Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

  • Reviewed: 18 May 2018, 16:55 NZST
  • Still current at: 24 February 2020

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Avoid non-essential travel

Avoid non-essential travel to Nicaragua due to civil unrest and violent crime.

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Civil Unrest
Demonstrations and protests occur throughout Nicaragua, particularly in Managua and have previously turned violent. Civil unrest could occur anywhere at any time with little warning, and could affect transport including access to and from the airport. In April and May 2018, violent protests took place throughout Nicaragua, resulting in many injuries and fatalities. Managua, Masaya, Leon and Esteli were particularly affected.

New Zealanders in Nicaragua are advised to avoid all demonstrations, protests and large public gatherings as even those intended as peaceful have the potential to turn violent with little warning. Comply with any instructions issued by the local authorities, including any curfews. Monitor local and international media, review personal security plans and be aware of your surroundings. If unexpectedly in the vicinity of a protest or demonstration, exercise caution and leave the area quickly.

Violent crime, including armed robbery and sexual assault, occurs in Nicaragua, particularly in Managua, Granada and San Juan del Sur, as well as in Bonanza, La Rosita, Siuna and on Little Corn Island. New Zealanders in Nicaragua are advised to be security conscious at all times and should avoid walking and travelling at night, particularly to isolated areas.

Petty crime such as theft and mugging occurs in Nicaragua and is common in tourist areas, in larger cities such as Managua and on public transport. We advise New Zealanders to be alert to their surroundings at all times and take steps to safeguard and secure their personal belongings.

When driving you should keep doors locked, windows up and keep any valuables out of sight. As victims of robbery are often targeted due to their perceived wealth, it is advisable to avoid wearing or displaying items that appear valuable, such as electronic devices and jewellery.

‘Express kidnappings’ have occurred in Nicaragua involving unauthorized taxis. This is when criminals abduct a victim for a short amount of time while funds are withdrawn from the victim’s bank account. To reduce the risk of this occurring we recommend you use ATMs located inside banks during daylight hours. Only use authorized taxis that have red plates and the drivers clear identification, and arrange not to pick up any other passengers even if it is more expensive. No resistance should be given if you are the victim of a robbery, mugging or carjacking as this could lead to an escalation in violence. 

General Travel Advice
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe and can include lengthy imprisonment or fines.

Travelers should be aware of the possibility for travel disruptions in the event of seismic or volcanic activity.

New Zealanders travelling or resident in Nicaragua should have comprehensive medical and travel insurance policies in place that include provision for medical evacuation by air.

New Zealanders travelling or resident in Nicaragua are encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 

Travel tips

The New Zealand Embassy Mexico City, Mexico is accredited to Nicaragua

Street Address Jaime Balmes No 8, 4th Floor, Los Morales, Polanco, Mexico D.F. 11510 Telephone +52 55 5283 9460 Fax +52 55 5283 9480 Email Web Site Hours Mon - Fri 0930 - 1400, 1500 - 1700 hrs

See our regional advice for Central/South America

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Accredited New Zealand Embassy Mexico

Street Address
Jaime Balmes No 8, 4th Floor, Los Morales, Polanco, Mexico D.F. 11510

Telephone: +52 55 5283 9460

Fax: +52 55 5283 9480



Hours: Mon - Fri 0930 - 1400, 1500 - 1700 hrs

Related advice from other countries

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