First Class Guided Tours of Nicaragua
Beaches, Volcanoes, Indian Markets,
Rainforest, Islands, Colonial Cities

Explore Nicaragua Tours Frequently Asked Questions

nacaraguan girl


Do you have a question about travel to Nicaragua that is not answered here?


If you have a question, please email us at, or call 1-800-800-1132. We will be happy to answer your questions. Thank you.


1. Do I need a passport to visit Nicaragua?

Yes. Nicaragua requires U.S. citizens and Canadian citizens to bring a passport which must be valid for an additional 6 months after the date of entry into Nicaragua. Please check the expiration date of your passport.

Citizens of other countries should check Nicaragua entry requirements, and also check reentry requirements for the U.S. (if returning to the U.S.) 

Your passport should be in good condition. Recently, travelers with old passports in beat-up condition have not been allowed to enter the country,  and are not even allowed by the U.S. airlines to board a plane to another country. (This is true of other foreign countries also, especially Costa Rica, which has the strictest admission policy for passengers carrying beat-up passports.)

The Nicaragua embassy is in Washington D.C. telephone (202) 939-6570. Nicaraguan consulates in the United States are located in Miami (305) 265-1415, New York (212) 983-1981, Houston (713) 272-9628, Los Angeles (213) 252-1170, and San Francisco (415) 765-6821.

2. Do I need a visa to enter Nicaragua?

U.S. citizens do not need visas. When U.S. citizens enter Nicaragua, U.S. citizens will automatically receive a visa of 30 to 90 days. Citizens of other countries should call the Nicaragua embassy or consulate (see telephone numbers above) about Nicaragua visa requirements for citizens of their country. 

3. What is Nicaragua's time zone?

Nicaragua currently observes Central Standard time all year round. Prior to 2007, Daylight Savings Time was occasionally observed and named after the then-President. For instance, in 2006, Daylight Savings Time was observed and was known as "Hora Bolanos" in honor of then-President Enrique Bolanos.

4. What innoculations are required to enter Nicaragua?

No innoculations are required for U.S. citizens.

5. What type of electrical outlets are used in Nicaragua?

Electrical outlets are 110 Volt, 60 Mz, same as the United States.

6. Is the water drinkable?

The tap water in Nicaragua is considered drinkable in your hotels visited by Explore Nicaragua Tours.  If you prefer to drink bottled water, it is available for purchase in all your hotels and restaurants.

7. What is the food like?

Nicaraguans are fond of corn foods. One of the nicknames for Nicaraguans is "pinoleros", or corn people. Corn breads and corn drinks mixed with chocolate are very popular

Steaks and seafood are also very popular, especially in the areas near the beach. The meals on your Nicaraguan tour will offer a selection of American style food with steaks, seafood, chicken, and pasta, and local Nicaragua food specialties such as corn dishes, rice and beans, chocolate corn drinks, and banana cheese treats.

8. How many meals are included in the tour?

Many of your meals are included in your tour. We have found that many travelers like to have some meals included, but also enjoy exploring some local restaurants on their own free time. When a meal is not included, your tour director will advise you about the popular restaurants and nightclubs in Leon, Granada, and San Juan del Sur.

9. Do I have to join all the sightseeing and activities?

No, of course not! The sightseeing, park visits, museum visits, and activities are included for your enjoyment. But, if you prefer to do something else, or just rest and take a siesta, that is fine. You are free to join all the sightseeing activities, or just half the activities, or none of the activities. We strive to accomodate you, so that you will be as comfortable as possible on the tour. You can do as much, or as little, as you please, while on tour.

10. What language is spoken in Nicaragua?

Spanish is the official language of Nicaragua.  Spanish and English are spoken on the Caribbean side of Nicaragua, in the Corn Islands and Bluefields.

11. Do I need an international driver's license to drive in Nicaragua?

No, you don't need an international driver's license. You can use your regular driver's license from your home country for the first 30 days of your stay in Nicaragua. 

12. What kind of clothing should I bring to wear in Nicaragua?

Please prepare for hot weather, but bring a sweater to wear in the air conditioned bus. Also pleae bring a rain poncho and quick-dri clothing in case of rain. You will want a good sturdy pair of walking shoes for your visits to the parks, and sandals for San Juan del Sur beach resort.

