August 19, 2022

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Nicaragua Travel Advisory

3 min read

Do not travel to Nicaragua due to COVID-19. Reconsider travel to Nicaragua due to limited healthcare availability and arbitrary enforcement of laws. Exercise increased caution in Nicaragua due to crime.

Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel.

Due to insufficient official data, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has not issued a Travel Health Notice for Nicaragua due to COVID-19, but local reports indicate very high levels of COVID-19. Your risk of contracting COVID-19 and developing severe symptoms may be lower if you are fully vaccinated with an FDA authorized vaccine. Before planning any international travel, please review the CDC’s specific recommendations for vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers. Visit the Embassy’s COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in Nicaragua.

Country Summary: The government of Nicaragua arbitrarily enforces laws for political purposes. Throughout Nicaragua, government officials and law enforcement continue to target those opposed to the rule of President Ortega. The government and its affiliated groups have been reported to:

  • Systematically target opposition figures (regardless of nationality), including former allies, political activists, business representatives, clergy, human rights advocates, and members of the press.
  • Arbitrarily detain pro-democracy advocates.
  • Prevent certain individuals from departing Nicaragua by air or land for political reasons.
  • Arbitrarily seize and/or search private property including personal phones and computers for anti-government content.
  • Arbitrarily detain individuals with unfounded charges of terrorism, money laundering, and organized crime for political motives.

U.S. citizens have reported being subject to this treatment, including harassment and assault by masked individuals. U.S. citizen residents of Nicaragua also report increased scrutiny of alleged political speech and additional scrutiny by immigration officials.

Travelers should exercise increased caution and be alert to the risks of crime, including violent crimes such as sexual assault and armed robbery.

Poor infrastructure in parts of the country limits the Embassy’s ability to assist U.S. citizens in emergencies. U.S. government personnel may be subject to restrictions on their movements at any time.

Read the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Nicaragua:

  • See the U.S. Embassy’s web page regarding COVID-19.
  • Visit the CDC’s webpage on Travel and COVID-19.
  • Consider arrangements to depart the country quickly.
  • Ensure your U.S. passport is valid and available for a quick departure from the country, if needed.
  • Avoid demonstrations and restrict unnecessary travel.
  • Do not attempt to drive through crowds, barricades, or roadblocks.
  • Maintain adequate supplies of food, cash, potable water, and fuel in case you need to shelter in place.
  • Use caution when walking or driving at night.
  • Keep a low profile.
  • Do not display signs of wealth such as expensive watches or jewelry.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Report for Nicaragua.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations, and review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Last Update: Reissued with updates to COVID-19 information.

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