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Safety in Nicaragua

Before continuing

We highly recommend reading the State Department’s Country Specific Information about Nicaragua, and enrolling in the Smart Traveler program before leaving.

Below, we have a brief summary of their report, and contact information for the U.S. Embassy. Please also feel free to contact us directly with any safety questions or concerns:

Important Phone Numbers

  • Emergency Services (Police, Ambulance, Fire Department): 118 (Spanish only)
  • Tourism Section of the Police Department: 101 English should be spoken
  • U.S. Embassy Phone Number: +(505) 2252-7100; Emergency After-Hours Telephone+(505) 2252-7171

The U.S. State Department on Safety in Nicaragua

NicaraguaIn general, use the same common sense in Nicaragua that you would in a high-crime area of any major city. Do not wear flashy or excessive jewellery; do not flaunt your smart phone or neglect your surroundings while using it; do not carry large sums of money or valuables, or any credit cards that are not necessary.

There are sporadic political demonstrations and strikes, usually in urban areas, that occasionally become violent. Avoid protests, demonstrations, and strikes whenever possible.

Parts of the pacific coast of Nicaragua have strong currents and beaches rarely have warning signs or lifeguards, so be particularly careful when swimming at beaches on the pacific coast.


Hire radio dispatched cabs whenever possible. They can typically be summoned at major airports, hotels, and restaurants. Do not share taxis with strangers. If the driver wants to stop and pick up an additional passenger, be insistent that you do not want another passenger in the car. If he ignores you and lets the person in, get out of the cab. Before taking a taxi, make sure it has a red stripe across the top and bottom of the license plate and that the number is legible. Note the driver’s name and license number. Check that the taxi is properly labeled with the cooprativa (company) name and logo. Agree on the fare before entering the taxi, and pay with small bills whenever possible, as taxi drivers often will not make change. Sometimes purse or jewellery snatchings occur at stoplights – keep windows closed and doors locked, with valuables out of sight.

Safety for Women

(Note from the co-founders: we asked a female Peace Corps volunteer from Nicaragua, Caryn, to write this section for us since we co-founders are men.)

“As far as safety for women, it is similar to other Central American countries where Machismo rules. Really Nicaraguans are extremely nice and helpful people, but women will almost always be catcalled regardless of look or dress. As a Peace Corps Volunteer, I always wore pants and a collared shirt to be perceived as a respectable worker, however, when I visit now, I generally wear shorts and tank tops because its so hot. However, in the northern region, jeans and less “gringo” flare will decrease unwanted attention.


Some recommendations for women:

Other Links

Embassy Information

U.S. Embassy Managua