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.