World Travel Guide > Guides > North America > Nicaragua

Travel to Nicaragua

Flying to Nicaragua

There are no direct flights from Europe; you have to fly via the USA, Mexico or Panama. The most common routes from the UK are via Miami with American Airlines (, via Atlanta or Houston with Delta ( or via Houston with United ( To get from New York to Managua you need to fly via another gateway US city, usually Miami or Houston, or via San Salvador on Avianca (

Airport Guides

Augusto Cesar Sandino International Airport




The airport is 12km (7 miles) north of the city (journey time - 15 minutes).


Flight times

From London - 15 hours 15 minutes (including stopover in Miami); New York - 7 hours (including stopover in Miami).

Departure tax

Departure tax of US$35 is levied on those leaving the country and is normally included in the air fare.

Travelling to Nicaragua by Rail

Driving to Nicaragua

There are a number of land crossings into Nicaragua from Honduras including Las Manos, El Guasaule and El Espino. There’s only one road crossing into Nicaragua from Costa Rica at Peñas Blancas. Ticabus ( runs routes between Nicaragua and the following: Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico and Panama. Transnica ( runs from Nicaragua to Costa Rica and Honduras.


Driving note

Try to get to the border crossing as early as possible to avoid long queues. Upon entering Nicaragua, there will be people offering to help you with your paperwork or carry your luggage for a small tip; just decline politely but firmly.

You have to complete an immigration form, have your passport stamped and pay US$10 for a tourist card and US$2 for immigration, all at different windows of the immigration office. Motorists have to pay an extra US$6 per person for insurance. Make sure you get all the correct stamps and keep all the receipts, as you will need to produce them when you leave. There is a US$2 charge on leaving. There are toilet facilities on both sides of the border that charge a nominal sum but accept both colones and córdoba.

Getting to Nicaragua by boat

Nicaragua has five international ports are all served by national and international cargo ships: Corinto and Puerto Sandino on the Pacific, and El Rama, El Bluff and Puerto Cabezas on the Atlantic.

Cruise ships

San Juan del Sur is an increasingly popular stop on the cruise ship circuit with major lines such as Princess ( and Cunard (, including it in their Central American itineraries.

River Routes

The water crossing into Nicaragua from Costa Rica is via Los Chiles using the Rio Frio. Exit stamps and taxis must be paid in Los Chiles before boarding public boats for the journey down the river to San Carlos and Nicaraguan customs.

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