The largest country in Central America is none other than Nicaragua. I was doubting about my decision of visiting the country at first, considering years of civil and political unrest combined with the massive destruction of earthquakes taking place in Nicaragua made almost every traveler think this is the country with the lowest percentage of tourists visiting in the region. However, after an extensive research about it, I figured out that this country is becoming the “it-spot” to visit after years of slumber.
Accommodation and Food
Hostels with double rooms and private bathroom usually start at standard of USD25 per night and for the typical dorm rooms, expect to be paying around USD6-12 per night. Hospedajes is the most popular type of lodgings in Nicaragua. It’s a small family-run hotels which will cost guests between USD20-USD25 per night. Apart from that, you can also rent hammocks in a lot of different places for USD5 per night. A rule I always comply to is when traveling to another countries, try the local food as much as you can take. The same rule was applied at Nicaragua when I mostly ate out from street stalls at USD2 or less per meal. It tastes good and it’s cheap. For sit-down restaurants, you can expect to be paying between USD3-USD5 per dish. This menu usually include rice and beans (gallo pinto), chicken and plaintains. Western food are available as well such as pizza, salads, burgers; and the prices start at USD7-USD10 per dish.
Transportation and Activities
Buses are extremely inexpensive and efficient for those staying within the city. At just USD0.20, you can get around easily. My advice is to be careful of pickpocketing activities in fiercely crowded place. It’s rife. For a short trip on taxi, it cost me about USD1-USD2 per person and there are also ordinario (constant stops to pick up passengers) and expreso (no stops) intercity bus ride. The cost is usually no more than USD3 between destinations, although the expreso buses tend to charge 30% more than the ordinario ones. As for the activities, they are quite cheap in the country. Activities like surfing, hiking and volcano boarding cost me between USD10-USD30 and museums visit starts at USD1-USD2.
Money Saving Tips
The first tip is to refill your water bottle for USD0.20 at hostels and hotels, and to avoid buying too many of plastic bottles. Secondly, always haggle when you’re purchasing something in the markets. This is a common way of getting the cheapest price. Thirdly, avoid any western food because this usually double the price of local food. Besides, what’s the use of coming all the way to Nicaragua only to eat the same kind of meal you’ll have at home? Experience the culture, people! Lastly, Central America is pretty well-known for its chicken buses, therefore, make good use of it and save more money.
Every traveler I had meet would ask me question “Are you planning to go to Nicaragua?” and at first, I thought that question was a total joke until recently I stepped in that country and realized a huge number of expats are settling in there and buying up property. This wonderful country is beautiful and before the prices of traveling there rises up, now is a better chance of traveling there!