All visitors entering Nicaragua are required to purchase a Tourist Card for US$10.
Those entering by land also pay a US$2 migration processing fee. Upon departure by land or boat there is another US$2 migration fee, while a small municipal charge – usually around US$1 – may also be levied by the local government depending on the border crossing.
When you leave Nicaragua, among the regular list of things that shouldn’t be in your backpack are pre-Columbian or early colonial artifacts – you could end up in prison for trying to take these out of the country. On arrival, you can bring pretty much anything legal as long as it’s obviously for personal use and not for resale within the country.
Generally not required for stays up to three months.
Visitors from most countries can stay in Nicaragua for up to 90 days without a visa, as long as they have a passport valid for six months, proof of sufficient funds (US$200 cash or a credit card) and an onward ticket (rarely checked).
Citizens of some parts of Eastern Europe and Latin America, and many African and Asian nations, need visas to enter Nicaragua, while others can apply for a visa on arrival. Check the Nicaraguan Foreign Ministry website (www.migob.gob.ni) for the full lists.
Nicaragua is part of the CA-4, a regional agreement covering Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. Officially, you can only stay for 90 days maximum in the entire CA-4, at which point you can get one extension of 90 days from the Migración (Immigration) office in Managua for around US$10 per month. After those 90 days, you must leave the region (this means going to Costa Rica, basically) for 72 hours, which automatically renews your visa.
Don’t bet on it, but flying between CA-4 countries may get you another 90 days on landing, especially if you transit a nation outside the agreement. Land border officials are stricter in adhering to the regulations.