5 Things you should know before moving to Nicaragua
Planning to move to Nicaragua? Here are five more things you should know before you pack your bags (or crate) and head to Managua.
- Health – First of all, Malaria isn’t a major danger in Managua. I don’t actually know of anyone in the Embassy community that takes Malaria medication on a regular basis. Dengue is a bit more common. Consult with whatever medical professionals you would normally consult with (I’m NOT a medical professional and the sight of blood makes me woozy.) But don’t let your fear of Malaria prevent you from coming down. Second, there is a top-notch hospital in Managua called the Hospital Metropolitana Vivian Pellas. Many Embassy women have chosen to stay in Nicaragua and have their kids here rather than going back to the States.
- Vehicle – Yes, you really do need 4-wheel drive or at least something with very high clearance. Our poor little Mazda 3 would have been destroyed by now. You will want to get out of Managua most weekends and some of the roads to the best beaches are pretty awful. For more on Managua driving, check out this earlier post.
- Regional Travel – Managua is a pretty expensive airport to fly in and out of relative to other Central American countries. Don’t come here with the idea that you will catch a quick flight to Costa Rica, Panama, Mexico City or Guatemala on the weekends. Each of those tickets could be around $300 to $500. Fortunately, if you are someone who likes outdoor activities, there is plenty to explore within Nicaragua.
- Security – Compared to other countries in Central America, Nicaragua is on the safer side. People go out at night to restaurants and bars without much worry. Just like any city you should be careful and watch your surroundings. That said, Nicaragua is extremely poor. Only Haiti is poorer in the Western Hemisphere. The disparities and needs can be overwhelming at times.
- PriceMart – One thing I wish I had known before I came is that Managua has a PriceMart, which is almost the same as a CostCo in the States. So don’t worry about stocking up on basic pasta and red sauce – you can get all of that here. Some things will be more expensive (I’m looking at you, Honey Nut Cheerios) but generally you can find what you need, and just like CostCo, many things you don’t need.