Trying to figure out how to travel to Nicaragua? No hay problema – we have you covered! Check out our detailed guide below if you want to visit Nicaragua on vacation (CNN Travel ranks it a top option for value) or if you are planning to buy real estate in Nicaragua.
How to Travel Directly to Nicaragua (MGA)
The Augusto C. Sandino International Airport is located in the capital city of Managua. The commercial airlines currently flying into Managua are vast and additional flights and airlines are added regularly now. The carriers flying into Managua are American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Airlines, Copa Airlines, Spirit, Avianca, and Aeromexico. Some carriers including United Airlines and American Airlines have daily direct flights from U.S. Cities.
Once you land in Managua on a flight that originated from an international destination you will be required to go through customs. The customs agents will ask for the destination or address where you are staying and how long you will be in Nicaragua. You are typically granted a 90-day visa automatically when you enter the country and if you are planning to extend your trip beyond that time you will need to come back to immigration to request a visa extension.
Once you exit the immigration section you can proceed to the x-ray machine. Then exit the airport. It is easy to catch a cab at the airport or arrange transport ahead of time with a number of transport companies. Gaby Transport is one option. It is about 2 hours and 45 minutes by car to San Juan del Sur and approximately the same distance to Tola.
Augusto C. Sandino International Airport, like other major airports, has rental car counters, ATMs, restaurants, etc. If you want to avoid the lines either upon landing in Managua or avoiding waiting at the gate when leaving the country there is also now a VIP Lounge. For a fee, clients can enjoy snacks, TV, Internet, etc. It elevates the waiting experience and makes it all more pleasant.
How to Travel To Nicaragua via Costa Rica (LIR)
The other popular option for traveling to Nicaragua is to fly into Liberia, Costa Rica, and travel across the border to Nicaragua. The Daniel Oduber International Airport is approximately 88 kilometers and one hour and twenty minutes from the Peñas Blancas border crossing into Nicaragua.
The first stop when you get off the plane in Costa Rica will be immigration. Visitors to Costa Rica must have a valid passport as well as proof of their intent to exit the country before their visa or entry stamp expires, usually within 90 days.
When you get to immigration tell them you are in transit to Nicaragua and you will not have to pay the tourist tax. If in transit you will be required to exit the county the same day and they may ask for proof of onward travel such as a bus ticket or reservation with a transport compnay. After making it successfully through immigration, collecting your bags, and going through the x-ray station you will exit the airport.
At this point, grab a taxi and tell them Penas Blancas or you can organize transport ahead of time. Someone will meet you at the airport exit with your name on a placard if you organize ahead of time. One of the options for private transport are Caribe Shuttle.
Once you get to the border you will proceed to the Costa Rican Immigration building. If you got the transit stamp at the airport in Liberia, then you will not be required to pay the exit tax. They will stamp your passport and send you on your way to Nicaragua. Exit the building and pass through one more checkpoint where they will just ensure you have the exit stamp. Then you will walk to Nicaragua.
Once on the Nicaragua side of the Border, you will enter the large immigration building, inside there is another window immediately to the left to pay a $1 USD municipal fee. Then line up in one of the immigration lines to get a passport stamp to enter Nicaragua. The agent will also ask where you are staying. Make sure to have the complete name, address, and phone number of the accommodations. A copy of the reservation is helpful.
There is a $12 USD entry fee for Nicaragua. The customs agent will ask for this after he completes the paperwork. Next, proceed to the x-ray machine with your bags and then exit the building. Once outside, there will be one additional checkpoint at the end of the parking area where the passport will be rechecked for the entry stamp.
After this you are free. Welcome to Nicaragua. Now proceed to the rental car agencies on the left, catch a taxi, or meet your transport service to your final destination. Traveling to Nicaragua is easier this year than last, and it will get easier as time goes on, so start planning your trip now.
Now that you know how to travel to Nicaragua, make sure to contact us if you are planning a trip and would like to view the property. Want to prep before your trip? Make sure to check out our additional educational resources below!