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. In the early months of the crisis, this involved the use of tear gas, rubber bullets and live ammunition, resulting in many serious injuries and, according to UN and OAS reports, over 300 deaths. Marches, demonstrations and other expressions of opposition are no longer permitted. According to UN reports, the number of people detained as a result of the protests has reached over 500. While the situation now appears quieter on the streets, there is 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 have escalated into violence. 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.

Earlier in the crisis, heavily armed pro-government groups patrolled frequently. Whilst they no longer appear to be active, you should remain vigilant.

The incidence of crime has risen significantly since the protests began.

If you’re already in Nicaragua, you should keep your departure options under review. Commercial flights are operating from Managua Augusto Sandino Airport; however several airlines have reduced the number and frequency of flights due to lower demand because of the current situation.

There is no British Embassy in Nicaragua. Our consular support is therefore limited. If you need emergency consular assistance, you should contact the British Embassy in San Jose, Costa Rica.

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.