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Is Nicaragua Safe to Visit in 2022? | Safety Concerns

Is Nicaragua Safe to Visit in 2022? | Safety Concerns

Nicaragua is an up-and-coming tourist destination in Central America. Nicaragua has incredible natural beauty with access to the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean.

The interior has fantastic jungles filled with wildlife, and both coasts feature outstanding scuba diving and surfing. Additionally, it has the largest body of fresh water in Central America, Lago de Nicaragua.

Add in the beautiful mountains in the interior, and Nicaragua should be on everyone’s list of tourist destinations. However, like in any country, there are safety concerns when traveling to Nicaragua.

This article will discuss both the positive and negative aspects of travel to Nicaragua and offer some tips on staying safe while in the country.

Is Nicaragua Safe to Visit in 2022?

Outdoor view of Leon Nicaragua pictured on a sunny day for a piece on whether or not Nicaragua is safe to visit

Fotos593/Shutterstock

Nicaragua is generally a safe country for travelers. The government has made strides to improve safety and security in recent years, particularly in tourist areas.

However, crime still happens, and tourists should be aware of their surroundings and be cautious when traveling. Some of the most common crimes against tourists include pickpocketing and petty theft.

These crimes are usually non-violent and can be easily avoided by taking simple precautions. Always keep your belongings close, and don’t carry large amounts of cash or valuables with you.

There have also been reports of more violent crimes against tourists, such as robbery and sexual assault. These incidents are relatively rare, but they do occur. Again, it’s crucial to be aware of your surroundings.

Do not go out alone at night, do not accept rides from strangers, and avoid isolated areas. In general, as long as you use common sense and know your surroundings, you will be safe while traveling in Nicaragua.

Crime in Nicaragua 

Nicaragua has a high crime rate, particularly in the capital city of Managua. There is a lot of gang activity and drug-related crime. Petty theft and pickpocketing are common, especially in tourist areas. 

Some of the most common crimes against tourists include pickpocketing and petty theft. These crimes are usually non-violent and can be easily avoided by taking simple precautions.

Always keep your belongings close, and don’t carry large amounts of cash or valuables with you. There have also been reports of more violent crimes against tourists, such as robbery and sexual assault. These incidents are relatively rare, but they do occur.

As we’d suggest doing in any big city, be sure to not go out alone at night, do not accept rides from strangers, and avoid isolated areas.

Avoiding Bad Neighborhoods

Corinto Nicaragua slums as seen from the street

Ted Pagel/Shutterstock

Outside of the capital city of Managua, Nicaragua is a relatively rural country. Muggings and robberies are not as common in the smaller towns and villages. However, there have been reports of petty theft and pickpocketing.

If you are traveling to Managua, it’s best to avoid the wrong neighborhoods. These areas are in the easternmost of the tourist attractions outside Managua. Still, if you decide to spend some time there, it’s vital to avoid some neighborhoods.

Some of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Managua include:

  • El Chureca: This is a neighborhood located near the city’s landfill. It’s one of the poorest and most dangerous areas in Managua. There is a lot of gang activity and crime, and it’s best to avoid this area altogether.
  • Barrio 18: This neighborhood is located in the southeastern part of Managua. It’s known for its high crime rate, and it’s best to avoid this area.
  • La Modelo: This is another dangerous neighborhood in the eastern part of Managua. It’s best to avoid this area, as there is a lot of gang activity and crime.

If you are staying in Managua, it’s best to avoid these areas. If you must go to these areas, be aware of your surroundings and take assurances to protect yourself.

Kidnappings and Theft in Nicaragua

There have been reports of kidnappings and theft in Nicaragua, particularly in the capital city of Managua. These incidents are relatively rare, but they do occur. 

Criminal gangs undertake kidnapping and kidnappings that seek to ransom back travelers to their family members abroad. The danger of kidnappings is another reason why sharing your travel plans with someone at home is essential.

If something happens to you, your family will know where you are and can contact the authorities. Theft is a more common crime in Nicaragua.

There have been reports of carjackings and robberies, particularly in the capital city of Managua. Do not carry large amounts of cash or valuables with you. If you are driving, keep your doors locked and your windows up.

Scams in Nicaragua

There are a few scams that are common in Nicaragua. One is the fake taxi scam, where a driver will approach you and offer to take you to your destination for a much higher price than what it should cost.

It’s important only to take official taxis when traveling in Nicaragua. Another scam is the hotel scam, where someone will approach you and offer to take you to a hotel for a low price.

Once you arrive at the hotel, you will be asked to pay an exorbitant fee. It’s important to only book hotels through reputable sources.

Finally, there is the ATM scam, where someone will offer to help you withdraw money from an ATM. Once you have withdrawn the money, they will take the money and leave you with nothing. It’s essential only to use ATMs in well-lit, public areas.

The best way to avoid these scams is to use prearranged transportation and lodging. Additionally, you should avoid speaking to strangers whenever possible.

Health Concerns in Nicaragua

There are a few health concerns to be aware of when traveling to Nicaragua. One is dengue fever, a mosquito-borne illness that can be fatal. There is no vaccine for dengue fever, so it’s vital to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants, use mosquito repellent, and stay in air-conditioned areas whenever possible. Another health concern is malaria, which is another mosquito-borne illness.

There is a vaccine for malaria, so it’s crucial to get vaccinated before traveling to Nicaragua. You should always be up to date on your vaccinations before traveling to Nicaragua, including vaccinations for hepatitis A and Brabies, and typhoid.