13. What else should I pack in my suitcase for my vacation to Nicaragua?

We recommend that you pack a small flashlight, your medicine kit, and an extra pair of eyeglasses. When traveling away from home, it is always recommended to please leave your jewelry and valuables at home.

14. Is there a size recommendation for my suitcase?

Yes. Due to space limitations on the motorcoach, each passenger is limited to one large-size suitcase with a maximum length of 29 inches, and maximum depth of 15 inches. You may also bring a small carry-on bag (18 inch limit) with you on the motorcoach. Please check with your airline to see if there are suitcase size restrictions with your airline.

15. What is the exchange rate for Nicaraguan currency ?

As of January 1, 2015, the currency exchange rate is 26 Nicaragua cordobas to 1 U.S. Dollar.

16. Are there ATM machines in Nicaragua?

Yes. ATM machines are available in the cities of Managua, Leon, San Juan del Sur, and Granada. There are no ATM machines in Ometepe Island.

17. Do most stores accept U.S. dollars, credit cards and travelers checks ?

Most stores and all your hotels accept U.S. dollars, but travelers cheques and other currencies are hard to exchange in Nicaragua.  It is easy, however, to extract money from the numerous ATM machines found in banks in every town. We recommend exchanging $40 U.S. per person into Nicaraguan Cordobas whenyou arrive in Nicaragua for personal expenses.

18. What tips are included in tour?

Tips to your hotel bellmen are included.
Tips to museum guides and park guides are included.
Tips to waiters for meals paid by Explore Nicaragua on tour are included.
Tips are not included for your tour director, driver, or hotel room housekeepers.
The recommended tips are $7 to $8 per day per person for tour director on small group tours, and $5 per day per person for driver. If you are on a private tour with just a couple travelers, then a slightly higher tip to your tour director and driver is recommended, which is completely at your discretion.
Recommended tips for hotel maids are $1.50 per person per day.

19. How do we get from the Managua airport to the hotel?

Explore Nicaragua Tours' representative will meet you at the Managua international airport, and provide you with a free transfer to your hotel on the day the tour begins.

You must advise us of your flight information and the time of your anticipated arrival. If you do not catch your flight for any reason, and take another flight, please call us at 800-800-1132 immediately so that we can notify our airport representative, who will be waiting for you. If you arrive earlier than the tour start date, you may take an official airport taxi to your Hotel Camino Real for $5 per taxi, or take the free hotel shuttle. If you are staying in downtown Managua, taxi fare are $15 per taxi.

On the day the tour ends, we will provide you with a free transfer to the airport, of if you prefer, to the Hotel Camino Real near the airport.

20. How much is the airport exit tax in Managua?

The airport exit tax is $32 per person, payable in cash at the airline counter on departure. Sometimes this is included in the price of your airline ticket, sometimes not. When you purchase your airline ticket, please ask your airline if this tax is included.

21. Are children allowed on tour?

Yes. Children 5 years and older are welcome on the tour.

22. Do hotel rooms have refrigerators?

Yes. You have refrigerators in your hotel rooms in Managua, Granada, and Leon.

23. What are the hotel rooms like?

Your hotel rooms in Managua, Leon, Granada, and San Juan del Sur all have in-room air conditioning, private bath, televisions, and telephones. Your hotels in Granada and Leon are elegant colonial mansions with modern amenities in the center of town. Your hotel in San Juan del Sur is a small beachside inn by San Juan del Sur beach on the Pacific Ocean.

24. Do hotels have laundry services?

Yes. All of your hotels offer same-day laundry services. No coin laundries are available.

25. What is your cancellation policy?

A full refund will be sent to you if you cancel your space on a scheduled group tour more than 45 days before your tour begins.

If you cancel a scheduled group tour between 15 to 45 days before your tour begins, you receive a full and transferable credit towards a future tour within 12 months, minus a $200 charge. If you cancel a scheduled group tour less than 15 days prior to departure, you receive a full and transferable credit towards a future tour within 12 months, minus a $350 per person charge.

For private tours, a different refund schedule applies. For private tours, a 90% refund (full refund minus 10% service charge) will be sent to you if you cancel your space on a private group tour more than 45 days before your tour begins. If you cancel less than 45 days prior to the start of your tour, then you receive, at our discretion, either (1) a transferable credit towards a future tour within 12 months, minus a $350 per person charge or (2) a transferable credit towards a future tour within 12 months minus the deposits and obligations that we incurred on your behalf and cannot recover plus a 10% service fee.

