NICARAGUA TOUR PACKAGES
Tours Nicaragua offers the most diverse and interesting Nicaragua tour packages. Have a look at our tour menu.
Since 1996 we have been offering tour packages in Nicaragua for lovers of adventure trips, ecotourism, culture and history tours as well as those just looking for some down time on the beach with a one of our Nicaragua Vacations.
To be sure, our services go well beyond what most associate with a typical Nicaragua tour packages. Tours Nicaragua offers something very human, unique and personal.
For example, with all our Nicaragua vacation packages, we are on call 24/7 when you are in-country. We are checking up on your trip every day while in-country via our tour guides, drivers and hotels.
We want to make sure you are having the best experience possible. Some companies call this “executive” or “white glove service” – to us it’s just part of the Tours Nicaragua service philosophy.
We avoid pretentious labels, and branding at our client’s expense. The term Nicaragua tour packages usually suggests a “pre- packaged” or “off the shelf” tour to entice the prospective traveler to Nicaragua – however Tours Nicaragua offers so much more. Please have a look at our unique Nicaragua vacation and tour packages.
NICARAGUA LOCATION AND POPULATION
Nicaragua is Central America’s largest country at 130,000 km2. It is bordered by Honduras and the Gulf of Fonseca in the north, Costa Rica in the south, the Caribbean Sea in the east and the Pacific Ocean in the west. Nicaragua is home to just over 5 million people, making it the least densely populated country in Central America.
The Pacific basin is blessed with a spine of more than 50 volcanoes that run from the northern Pacific Gulf of Fonseca, south into Lake Nicaragua. 7 of these are active and 14 sport crater lakes.
The Pacific basin is separated from the central and northern mountains and eastern rain forests by Central America’s two biggest lakes: Lake Managua and Lake Nicaragua. Lake Nicaragua is the 2nd largest in Latin America at 8,264 km2 and is home to over 450 volcanic origin islands, including the world’s largest volcanic lake island, Isla Ometepe and 5 distinct archipelagos. Lake Nicaragua’s western-most point is only 18 km from the Pacific Ocean, but drains into the Caribbean Sea by means of the San Juan River’s 190 km length.
A full 10% of Nicaragua is covered by lakes, rivers and lagoons, 35% is covered in forests. The remaining 55% is a mixture of grazing and farm lands with scattered villages and cities. Please see our “Country Information” page for more details on Nicaragua’s nature reserves, colonial cities, villages, beaches and volcanoes.
NICARAGUA FOOD – THE NICARAGUAN EATING EXPERIENCE
Nicaragua is a unique travel destination in that is has all the classic flora and fauna that attracts visitors to the tropics, yet to simply view Nicaragua as an ecotourism travel destination is to ignore many of the pleasures that make visiting Nicaragua so enjoyable.
Travel to Nicaragua is much more than nature, with Nicaraguan culture being as rich as it is and its food being the best in Central America, a visit to Nicaragua is a complete travel experience.
While vacationing in Nicaragua it would be a pity not to try some of the local foods and our guides are very useful in this regard, with so many travelers to Nicaragua being timid at the table, our guides can help the traveler to Nicaragua get the best out of the Nicaragua kitchen.
What many visitors to Nicaragua do not realize is that the heavy sauces and spices used by many of the world’s cuisines are actually a mask for ingredients which are, well, a bit less than fresh. This means, for some anyway, visiting Nicaragua is like learning to taste again, without smashing flavors, rather the subtle beauty of fresh ingredients, enjoyed with very little spices or sauces.
Those visiting Nicaragua who are accustomed to having their taste buds blasted by garlic or chile peppers can still find garlic and hot sauces in Nicaragua, but to drown fresh caught fish, range beef or chicken and vine ripened veggies in garlic or other strong sauces is really an opportunity missed.
We invite those who travel to Nicaragua to savor the subtle beauty of the Nicaraguan kitchen. We do not suggest that you won’t ever encounter a plate that has gone over the line with salt or a fruit drink that has been mixed too sweet, and that is where our guide needs to help, to avoid those misses. The net result for visitors is that most of the time you can really taste the food here, and that might not be such a bad thing.
Nicaragua enjoys an average temperature of 27°C (80°F) year round. Humidity averages 65%.
There are two seasons, green and dry.
The green season is from mid-May to mid-November, the dry season from late-November to early-May. Rain during the green season is normally limited to short and powerful bursts with longer showers at night.
The hottest time of year is at the end of the dry season, from March to May, while the coolest period is from October to January. The most pleasant and beautiful time to visit Nicaragua is from June to January, unless visiting the San Juan River and Solentiname rain forest area, when the months of July, August and the period from December to March are best.
INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS TO NICARAGUA
Managua International Airport has one of the most modern facilities in Central America with a complete terminal remodel finished in 2007. Five international airline carriers fly into Managua International Airport: Two Central American carriers and three North American carriers.
- American Airlines: 3 daily non-stops from Miami
- Delta Airlines: 1 daily non-stop from Atlanta
- United Airlines: 2 daily non-stops from Houston
- Nature Air: 1 daily non-stop from San José, Costa Rica
- Spirit Airlines: 1 non-stop Monday, Thursday, and Saturday from Ft. Lauderdale
- Copa Airlines: 2 daily non-stops from San José and Panama; 1 daily non-stop from Guatemala
- Avianca: 1 daily non-stop from Miami and San José; 3 daily non-stops from San Salvador
Other options include non-stop flights to neighboring countries and then a 30 minute connecting flight to Managua. One example is Avianca which flies non-stop daily to El Salvador from Los Angeles. There are also non-stops to San José, Costa Rica from both the USA and Europe that connect to short flights to Managua.
