Managua Travel Information
Local time is GMT/UCT -6.
Electrical current in Nicaragua is 120 Volts, 60Hz. Flat blade plugs are used.
The official language in Nicaragua is Spanish. Some communities on the Caribbean coast speak indigenous languages. English is understood at some tourist destinations.
Medical facilities in Nicaragua are only found in major towns, the best of which are in Managua. Rural communities lack modern hospitals and equipment. If a hospital is needed, travellers should indicate they desire a private hospital. Insect repellent should be used to avoid malaria and dengue fever, both of which are carried by mosquitoes. They should take choloroquine, for two weeks before travel through four weeks after, to prevent malaria. Hepatitis A and B, and Typhoid vaccines are recommended for travellers and rabies vaccinations for travellers in contact with animals. The most common affliction is traveller's diarrhoea which is preventable by safe water and food consumption. Travellers should not drink tap water and use common sense when addressing uncooked foods. Visitors from a yellow fever infected area in the Americas or Africa are required to prove they have had vaccination before entry.
Tips of 10 to 15 percent are expected at restaurants in Nicaragua. Standard tipping is usual at hotels. Taxi drivers do not usually expect to be tipped.
Although rural areas in Nicaragua are particularly void of police, there has been a recent increase in crime in these areas. Theft and violent crime are becoming more common in the usually safe country. Travellers should be careful of muggings in taxis and only use official taxis with a red license plate. Buses should not be used after dark. Resulting from poor road conditions, highway driving is especially dangerous during night and should be avoided. Despite these risks, Nicaragua is still one of the safest countries to travel in the region.
It is usual for adults in Nicaragua to live with their parents and visitors should greet the oldest or most important person in a group first. When shopping, it is customary to bargain for goods. Homosexuality was just made legal in March 2008.
The international access code for Nicaragua is +505. The outgoing code is 00 (00 44 for the United Kingdom) followed by the relevant country code. The city area code for Managua is 2. Mobile phones operate on GSM and 3G networks. Local mobile phone calls are cheapest with locally bought SIM cards. Internet is widely available in all cities although the connection speed is mostly limited to 56k.
Visitors to Nicaragua may import up to 200 cigarettes/500g of tobacco, three litres liquor, and one large or three small bottles of perfume. Meat, dairy and leather products as well as matches are restricted. Firearms require an import license.
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