Nicaraguan Gold Córdoba (NIO; symbol C$) = 100 centavos. Notes are in denominations of C$500, 100, 50, 20 and 10. Coins are in denominations of C$5 and 1, and 50, 25, 10 and 5 centavos.
Major credit cards are widely accepted by hotels, restaurants and medium to large sized businesses. Smaller businesses and mom-and-pop operations may deal in cash only.
There are ATMs in most tourist areas. Whilst the majority are reliable and will work with cards, there’s always the chance that they won’t work, so plan accordingly. Most ATMs give Cordobas and US dollars. When paying in cash, notes in less than perfect condition may not be accepted; don’t accept any that are ripped or have marks on them.
These can only be changed in some banks and are not widely accepted. There may be a fee for cashing them.
Mon-Fri 0830-1630, Sat 0830-1230.
The import of local and foreign currency is unlimited, subject to declaration of amounts exceeding the equivalent of US$5000 on arrival. There are no restrictions on the export of local and foreign currency.
Foreign currencies can be exchanged at the airport, at banks and at official bureaux de change in major cities. US Dollars are the most easily exchanged currency and are also accepted as payment throughout the country.
Nicaragua duty free
The following items can be imported into Nicaragua by travellers aged 21 and over without incurring customs duty:
• 20 packs of cigarettes or 50 cigars or 500g of tobacco.
• 5L of alcoholic drinks.
• 2kg of confectionery.
• Other goods to the value of US$500 (provided you've been out of the country for at least 72 hours).
Restricted items include fresh food, live animals and plants and their products. A special permit is required for firearms.
Archaeological items, artefacts of historical or monetary value, and gold.