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Money and costs

Cordobas (C$)
Exchange Rates
Rates provided by Open Exchange Rates. Last updated July 30, 2015 2:14AM UTC
Daily Costs
Budget (up to)
  • Guesthouse: US$10–15
  • Typical meal: US$4
  • Museum admission: US$2
  • Local bus: US$0.15
  • Midrange hotel: US$20–40
  • Restaurant meal: US$10–12
  • Adventure tour: US$25
  • Short taxi ride: US$2
Top end (more than)
  • Luxury hotel: US$80
  • Gourmet meal: US$18
  • Car hire: US$40
  • Internal flight: US$100

Nicaragua’s currency is the córdoba (C$), sometimes called a ‘peso’ or ‘real’ by locals. Córdobas come in coins of C$0.25, C$0.50, C$1, C$5 and C$10, and bills of C$10, C$20, C$50, C$100, C$200 and C$500. The plastic bills are flimsy and tear easily. Bills of C$100 and larger can be difficult to change; try the gas station.

US dollars are accepted almost everywhere, but they will be rejected if they are even slightly marked, ripped or damaged. Córdobas are usually easier to use, particularly at smaller businesses and anywhere off the beaten track – always keep at least 200 córdoba on you, preferably in smaller bills.

The córdoba is devalued according to a fixed plan against the US dollar. All prices in this guide are given in US dollars (US$), as costs in córdoba are more likely to fluctuate with the exchange rate.


Tipping is not widespread in Nicaragua except in the following situations:

  • Guides Tipping guides is recommended as this often makes up the lion's share of their salary.

  • Restaurants A tip of around 10% is expected for table service. Some higher end restaurants automatically add this to the bill.