aftershocks, follow the advice of local authorities and monitor local news and websites for updates.

Zika Virus

There is currently an outbreak of Zika Virus (a dengue-like mosquito-borne disease) in Central and South America and the Caribbean. Irish Citizens are advised to follow guidance available on the website of the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) at http://www.hpsc.ie/A-Z/Vectorborne/Zika/.

Emergency assistance

Because there is no Irish Embassy or Consulate in the Nicaragua, we are limited in the help we can offer you in an emergency situation.  However, if there is an emergency, or if you need help and advice, you can contact our Consular Assistance Unit at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Dublin on +353 1 408 2000.

Other EU embassies

You can also contact the Embassies or Consulates of other EU countries for emergency consular assistance, advice and support.

Our tips for safe travels

  • Purchase comprehensive travel insurance which covers all your intended activities
  • Add an alert for your destination within the Travelwise App.
  • Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly in an emergency, such as a natural disaster or a family emergency
  • Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates
  • Read our Topical ‘Know Before You Go’ guide

Safety and security

Crime

The Embassy would advise you to be cautious when using public transport, including taxis. Always be vigilant, particularly after dark and take sensible precautions:

  • Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place
  • Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home
  • Avoid showing large sums of money in public and don’t use ATMs after dark, especially if you’re alone. Check no one has followed you after conducting your business
  • Avoid dark and unlit streets and stairways, and arrange to be picked up or dropped off as close to your hotel or apartment entrance as possible
  • Make sure that your accommodation has adequate security
  • Keep a close eye on your personal belongings and hold on to them in public places such as internet cafés, train and bus stations

Reporting crime

If you’re a victim of a crime while in Nicaragua, report it to the local police immediately. You can also contact our Consular Assistance Unit in Dublin on +353 1 408 2000.

Driving

If you’re planning to drive in Nicaragua, you should follow these basic guidelines:

  • Bring your full Irish driver’s licence and your international driving permit and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law and you risk being detained, fined or banned from driving if caught
  • Keep your vehicle doors locked and your bags kept out of sight to prevent opportunistic bag-snatching if you’re stopped at traffic lights

Hiring a vehicle

If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.

Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).

Hurricane season

The hurricane season in the Caribbean normally runs from July to October. You should pay close attention to local and international weather reports and follow the advice of local authorities. Always monitor local and international weather updates for the region by accessing, for example, the Weather Channel, or the US National Hurricane Centre website.

Local laws and customs

Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or even illegal.

Health

Vaccinations

Check with your doctor well in advance of travelling to see if you need any vaccinations for this country.

Entry requirements

If you are unsure of the entry requirements for this country, including visa and other immigration information, ask your travel agent or contact the country’s nearest Embassy or Consulate.

You can also check with them how long your passport must be valid for.