26. How can I make an international call from Nicaragua?

It's easy. You can purchase a pre-paid phone international phone card for $3 to $20 for making international phone calls from public pay phones for about 50 cents a minute.  You can also make calls from internet phone stations, which are available in every town, for as little as 15 cents a minute to the USA.  During your tour, you will have access to a private Nicaragua cellphone for emergency calls.

27. Can I receive a phone call from home while I'm in Nicaragua?

Yes, you can receive phone calls in your hotel.  The hotel will contact you in your room when you receive a phone call.  In addition, your tour director has a cellular phone for the use of Explore Nicaragua Tour members to receive important calls.  One week before your tour starts, you will receive an information sheet with all hotel phone numbers and the tour director's special cellular phone number for tour members.

28. Where do most of the people in Nicaragua live?

About 90% of the people in Nicaragua live on the western side of Nicaragua, near the Pacific coast.  Your Explore Nicaragua tour travels throughout this same area.

29. If I want to visit specific areas of Nicaragua during my free time on the tour, will you help me arrange transportation and a guide?

Yes.  When you arrive in Nicaragua, your English speaking tour director can help you with your private travel interests.  If you wish to visit specific areas of Nicaragua during your free time on tour, or visit relatives in Nicaragua, your tour director can arrange a private car and driver for you in your free time. 

30. Terms of travel

Luggage: Due to space limitations in the bus luggage compartment, only one medium size suitcase of up to 26 inches in length may be brought on the bus per person. One small purse, carry-on bag, or camera bag may also be personally carried. Explore Nicaragua Tours is not responsible for loss or damage to your personal belongings.

Responsibility: Explore Nicaragua Tours and/or its agents act only in the capacity as an agent for the passenger in all matters connected with luggage, hotels, sightseeing tours and transportation, whether by bus, boat, or any other means, and is not liable for any damage due to negligence of any boat, bus, or hotel. Explore Nicaragua Tours is not liable for any damage, expense or inconvenience caused by late departures, change of schedule, strikes or other conditions. The tour schedules shown are subject to revisions, including the substitution of hotels. Explore Nicaragua tours is not liable for any wrongful, negligent, or unauthorized acts or omissions of any travel agent or travel agency. Legal proceedings by or against Explore Nicaragua Tours may be instituted only in a state or federal court within the State of Illinois, and any claim involved in such proceedings shall be decided in accordance with the laws of the State of Illinois. Explore Nicaragua Tours reserves the right to decline to accept or retain any person as a member of a tour at any time before or during the actual operation of the tour. In the case of computer or human billing error, Explore Nicaragua Tours reserves the right to correct invoice with correct billing information. Explore Nicaragua Tours Tours is not responsible for typographical or printing errors, or errors arising form unforeseen circumstances.

Rooms: Explore Nicaragua Tours hotel rooms all have a private bath, shower, and air conditioning. Triple rooms are usually two beds, and a rollaway is usually not available. Changes in type of room due to cancellation by a roommate (a double changed to a single) will result in a single room supplement charged to the remaining passenger.

Please email us at, or please call us at 1-800-800-1132 if you have any questions about Nicaragua travel, or if you would like to reserve space with Explore Nicaragua Tours.

Private tours may be arranged on request.

Small Group Tour Dates
Nov. 6, 2016
8 Day Tour $998*

*Per person, double occupancy
*Plus taxes and fees $174
*Single room supplement $320


Reserve Your Tour

Call 1-800-800-1132. You can reserve your space on tour for free, with no obligation, for up to 2 days, then $298 deposit is due. Balance of payment is due 60 days before start of tour.

Roundtrip Airport Transfers are included. Our airport greeter will meet you at the airport and transfer you roundtrip between your airport and hotel.

Airfare is not included. Airlines that fly to Nicaragua include American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Copa Airlines, Delta Airlines, Lacsa Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Taca Airlines, and United Airlines.

visa  mastercard  american express 
Pay by credit card or check

Photo Credits

All photos are by Intur, staff of ExploreNicaraguaTours, Inc., Walter Burville, Stephen D. Stewart, and David Graetz.