Is Nicaragua Safe? Travel Advisory 2023

Is Nicaragua Safe? Travel advisory 2023

Nicaragua is a beautiful Central American country popular with those who enjoy history, culture, and adventure. Traveling to Nicaragua requires some amount of caution, as in most Latin countries.

Those who plan and are cautious can travel to and around Nicaragua at low risk.

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LATEST UPDATES / NEWS from Nicaragua:

April 18 – Nicaraguan regime chases down Holy Week procession

Police in Nicaragua chased Holy Week procession participants through the streets of Nindir, a tiny town some 26 kilometers (16 miles) from Managua, the country’s capital. During the action, which was captured on camera on Holy Monday, the group can be seen hurriedly racing away from their pursuers. 

Catholics are not permitted to perform processions or engage in other Holy Week customs in public spaces in Nicaragua under the rule of President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo.

An officer was successful in stopping a young guy who was dressed as Simon of Cyrene. Near Santa Ana Church, the police caught up with the young Catholic and informed him that religious activities were prohibited. In the viral video, the officer is heard telling the man, “I’m just telling you, nothing more.”

March 14 – Why you should travel to Nicaragua

Nicaragua does not have the flashy amenities, stellar reputation, or robust tourism industry needed to attract large numbers of tourists, but neither does it have the throngs of tourists, the beaten path, or the same old things found in increasing numbers elsewhere. Still, it is pleasantly undeveloped. As a result, Nicaragua is significantly more affordable than other popular destinations in Central America (including neighboring Costa Rica, which it certainly resembles).

However, Nicaragua offers many of the things tourists want: deserted beaches. green jungles. Golf courses and resorts right on the beach. Surfing. Architecture of the past. memorable dinners. Authentic seclusion. Minimal prices. Plus, active volcanoes that are unexpectedly close, and a rustic, easygoing atmosphere that can appeal to all but the most seasoned tourists.

Travel advisory for Nicaragua

The U.S. State Department issued a Level 3 travel advisory for Nicaragua in December 2022. The advisory cites concerns about arbitrary detention and imprisonment for those the government feels oppose President Ortega.

The advisory also cites the absence of health care and the prevalence of violent crimes, including sexual assault and armed robbery.

The governments of New Zealand, Finland, and Canada also have issued travel advisories for their citizens traveling to Nicaragua.

NOTE: those are general advisories about general safety and crime in Nicaragua but tourists aren’t targeted.

Common safety concerns when traveling to Nicaragua

Tourists in Nicaragua might face several indirect safety concerns.

Social and Political Upheaval

The country has been experiencing political unrest since 2018. The government is targeting those opposing Ortega or who advocate for democracy. These individuals may face wrongful detention and have their personal property seized. The country’s poor infrastructure also limits the ability of governments to help their citizens in emergencies.


Poverty is rampant in Nicaragua and is a significant reason crime is prevalent in cities. Violent crime, pickpocketing, purse snatching, and scams are problems that can occur in some touristy areas of Corn Island, Granada, Manuagua, and San Juan del Sur.

Credit card fraud and taxi scams are also common. Some armed robbery cases can occur along the highways, such as Managua-Leon and Tipita-Masaya. Gang violence is prevalent in Jorge Dimitrov, Rene Schick, and Zona Rosa. Prostitutes also sometimes rob people in the Zona Rosa district.

Crime is more prevalent at night. Women traveling alone are particularly at risk for sexual harassment or verbal abuse.

As the country’s police force is weak, tourists are advised to observe their surroundings carefully and keep their belongings close to lower the chances of encountering crime.

Health Concerns

Nicaragua’s health care system is limited, so tourists should make arrangements to travel outside the country if they contract a severe illness. Dengue fever and malaria occur in Nicaragua, and travelers are encouraged to take preventive steps.

Safety measures to keep in mind when traveling to Nicaragua

Those traveling to Nicaragua should take the following measures to protect their safety.

  • Travel in groups, especially female travelers.
  • Visit tourist areas in the daytime.
  • Avoid leaving valuables exposed and keep these items close to them.
  • Use the ATM only inside the bank.
  • Avoid flashing expensive jewelry or other expensive items.
  • Avoid hitchhiking or taking public transportation.
  • Use only authorized taxis.
  • Use only reputable tour companies.
  • Share the itinerary with family and friends at home and check in with them often.
  • Avoid discussing travel plans or hotel locations with strangers.
  • If attacked, avoid fighting back.
  • Choose to stay in safer areas such as Leon, Granada, and Playa Maderas.
  • Avoid areas with political gatherings.
  • Keep a low profile.
  • Buy travel insurance

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Why visit Nicaragua?

Nicaragua offers many exciting sights. A few reasons to visit Nicaragua are:

  • The stunning Spanish architecture and picturesque islets of Granada
  • Natural attractions include animal reserves, crater lakes on dormant volcanoes, and the Somoto Canyon National Monument.
  • The Masaya Volcano
  • Lake Nicaragua and Isla Ometepe

Visiting Nicaragua now requires caution. However, travelers can be safe if they take precautions.