Nicaragua is a beautiful country most notable for its diverse terrain and dramatic architecture. In recent years, political turmoil has shed an unflattering light on this otherwise incredible South American paradise. That has caused many tourists to shy away from visiting. But is it true that unsafe?
Is it safe to travel to Nicaragua?
To understand why the question of security is coming up, you must understand where the turmoil all started. It was triggered by political unrest following controversial elections in 2018. Since then, Nicaragua has seen an increase in crime with many locals fleeing to neighboring South American countries.
Despite these issues, Nicaragua has been steadily stabilizing over the past several months and is safe for tourists. Your accommodation options might be limited, and petty crime is still rampant, but this isn’t enough to blacklist the whole country.
So, there is no need to miss out on the quaint historic towns and breath-taking beaches. You have to take a few extra precautionary measures, as highlighted below.
How to protect yourself
1. Get a trusted guide
The locals know their country better than any map or online service. They see the crime hotspots, the high-tension areas, and of course, the locations that have maintained their paradise status. Just find one affiliated with a trusted tour company, and you should be in safe hands.
2. Learn the language
Nicaragua is a Spanish speaking country, and learning the language will save you a lot of trouble. It could get you out of a sticky spot. Or it could save you from getting into one in the first place. Learning Spanish could be very useful if you plan on dating a girl from Nicaragua.
3. Pick your accommodations wisely
Safety in Nicaragua is all about location. Consult your guide or tour company to find out the safest areas to stay in while visiting. That way, you don’t have to sleep with one eye open because of the unrest.
4. Avoid protests at all costs
What might start as an innocent protest can very quickly escalate. You do not want to be a part of this crowd. As soon as you hear a chant or see a large crowd, you need to find the fastest means to leave the area.
5. Be alert
That will help protect you from petty criminals, especially pickpockets. Do not go with your phone held out or your luggage all over the place. There is probably someone watching and waiting to take advantage.
6. Don’t draw any attention to yourself
For the most part, tourists are very safe in Nicaragua. However, you are not immune to things like tourist scams and petty theft. The best way to protect yourself, in this case, is to blend in. Avoid flashy clothes or even something as simple as taking photos with your expensive phone while in high-risk areas.
7. Avoid night time escapades
It is never a good idea to be out late in Nicaragua. It is when all the serious criminals come out to play. If you are in the safer parts of the country, it is still best to travel in large crowds and have organized transport from the event to your accommodations.
8. Make your health a priority
Make sure to carry a medicine bag with essentials like painkillers and wound management equipment. You never know what could go wrong while you are out exploring. It is also essential to carry bug repellent to keep the disease-laden mosquitoes at bay. Finally, make sure that you are up to date on all the crucial vaccines before you travel to this country.