It’s everyone’s desire when visiting other countries: To have a safe trip and enjoy as many adventures that the country has to offer, and Nicaragua is no exception. The following information can be said of any country, so be sure to use precautions and stay on guard wherever your travels may lead.
Playa Manzanillo, Nicaragua - Courtesy of travelsafe-abroad.com
Petty crimes, such as pickpocketing, do occur in the major cities of Nicaragua, especially in the markets. It is best to carry as little with you as possible and never carry currency or credit cards in a purse, backpack, or the back pockets. Also, it's always a good idea to keep small amounts of cash in different pockets in case of an emergency.
Small businesses like souvenirs shops don't accept credit cards, but it's not recommended to have all your cash in one pocket
Taxi drivers may try to overcharge, so be sure to negotiate rates upfront and double-check the change given back to you. That happens to all Nicaraguans, but such situations tend to target visitors more often. Tourists are strongly encouraged to use ATM's located inside a bank rather than on the street and not to display valuables while using the ATM. Reports of credit card fraud are also prevalent in Nicaragua, as well as scammers.
Keep all of this in mind and you should be just fine.
Women Traveling Solo
Like most places in Latin America, catcalling is a common situation in Nicaragua. The large majority of Nicaraguans will be embarrassed if they witness something like that. It may be uncomfortable, but don't let it go to your head - simply ignore it and keep walking.
Traveling solo is a great experience, but always take some precautions - Photo from CuriosityTravels.org
Walking around at daytime is mostly safe, but it's best to remain in populated areas. Not even Nicaraguans are impervious to crime while walking on lonely streets. That said, women should be on alert when passing by groups of men, especially when walking alone at night. In such cases, having a few male friends around can always be a good deterrent to catcalling or disrespectful comments.
Taxis and Public Transportation
Walking around after dark or in dimly lit areas is not advised. It is also not recommended that you take public transportation at night and instead opt for a taxi.
Many tourists love taking the 'Chicken Buses' - Photo Courtesy of coupletravel.com
Once in Nicaragua, you'll soon realize that the large 'chicken buses' and smaller vans are the primary means of transportation, especially when leaving Managua. In the cities, however, there's plenty of walking to do, and you can always take a cab for longer distances. Outside of the larger cities, you are less likely to experience trouble on public transportation, but still keep a close eye on your belongings.
Also, if you're staying in a single city for a few days, it's always a great idea to get the number of a trusted taxi driver or hire a private shuttle if it's within your budget.
While the Nicaraguan police are doing a fairly good job in keeping crime under control, they are more wary of political demonstrations than common crimes, especially in Managua. Muggings or other crimes can happen anytime, anywhere, so always remain aware of your surroundings.
Making memories in Granada - If you love taking pictures, don't keep your camera out more than necessary
For travelers who have Nicaragua on their "Must Visit" in 2020 or those who are eagerly awaiting another return, these are some top things to be aware of in regards to your safety:
- Don't get involved in politics or any political causes.
- Avoid demonstrations and restrict unnecessary travel.
- Always be aware of your surroundings in any country you visit.
- Don't bring or wear expensive jewelry or display costly belongings. If you go around taking pictures, don't make yourself a target by displaying any expensive gear more than necessary.
- Don't venture too far off the well-traveled path.
- Keep your wits about you, no matter where you go.
- Always travel with insurance, even if you are only taking a short trip.
- Do your homework. Research the latest information on travel to Nicaragua and stay informed.
- When possible, travel with someone that knows the area as well as the language.
Many governments still advise us to "exercise a high degree of caution" when visiting Nicaragua. However, it hasn't impeded many folks who enjoy traveling to this tropical paradise.
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