Nicaragua: An expats guide to living & working in the country



The largest country in the Central America, Nicaragua’s most prominent geographical feature is none other than a volcano, Volcan Concepcion.  The commanding yet serene and tranquil presence of Concepcion is the perfect backdrop to the cities sitting quietly at its foot. Expats who have ventured into Nicaragua found a multifaceted cultural impression from Pre-Columbian native inflection, Spanish colonialism to revolutions that rocked the country and shaped its identity today. Want to know more about Nicaragua? Then read on, we’ve got some valuable information for you.


News & Features

NicaraguaThe American Expat in Nicaragua

Meet Brooke Rundle, a woman who hopped from a life in California in the United States, all the way to San Juan del Sur in Nicaragua. We had the chance to ask her a few questions about expatriate life, and how she manages to keep in the festive spirit around the holidays!


Expat Clubs

There are no expat meet up clubs as such in Nicaragua and most expats communicate online through websites such as

International Schools 

American-Nicaraguan School

The ANS Mission is to provide its multicultural student community with a US-accredited college preparatory program, based on democratic and universal values, that develops critical thinkers and ethical individuals capable of realizing their leadership potential by making meaningful contributions to society.

Curriculum: American

Address: Fte. al Club Lomas de Monserrat, Managua, Nicaragua, PO BOX: 2670

Tel: +505-2252-7310 / 12

Email: [email protected]



Nicaragua Christian Academy

Nicaragua Christian Academy began as the result of three evangelical missionary families seeking an English-language Christian education for their own children. The school began as a cooperative homeschooling program in 1991 with two teachers and seven students meeting in a house. In 1995, NCA purchased its own land and began the construction of a school through the labor and donations of hundreds of volunteers and school supporters. In 2001, NCA became the first ACSI-accredited school in Central America. In 2005, NCA opened its second school, NCA Nejapa, which offers Christian education of academic excellence in the Spanish language. Both schools include preschool through high school and are governed by a common school board.

Curriculum: Christian, American


Tel: +505 2265-2277

Email: [email protected]



Colegio Nordico Internacional

The Nordic International School is a small bilingual school in Managua, and the alternative to mainstream education in Nicaragua. The student population is multicultural, with 35 nationalities currently represented in a total student population of 110 students.

Curriculum: Swedish

Address: Villa Fontana, Managua, Nicaragua

Tel: (+505) 22771113

Mobile: (+505) 8854-7917

Email: [email protected]  


San Juan del Sur Day School

San Juan del Sur is an international English preschool established in 2009. It is a full service primary school educating a diverse Nicaraguan and expat student body of children from the ages of 18 months to ten years.  The school focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, touching hearts as well as minds and addressing social, physical, emotional and cultural needs as well as academic ones.

Address: Finca Las Nubes, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Tel: (+505) 7899-5368

Email: [email protected]


Local News in English

Nicaraguan Dispatch

The Nicaragua Dispatch is an independent English-language news publication on Nicaragua. The newspaper was originally founded in 2011, than re-launched in March, 2014 as the region’s first crowd sourced news site, an open and democratic media project that allows community bloggers to post their own stories.



The Nicaragua Network

The Nicaragua Network has been organizing in solidarity with the people of Nicaragua for over 35 years. Publications include the weekly free English-language Nicaragua News Bulletin and occasional monographs.


Country Information 

Location: Central America

Capital City: Managua

Other Important Cities:

Currency: Cordoba

Language: Spanish

Calling Code: +505

Internet TLD: .ni

Electricity: Nicaragua runs on 120V 60Hz. The major provider of electricity is Disnorte-Dissur.

Address: LM-249 Managua, Nicaragua

Tel: +505 22744700

Email: [email protected]


Emergency Numbers:   

Ambulance: 118

Fire: 118

Police: 118

Country Information

Embassy Information

Are you looking for an embassy in Nicaragua? We found this website really handy because it lists all the local embassies in the country...

Residents Visa and Work Permit information

Nationals from certain countries including the North America, the EU, Australia, and most of South America may enter and stay in Nicaragua for up to 90 days. Other nationals some from Africa, Asia and Oceana may obtain a visa upon arrival. The rest will have to apply for visas at a Nicaraguan embassy or consulate in their home or host country.