The most advantageous flight schedules for getting extra touring time inside Nicaragua are American Airlines’ early afternoon non-stop and the COPA and Avianca morning arrivals after connecting flights.
To fly from Europe to Nicaragua without going through Miami a non-stop to San José, Costa Rica can be used with connecting flight to Managua or flights through Caracas, Venezuela. Iberia also offers non-stops from Madrid to Guatemala and Costa Rica that connect to Nicaragua.
FLIGHT TICKETS TO NICARAGUA
Tours Nicaragua is a tour operator and outfitter and does not sell international flight tickets. We do provide local flights inside Nicaragua, but international flight tickets to Nicaragua must be purchased in your country of origin from a travel agent or airline company.
The Nicaraguan monetary unit is the córdoba. Current exchange rate is currently 29.50 cordobas to 1 US dollar.
The US dollar is also accepted at most hotels and restaurants. Keep in mind that you will receive change in cordobas. Small denomination notes are very useful for your arrival to Nicaragua.
Visa, MasterCard and American Express cards are widely accepted. Automated teller machines are common in Managua, Granada and Leon, less so outside of the major cities, so you should use them when you are in those towns. San Juan del Sur also has two ATM’s.
Travelers’ checks can be changed in Managua only and are therefore not recommended. Euros and other foreign currencies can not be changed in Nicaragua. The Costa Rican colón can only be changed inside Costa Rica and at the land or river border crossings with Nicaragua.
PASSPORT AND VISA REQUIREMENTS FOR NICARAGUA
Visitors to Nicaragua must have at least 6 months of validity remaining on their passport and a return flight ticket to country of origin.
Visas are not required for citizens of most countries, including those of Western Europe, Canada and the USA. Only citizens of the following countries must obtain visas to enter Nicaragua: Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Armenia, Bosnia, Cameroon, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, Ghana, Haiti, India, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Mozambique, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Peru, Dominican Republic, China, North Korea, Romania, Sierra Leon, Syria, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Somalia, Ukraine, Vietnam, Yemen and Yugoslavia. If your country’s name is not on this list you do not need a visa to visit Nicaragua.
PHYSICALLY CHALLENGED TRAVELERS
Nicaragua has few built-in conveniences for disabled persons, however things are gradually improving and all visitors find the Nicaraguans to be a very helpful people.
Tours Nicaragua offers only private tours and welcomes visitors who face physical challenges traveling. Tours Nicaragua gives special care and attention to see that all of our visitors are able to enjoy the beauty of Nicaragua’s people and nature.
TAXES AND TIPS
Airport entrance tax for visitors to Nicaragua is US$10.00 and airport exit tax is US$32.00. Note that the exit tax is now included by most airlines in ticket cost, please check with your carrier.
Land border crossing taxes range from US$5-8 depending on crossing and time of day.
A 10% tip is included in most bills at restaurants, it is not mandatory to pay. Sales tax (IVA) in Nicaragua is mandatory and 17% including hotels. All of Tours Nicaragua’s tour packages include hotel taxes and food tax and tips when meals are included in the program.
Tours Nicaragua’s customer service office is open Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., though our operational staff is works 24/7 and that includes holidays. All tours are backed up by office staff on call and guides.
Nicaragua is on the same time as Central Standard Time (Chicago) in the USA. During daylight savings time in the USA and Europe, Nicaragua is effectively on Mountain Standard Time (Denver) in the USA.
110 volts, standard American plugs are used.
PHOTOGRAPHY AND VIDEO
In Nicaragua an extremely limited range of photography and video products are available. We strongly recommend stocking up on all supplies if you will photograph or video tape during your visit. Batteries that are not standard radio batteries are nearly impossible or completely unavailable in Nicaragua, please buy fresh batteries and have spares for your visit.
NICARAGUA TRAVEL – TOURISM IN NICARAGUA TODAY
Travel to Nicaragua was once considered to be for the very adventurous. That image of tourism in Nicaragua as being only for the cutting edge traveler is now way out of date.
Nicaragua travel is much more accessible to the tourism market than ever before, with a broad range of lodging opportunities for the visitor who wants to travel to Nicaragua on the cheap or comfortable with the attentive personal service that Tours Nicaragua offers.
And while Nicaragua tourism has not only grown leaps and bounds since Tours Nicaragua started operating tours to Nicaragua in 1996, it still retains much of its original character, it is just a more accessible Nicaragua tourism than it was 14 years ago when we started operating tours in Nicaragua.
Nicaragua travel now attracts travelers from a broad range of tourism markets, from Ireland to Italy and from Seattle to Santiago de Chile. Tourism in Nicaragua continues to grow despite the world economic crisis that has damaged the tourism business in most countries, including Costa Rica.
Despite economic problems in much of the developed world travel to Nicaragua continues to increase by a rate of 8-9% annually, with higher rates sure to come when world economic problems lesson in the future. Nicaragua travel is one way to feel very far away from the states and only fly 2-3 hrs from Miami or Houston.
In fact Nicaragua is closer to Miami than Los Angeles, so the exotic feel of tourism in Nicaragua does not include a grueling transoceanic flight. We welcome you to consider a Nicaragua Vacation as an alternative to faraway destinations for international travelers from the USA.
Europeans will find the authentic nature of Nicaragua’s culture and nature to be much more to their liking than some of the more commercial travel and tourism experiences in the region. Travel to Nicaragua is the best chance to get- far away – close to home.