Summary

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all but essential travel to Nicaragua.

There has been a prolonged period of political unrest and street violence in many areas in Nicaragua since mid-April 2018. This has involved the use of tear gas, rubber bullets and live ammunition, resulting in many serious injuries and over 200 deaths. There have been particularly serious violent incidents ongoing in and around Masaya. Marches and demonstrations continue to occur. While some are peaceful, the situation remains volatile and there is the potential for further violence and disorder at any time. You should stay well away from all demonstrations and gatherings, even if apparently peaceful. Such events can quickly escalate into violence, including with indiscriminate shootings. It is also against Nicaraguan immigration law for foreigners to involve themselves in local politics, and you may put yourself at risk of arrest if taking part in protests or breaches of the peace.

Major routes frequently become impassable due to disorder or roadblocks and we advise that you check local information before undertaking any travel. There have been reports of border closures for vehicles. Fuel supplies have become scarce in several cities due to the ongoing unrest. It is highly advised to avoid travelling at night.

The incidence of crime has risen significantly since the protests began. In several towns, buildings have been set on fire and, as food shortages have increased, so have lootings.

If you’re already in Nicaragua, you should keep your departure options under review.

There is no British Embassy in Nicaragua. If you need emergency consular assistance, you should contact the British Embassy, Costa Rica, tel +506 2258 2025. Our ability to offer consular assistance within Nicaragua is limited by the current situation.

If you need to contact the emergency services, call 118 (police), 128 (ambulance) or 115 (911 from a mobile) (fire).

The rainy season normally runs from May to November. Hurricanes can affect Nicaragua during this period. See Natural disasters

There has been an increase in seismic activity in recent years. See the Natural disasters section for advice about what to do before, during and after an earthquake. There has also been significant volcanic activity. You should seek reliable local advice before and during any tourist activity around volcanoes.

Dengue fever is endemic to Latin America and the Caribbean and there has been a recent significant increase in the number of reported cases. Cases of Chikungunya virus have been confirmed in Nicaragua. See Health

UK health authorities have classified Nicaragua as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. For more information and advice, visit the website of the National Travel Health Network and Centre.

Around 17,000 British tourists visited Nicaragua in 2016. Until 2018, when the recent protests began, most visits were trouble free.

Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in Nicaragua, attacks can’t be ruled out. See Terrorism

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.