Disclaimer: Travel restrictions and governmental regulations can change rapidly and the information below might be outdated within a few hours. Therefore, double-check all information with your embassy or on official websites. Traveling Lifestyle does not take any responsibility for your decision to travel.
Nicaragua officially reopened to tourism on July 14th, 2020, and visitors from all countries are welcome.
Whereas literally most countries around the world are struggling to decide whether they should reopen their territories for tourism or not, and airlines are begging authorities to open to avoid bankruptcy, Nicaragua, a Central American country of almost 6.5 million inhabitants, has been open for international travelers since July 14th, but it seems no airline wants to risk landing due to concerns regarding their sanitary protocols.
Yes, US citizens are allowed to enter Nicaragua but proof of negative PCR test is required. (source)
Which countries are allowed to enter Nicaragua during a pandemic?
All countries are allowed to enter Nicaragua but a negative PCR COVID test is required to grant entry.
Whether you are a traveler interested in learning more about this destination or a Nicaraguan national trying to go back home we have some answers for most of your questions and concerns.
What are, if any, the restrictions for visitors entering the country? Is the pandemic situation under control? Is Nicaragua a safe destination to travel?
How is Nicaragua doing regarding COVID-19 and other internal affairs?
Disclaimer: although according to the World Health Organization (WHO), Nicaragua reports a relatively stable contagion and death toll, with 3773 confirmed cases and 44 deaths, it is impossible to say these are accurate figures because Daniel Ortega’s highly criticized government does not display much in the way official information that would allow us to reconfirm if the situation is as good as it looks at first glance.
Human Rights Watch, the international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights around the world, gives us an insight into the reasons why this lack of information and secrecy seems to go apparently unchecked in the country.
According to this organization, ever since Daniel Ortega took office, almost every single official institution has been undergoing a dismantling process with the purpose of re-shaping government units to be more in tune with the political ideals of the president. Regarding the freedom of speech, (HRW) makes serious allegations about the violation of journalists’ rights, including, but not limited to threats, insults, physical attacks, detentions, arbitrary searches of documents, and forced closures which may offer a plausible explanation on the lack of information about the country’s current situation.
What if I still need to travel?
The outlook is not so good. Even though locals and foreigners can freely travel domestically without any intercity or interstate restrictions, the situation to enter and leave Nicaragua is entirely different since all commercial airlines have suspended service from Nicaragua.
Below you can look at the updated list of airlines and estimated time for the suspension of their services to or in the territory:
Delta Airlines service suspended indefinitely
United Airlines service suspended until October 1, 2020
Avianca Airlines service suspended until September 19, 2020
AeroMexico service suspended until October 1, 2020
American Airlines service suspended until October 7, 2020
Spirit Airlines service suspended until October 2020
Copa Airlines service suspended until October 2020
A lot of what is allowed or not is still uncertain. What we do know is that you will be expected to provide a negative COVID-19 test (PCS and/or serology), and will most likely be screened upon entering the country.
Nicaragua is definitely a hidden gem of Central America worth visiting with or without the COVID situation. It’s a paradise for backpackers, surfers and budget travelers. You can enjoy some world-class beaches, island hopping, surfing, or climbing volcanos.