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Nicaragua Information

Nicaragua is the largest Central American country but one of the least visited. Nicaragua includes the largest lake - Lake Nicaragua, and oldest colonial city - Granada of Central America. Nicaragua borders with Costa Rica to the South East and with Honduras to the North West.

In spite of the celebration of a decade of peace, tourism in the country is still in its infancy. A limited infrastructure and a lack of promotion are the legacy of years of political and economic instability. However, for the more adventurous traveller Nicaragua has a lot to offer and is certain to become more popular in the future. There are seventeen volcanoes, picturesque lakes, unexplored mountains and pristine rainforests full of wildlife which is testament to the country's biodiversity. The Pacific beaches are unspoiled and a haven for surfers, while local markets offer good quality arts and crafts, especially hammocks, basketwork, wood-carvings, ceramics and cigars.

Nicaragua's tourist season is during the dry season from November until May. During the rainy season from June to October, the weather can be hot and steamy in the lowlands when the humidity makes the heat more oppressive than otherwise. Rain in Nicaragua tends to come in sudden short downpours that freshen the air and are followed by sunshine.

Facts At A Glance:
Country name: Republic of Nicaragua
Area: 129,494 sq km (49,998 sq mi)
Population: 5,465,100 (growth rate 1.92%)
People: 69% mestizo, 14% African descent,
10% Spanish descent, 5% Amerindian
17% White, 9% Black

Capital city: Managua
Language: Spanish (official)
Religion: Roman Catholic 73%, Protestant 15%
Government: constitutional democracy
Time: GMT/UTC minus 6 hours
Electricity: 110V
Weights /measures: Metric
Climate: tropical in lowlands, cooler in highlands

Visa Requirements:
A valid U.S. passport is required to enter Nicaragua. U.S. citizens must have an onward or return ticket and evidence of sufficient funds to support themselves during their stay. A visa is not required for U.S. citizens; however, a tourist card must be purchased ($5.00) upon arrival. Tourist cards are typically issued for 30 to 90 days. A valid entry stamp is required to exit Nicaragua. Pay attention to the authorized stay that will be written into your entry stamp by the immigration inspector. Visitors remaining more than the authorized time must obtain an extension from Nicaraguan Immigration. Failure to do so prevents departure until a fine is paid. There is also a $32 departure tax, the payment of which may or may not be included in your ticket. If not, payment can be made at the counter.

Every visitor needs a valid passport and an onward ticket to enter Nicaragua, but further requirements vary from country to country and occasionally change. US, Canadian, Western European, Australians and South Americans need only a passport, while people from other countries need a tourist visa or tourist card as well. Further information may be obtained from the Embassy of Nicaragua, 1627 New Hampshire Avenue, NW, Washington DC 20009, Telephone: (202) 939-6570; Fax: (202) 939-6542.

Links to more information:
CIA World Fact Book - Nicaragua
US Department of State
UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Nicaragua Map