Nicaragua Travel Guide: Travel tips for foreigners & backpackers, Managua tourist information, Nicaragua food average prices, eating on a budget, accommodation in Managua Find discount hotels, cheap accommodation, vacation deals, holiday packages.
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Nicaragua Travel Guide

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Full country name: Republic of Nicaragua
Area: 130,370 sq km
Population: 5,89 million (July 2010 est.)
Capital City: Managua
Language: Spanish 97.5% (official), Miskito 1.7%, other 0.8%
Religion: Roman Catholic 58.5%, Evangelical 21.6%, Moravian 1.6%, Jehovah's Witness 0.9%, other 1.7%, none 15.7%
Government: Presidential republic
Time Zone: UTC-6
Dialing Code: 505
Electricity: 120V 60 Hz
Weights & measures: The metric system is the legal standard, but some local units also are used

Money & Costs:
Currency: Gold cordoba (NIO)
Average Yearly Salary: USD2,800

Budget: USD4-10
Mid-range: USD10-40
High: USD50+
Budget: USD8-20
Mid-range: USD20-60
High: USD100+

Geography: The Republic of Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America. It borders Honduras and Costa Rica. The country's western coastline faces the Pacific Ocean, and the eastern - the Caribbean Sea. Nicaragua contains the largest freshwater body, Lago de Nicaragua, in Central America. Nearly one fifth of the country's territory is designated as protected area, with natural parks, biological and natural reserves. There are three distinct geographical regions in Nicaragua: fertile valleys, known as the Pacific Lowlands, the Amerrique Mountains, and the Mosquito Coast.

Climate: Nicaragua has a tropical climate with two distinct seasons: the rainy (July - December) and the dry (January - June) seasons. Luckily, in August and September it often rains only once a day, and these rains are often short, but spectacular, tropical rainshowers. The precipitation is greater in the eastern, than in the western part of the country. The average yearly temperature is between 20 C and 30 C (68 F - 86 F).

Recommended clothing: Lightweight cotton clothes should be brought when traveling to Nicaragua. Rainwear is essential when going during the rainy season, as well as beachwear, sunglasses, a hat and sun-block lotion - when going during the dry season. Comfortable walking shoes are advised for excursions to natural parks and reserves.

Social conventions: The so called 'Nicas' are very friendly and obliging people. You should avoid photographing military sites or military personnel. Dress is informal.

Health: Since medical care is very limited, especially outside the bigger cities, you should bring prescribed medications for the whole trip. Doctors and other hospital personnel frequently speak English. Travelers going to Nicaragua should ensure that all required immunizations and vaccinations are up to date. Health travel insurance is recommended.

Food & Drink: The cuisine of Nicaragua is a mixture of local and Spanish/Creole food. The dishes in the Pacific and Caribbean coasts are also different. Local fruits and corn are the main ingredients of the Pacific coast, whereas seafood and the coconut are the staple ingredients of the Caribbean coast. The majority of Nicaraguan dishes include traditional country's foods, such as: beans, corn, plantains, peppers, and yucca. The most popular meets are: chicken, pork or fresh seafood. Rice and beans (gallo pinto), as well as a cabbage salad are eaten daily. Since tap water is not treated, you should stick to bottled water. You should also avoid any drinks, such as fruit drinks or coca-cola, with ice, as they may be contaminated with parasites. Rum and local beers are plentiful.

Public Holidays:
Jan 1 New Year's Day
May 1 Labor Day
Jul 19 Liberation Day (Revolution of 1979)
Sep 14 Battle of San Jacinto
Sep 15 Independence Day
Nov 1 All Saints' Day
Dec 25 Christmas

Disclaimer: The above information is for reference purposes only. The content of this page is not intended to substitute for advice given by the user's own government travel departments or a licensed travel health advisor. The viewer/user of this web page should always contact the user's own government representatives in that area for the most up-to-date information at that time, before making a final decision to travel to that country or destination.

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