All six active volcanoes in Nicaragua are currently showing increased activity (moderate eruptions, several smaller volcanic quakes, increased release of sulfur dioxide, increase in lava in the volcanic basin, etc.). So far, people have not been harmed. More volcanic tremors are to be expected. It is therefore urgently advised to follow the news when visiting Nicaragua and to follow the instructions of the Nicaraguan authorities.
Country-specific safety information
In the past, there was an increased risk of theft in places frequented by tourists such as Granada, San Juan del Sur, León, Laguna de Apoyo, the border crossings, bus stations and Managua Airport. Travel should therefore never let your luggage out of sight. Valuables (including cheap costume jewelry) should be avoided if possible. The clothing should adapt to the environment and be inconspicuous and casual.
Lately there have been thefts of valuables in intercity buses across the country, but more frequently in the Pacific region (especially near Managua and Granada). It is advisable not to leave luggage unattended on such trips and, in particular, to refrain from storing it in the luggage compartments of the buses.
It is recommended that you keep a copy of your passport in a safe place in the event of theft or loss. In addition to the page with the personal information, this should also show the page with the Nicaraguan entry stamp according to youremailverifier.
In the event of an attack, no resistance should be offered because the perpetrators’ inhibition threshold is low.
We strongly advise against camping outside guarded campsites.
Capital Managua and the surrounding area
Robbery can occur in taxis, in which firearms are occasionally used. We do not recommend flagging taxis by the roadside. Taxis are not a safe means of transport even in daylight or for group travelers. Caution is advised when personable strangers, often also younger women, offer to take a (supposedly trustworthy) taxi or other private vehicle together. This is a popular trick used by taxi robber gangs.
If you cannot do without using a taxi, you should choose registered radio taxis or hotel taxis. From Managua International Airport, only approved airport taxis should be used – these can be recognized by the aircraft logo on the taxi and the red shirts of the drivers.
Taxi drivers generally take several passengers with them. If this is not desired, the taxi driver should be informed at the beginning of the journey. The price, which increases with exclusive use of a taxi, should also be negotiated before the journey. In addition, it can be helpful to tell a third party the number of the taxi, the license of the driver and the destination so that the driver can see it before the journey. However, these precautionary measures cannot completely avoid the risk of an attack.
You should definitely refrain from going for walks after dark.
In Managua, there is a high risk of robbery and theft when visiting markets and at all bus stations. Visiting the labyrinthine Mercado Oriental and the surrounding area is not recommended. Markets should generally only be visited with people familiar with the area.
There are also frequent armed robberies in tourist areas such as the old cathedral and the Malecón, as well as in the vicinity of the large shopping centers in Managua, as well as in the vicinity of the TICABUS bus station in Managua in the Martha Quezada district. Travelers arriving by bus from Costa Rica or Honduras should exercise particular caution there and never stay there during the dark.
The security situation on the touristically developed Pacific coast is stable. However, robberies and thefts also occur here. In general, it is advisable to avoid lonely streets and not to go for walks in the dark.
The north of the country with the regions Nueva Segovia, Madriz, Jinotega, Estelí and Matagalpa as well as the autonomous areas of the north and south Atlantic coast (RAAN and RAAS) are largely barely developed. There is a lack of infrastructure. The police and the army are unable to guarantee security. Travel in the north of the country, away from the Panamericana, should be limited to the absolute minimum, e.g. for business reasons. The same applies to the so-called “mine triangle” of the RAAN between the cities of Siuna, Bonanza and La Rosita. Road blockades with violent riots, demonstrations and attacks on transit traffic (buses and other vehicles) occur again and again. The use of firearms is widespread, the murder rate higher than the national average. The South Atlantic Coast (RAAS), which also includes the tourist destinations Bluefields, Pearl Lagoon and the Corn Islands, has a homicide rate 4 times higher than the national average. Here, too, trips to remote areas should only be undertaken if there are important reasons and with great caution. On the islands on the Atlantic coast, popular with tourists – Little Corn Island and Big Corn Island – there have been at least three (attempted) rapes of German tourists in the past two years. Women should therefore move around the island at least in pairs, even in daylight. Here, too, trips to remote areas should only be undertaken if there are important reasons and with great caution. On the islands on the Atlantic coast, popular with tourists – Little Corn Island and Big Corn Island – there have been at least three (attempted) rapes of German tourists in the past two years. Women should therefore move around the island at least in pairs, even in daylight. Here, too, trips to remote areas should only be undertaken if there are important reasons and with great caution. On the islands on the Atlantic coast, popular with tourists – Little Corn Island and Big Corn Island – there have been at least three (attempted) rapes of German tourists in the past two years. Women should therefore move around the island at least in pairs, even in daylight.
Land / road / public transport travel
With the exception of the Atlantic region, Nicaragua has a relatively good road network. However, the main tourist routes on the Pacific side such as B. from the capital to Granada, Leon, San Juan del Sur, San Carlos and Matagalpa to the better traffic routes. In contrast, smaller roads are mostly unpaved and in poor condition. Because of the sometimes unpredictable driving style of road users and the often poor condition of the vehicles, particularly careful behavior is required. It is advisable to use an all-terrain vehicle when driving overland away from the major roads connecting the larger cities. Driving at night is not recommended.
It is not recommended to take hitchhikers with you. If you are involved in an accident, the vehicle should never be moved.
Ship crossings to the islands of Big Corn Island and Little Corn Island in the Atlantic region, which are popular with tourists, are dangerous due to the serious safety deficiencies of the ships and smaller boats. Passenger ships between the Atlantic port “El Bluff” (near Bluefields) and Big Corn Island are not infrequently overloaded with people and animals. The hygienic conditions for the 6-hour crossing leave a lot to be desired. In bad weather conditions, the ferry service is sometimes even at short notice without prior notice interrupted.
Nicaragua is at risk of earthquakes, especially the capital Managua and the university city of León. In the last great earthquake in 1972, Managua was almost completely destroyed. Since April 10, 2014, the Greater Managua / León area has been shaken by regular earthquakes. A continuation of the activity, even with larger tremors, is to be expected. It is therefore advisable to familiarize yourself with instructions on how to behave in the event of an earthquake before starting your journey. Further information under: External link, opens in new windowhttp: //bib.gfz-potsdam.de/pub/schule/merkblatt_erdbeben_0209.pdf
Due to the current seismic activity, we strongly advise against climbing the Momotombo volcano and visiting the Laguna Xiloa at the Apoyeque volcano.
All of Nicaragua’s other volcanoes can suddenly experience volcanic and seismic activity. This also applies to the volcanoes of San Cristobal, Telica, Cerro Negro, El Hoyo, for which hiking tours and ‘volcano boarding’ are offered. This also applies to the excursion destinations of the Masaya and Mombacho volcanoes, as well as to the volcanoes of the island of Ometepe Concepción and Maderas. In the case of the island of Ometepe, it should be taken into account that the island’s location makes it difficult to evacuate if necessary.
In addition, Nicaragua is in a hurricane-prone zone (hurricane season: approx. June to November). In the rainy season from May to November, strong tropical storms and floods can be expected across the country.