Consult with a travel doctor before traveling to Nicaragua is generally a good idea. They will be able to advise you on which vaccinations and medications you need based on your itinerary and health history.

If you get sick in Nicaragua, the health care system is not of the highest quality. If you contract a severe illness, you should return home as soon as possible to get high-quality health care.

What Are the Safest Parts of Nicaragua? 

The safest parts of Nicaragua are the cities of Granada, Leon, and San Juan del Sur. These cities have a lower crime rate than other parts of the country and are generally considered safe for travelers.

What Are the Most Dangerous Parts of Nicaragua?

The most dangerous parts of Nicaragua are the cities of Managua, Bluefields, and Juigalpa. These cities have a higher crime rate than other parts of the country and are generally considered unsafe for travelers.

Political Violence and Upheaval in Nicaragua

For a post titled Is Nicaragua Safe to Visit, a bunch of people protesting in the streets

Granada, Nicaragua – May 29, 2018: peaceful protests in Granada Nicaragua for reform of INSS, people flying the Nicaraguan flag/Riderfoot/Shutterstock

Unfortunately, there have been large political protests in Nicaragua that have lasted since 2018 and are still ongoing. These protests result from changes in the social security program by the president of Nicaragua.

These protests have turned violent at times, and the protests are one of the number one reasons why people are not traveling to Nicaragua. However, most protests occur in Managua, so it’s relatively easy to avoid them.

If you are planning on traveling to Nicaragua, it’s vital to stay up-to-date on the political situation and ONLY travel to safe areas. The safest areas of Nicaragua are the cities of Granada, Leon, and San Juan del Sur.

Tips for Safely Traveling in Nicaragua

You can do a few things to stay safe when traveling in Nicaragua:

  1. Avoid travel to the most dangerous parts of the country.
  2. Be aware of your surroundings and take precautions against crime.
  3. Get vaccinated before traveling to Nicaragua and consult with a travel doctor about any health concerns you may have.
  4. If you get sick while in Nicaragua, return home as soon as possible to get high-quality health care.

Nicaragua is a beautiful country with a lot to offer travelers. However, it’s crucial to be aware of the safety concerns before traveling there. By following these tips, you can help ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable trip.

Travel Tips for Nicaragua

Now that we’ve answered the question, “is Nicaragua safe?” let’s look at some tips to help you have a safe and enjoyable trip. First, it’s always a good idea to research your destination before you travel.

Necessary research includes learning about the local culture and customs and the current political and social situation. This information will help you avoid any potential misunderstandings or confrontations.

It’s also a good idea to purchase travel insurance before you go. Travel insurance will help you if you have any problems while traveling, such as lost baggage or medical emergencies. When packing for your trip, pack light and only bring the essentials.

Traveling light will help you avoid unnecessary hassle and make it easier to keep track of your belongings. Finally, make sure to stay in touch with family and friends while you are traveling.

Let them know your itinerary and check in with them regularly. Sharing your travel plans will help them track your whereabouts and ensure you are safe. By following these simple tips, you can help ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable trip to Nicaragua.

Things to Consider

These are some important points to consider when planning your trip to Nicaragua:

  • Plan your trip and share your itinerary with someone at home.
  • Only take official taxis.
  • Only drink bottled water. Carry small bills and keep your money in multiple places on your person.
  • Wear sunscreen and insect repellent.
  • Be cautious when using ATMs.
  • Don’t flash valuables in public or leave them unattended.
  • Keep copies of essential documents like your passport in case you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Old Cathedral of Managua pictured on a sunny day for a piece titled Is Nicaragua Safe to Visit

Henryk Sadura/Shutterstock

These are some of the frequently asked questions about traveling to Nicaragua safely.

Is Nicaragua safe to live in?

The answer to this question is a bit more complicated. While Nicaragua is generally safe, there have been large political protests since 2018 that have sometimes turned violent. These protests make some areas of the country unsafe to live in. However, the majority of the violence has occurred in Managua. Many foreigners migrate to Nicaragua to enjoy the natural beauty and the affordable cost of living.

Is it safe to travel to Nicaragua in 2022?

The current political situation in Nicaragua is unstable, so it’s difficult to say if it will be safe to travel there. It’s always a good idea to research your destination before traveling and stay up-to-date on the current situation.

Is Nicaragua safe for solo female travelers?

There are always safety concerns for solo female travelers, no matter where they go. However, Nicaragua is generally a safe place for solo female travelers. It’s always a good idea to take precautions against crime, such as keeping your belongings close to you and being aware of your surroundings. You should also avoid traveling alone at night.

Is Nicaragua safe for LGBTQ+ travelers?

There is not currently a lot of data on the safety of LGBTQ+ travelers in Nicaragua. However, it’s generally a safe place for LGBTQ+ people. There have been reports of discrimination and violence against LGBTQ+ people.

Is Nicaragua safer than Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is a safer country to travel to than Nicaragua. Costa Rica has a higher standard of living and a more stable political system. There is also less crime in Costa Rica. However, Nicaragua is still a safe country to travel to, and many enjoy its natural beauty and friendly people.

Is Managua, Nicaragua, safe?

Managua is generally safe, but some neighborhoods have crime and violence. Additionally, it’s the location of political protests and violence.

So, Is Nicaragua Safe to Visit?

Nicaragua is a beautiful country with friendly people. However, there are some safety concerns to be aware of before you travel.

Make sure to research, stay up-to-date on the current situation, and take precautions against crime. With some planning and preparation, you can have a safe and enjoyable trip to Nicaragua. Happy travels!