Travelling to Nicaragua? Get the travel insurance for your trip you actually need.
Nicaragua is a fast-growing tourist destination that combines unspoilt natural and historical attractions with Spanish colonial architecture in the capital of Managua and neighbouring areas. With a dramatic terrain of volcanoes, lakes and surf beaches, Nicaragua has become a popular destination for a range of activities including climbing, surfing and horseback riding.
If you are planning a trip to Nicaragua, it's worth being aware of some of the risks that you may face on your travels. This guide will explore what to look out for on your trip and when comparing travel insurance policies.
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- Unrest and disputes: Protests have been known to occur with little warning in Nicaragua. There are also boundary disputes in the Caribbean between Nicaragua and Honduras and boats travelling in this area have been known to be detained and impounded. Travellers are advised to avoid demonstrations and exercise caution in border regions.
- Consider travel insurance to cover delays and cancellation in the event of your plans being disrupted.
- Crime: Firearms are common in Nicaragua and are often used in violent crime and robberies. Travellers are advised to cooperate with assailants where reasonable to ensure their own safety. Avoid nonessential travel at night and avoid discussing travel plans or business affairs with strangers or in public places. Exercise particular caution against robbery in tourist areas and against violence and gang crime in Managua, Granada and San Juan del Sur.
- Consider leaving valuables at home and taking out extra travel insurance for expensive items such as cameras, electronics, jewellery and other valuables.
- Road conditions: Traffic accidents and fatalities are common in Nicaragua, contributed to by unpredictable local driving habits, poorly lit and maintained roads and transport crime. Travel in daylight, in groups and with your doors and windows locked and avoid hitchhiking or picking up hitchhikers.
- Consider travel insurance rental car excess cover if you’ll be hiring a vehicle in Nicaragua.
- Weather: The hurricane season in Nicaragua is from June to November, when flooding, mudslides and essential service disruptions are more likely to occur.
- Consider getting a travel insurance policy for cancellation if travelling in the wet season so you can get reimbursed for cancelled prepaid activities.
- Landmines: Landmines pose a significant threat in the northern border regions of Nicaragua. Travellers should note that minefields are not always marked and should not venture off the main roads in these areas.
- Travel insurance for medical evacuation and repatriation is advisable in the event of a serious injury in remote areas.
- Climbing the volcanoes: Ascend one of Nicaragua’s towering volcanoes for an exciting climb and impressive views, or hike one of the many national parks and nature walks. Remember to find travel insurance that protects you on hikes.
- Adventure activities: Find ziplining, whitewater tours, skydiving, bungee jumping and a range of other thrills in Nicaragua, but remember to double check that your travel insurance policy covers adventure activities.
- Nightlife: Partying is just the start of Nicaragua’s bustling nightlife, with a host of theatres, cultural venues, galleries and historical themes bringing the streets to life. As inviting as it is, the scene also attracts theft so make sure you have adequate cover for your belongings.
You are strongly advised to get travel insurance that covers overseas medical costs before departure. Medical facilities are lacking outside of Nicaragua’s capital of Managua and an accident may require airlifting or evacuation.
- Contact the Australian embassy in Managua for lost passports, legal trouble or miscellaneous issues, but be aware that the assistance they can provide may be limited. Call them on +505 2298 5300 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Contact your insurer on their 24/7 claims helpline as soon as you are reasonably able for any claimable event. Avoid travel insurance brands who do not have a 24/7 claims line.
- In certain situations you should contact your tour operator, hotel or local authorities as appropriate.
Nicaragua is part of the Central American Border Control Agreement (CA-4) along with Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. This means that if you have a valid entry card for one of these countries you can use it for all. Australian visitors to Nicaragua do not require a visa, but may purchase an entry card on arrival for about USD$10. This is valid for up to 90 days and renewable for another 30. You will need a passport that’s valid for at least six more months to get an entry card.
Exclusions are found in all travel insurance policies and are conditions in which the insurer will not pay a benefit. Some of the exclusions to watch out for include:
- Reckless behaviour: Your insurer will not pay a benefit for a claim that has resulted from reckless behaviour that unnecessarily endangers yourself or others, for example, drink driving or undertaking activities without safety equipment.
- Failure to take suitable precautions: You are required to take appropriate steps to avoid needing to make a claim in the first place. This can include getting immunisations for diseases known to be found in Nicaragua, following warning signs and keeping your belongings properly secured.
- Pre-existing conditions: By default, you cannot expect pre-existing conditions to be covered. However, this does not mean that you cannot get them covered. Talk to your insurer about your pre-existing conditions to get cover for them.