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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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
8 Comments Post a comment
  1. Rebecca #

    You found HoneyNut Cheerios! I remember that was one of your biggest fears… 😉

    PS. Reading your blog is my favorite form of procrastination – and I’m doing a lot of that lately. So, more please!

    May 16, 2011
  2. You probably should skip the HoneyNut Cheerios, anyway. 🙂

    March 18, 2012
  3. Leslie #

    My 27 year old son and his buddy are planning on moving to Nicaragua in a month or so. They are both surfers and work in restaurants so they want to just load up the suv with all of their worldly possessions (not much) and drive from Florida. I’m trying not to be the terrified mom, but I worry that everything will be taken from them. They want to stop and surf along the way. How can they protect belongings while surfing? Any help would be appreciated!!

    January 2, 2013
    • stmemory #

      Hi Leslie, I would definitely recommend that they check out the State Department travel information and any travel warnings. Here’s the link:

      The site talks about general risks and some specific areas to avoid. And they might want to check out the travel information for the countries they pass through as well.

      January 2, 2013
    • Karen Bernal #

      Hello, I am 23 and also planning on moving to nicaragua this month.. im from miami..
      please let me know any information if your son had any problems moving there?

      thank you so much 🙂

      April 15, 2013
  4. Karen Bernal #

    i would also LOVE to sURF

    April 15, 2013
  5. Rubi #

    Hi! I live in Indiana and I am 24. I am also planning to move to Nicaragua for a while (for a year or two). I am lucky because I have family there, but I know the transition will still be difficult. I am doing it more for health reasons.

    June 7, 2013

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