There are different categories of visas: Category A, Exempt Visa; Category B, Consular without Consultation (Visa upon arrival); Category C, Visa with consultation.

Documents required for Category C
  • Interview with Consul
  • Bring letter visa application which shall contain their overall bill, passport number, purpose of travel, place of stay, how long stay in the country.
  • Letter of invitation from a person liable in Nicaragua during the stay of the person concerned
  • Fill out a visa application form
  • Have a valid passport for at least six months ended
  • Copy from the main page of the passport and American visa if you have a copy of his visa.
  • If you are a resident in the place where you are applying for a visa to enter Nicaragua, a copy of the residence.
  • Submit statement or demonstrate financial solvency.
  • Pay Official receipt for the value of Migration tariff of $ 25.00 (Twenty dollars) distributed as follows: US $ 20.00 for the value of the visa and $ 5.00 dollars for the payment of the form).
  • Return ticket or continuity books.

Expats intending to extend their stay in Nicaragua for more than 90 days, they will have to obtain a residence permit. This can be done at the main office of the Nicaragua Immigration:

Documents required:

  • Form requesting an extension of stay (available at the Immigration office)
  • Your Passport (valid for at least an additional six months)
  • Your Nicaraguan entry/exit Stamp given to you by Immigration when you entered Nicaragua
  • Payment of fee C$ 500.00 Nicaraguan Cordobas (equivalent to approximately USD $ 23.00) per additional month, maximum of 90 additional days.

-          From the Nicaraguan Embassy in the US site:


The expat community in Nicaragua is relatively small; unemployment is a factor, as the only lucrative businesses for foreigners are real estate and property development. Part of the expat population consists of retirees who have set up a business in Nicaragua. The expat communities can be found mostly in the capital, Managua, Leon and Granada.

Foreigners in Managua are primarily those who own businesses in Nicaragua, and embassy workers. Granada boasts of amenities such as shopping centers and stores. It is a more relaxed area than Managua. Meanwhile, Leon is a colonial tow; majority of the city infrastructures are historic and reminiscent of its history. Traffic around Leon however is minimal; residents prefer cycling and walking to and from places.

The cost of living in Nicaragua is lower than major countries, which is attractive for expats looking to get away and even retire. 1 bedroom apartments are rented at $160 to $250 per month.

Driving License

Expats may use their domestic license along with an international license to drive legally in Nicaragua, for up to 30 days. Beyond that, expats must first secure a residence permit, and then apply for a Nicaraguan license through the Nicaraguan Police Department.

Documents Required
  • Copy of your passport or Nicaraguan Resident Card.
  • To be Older than 21 year old.
  • Certificate of approval of the theoretical- practical exams realized by the Transit Police Station Office and/or any Center authorize by them.
  • Certificate of examinations of the vision and the Blood type, with the recent date, both emitted by the Nicaraguan Red Cross.
  • License Insurance policy.
  • BANPRO (Bank of Production) deposit's slip of payment of C$120.00 cordobas in account number 100-10000025581-5. This is the account of the National Police and there should be deposit slips for this at the counter of the bank.
  • Present current driver's license still good for driving or less than a year of expiration.
  • Present certification from your Embassy of the type of license that you own and the type of vehicle that you can drive with it.

-          from Nicaraguan Embassy in the US site:


Medical facilities in Nicaragua are modern and are up to Western standards. Public and private healthcare are available, however expats prefer going to private institutions. These are mostly found in Managua. Emergency treatments are free, but supplies and medication are charged. Cash payment should be expected.

Insurance Companies

Cigna Global Health Options

Cigna Global Health Options specialise in providing expatriate health plans that are designed to give comprehensive overseas medical cover for people who are living and working abroad. They provide medical evacuation insurance cover.




Hospital Metropolitano Vivian Pellas

Hospital Metropolitano Vivian Pellas (HMVP) was opened in May 2004, has its origins in two separate projects that are started in the 90s.

Address: Comprometidos con la Vida, Km. 9 3/4 Carretera a Masaya, 250 mts. al oeste, Managua, Nicaragua

Tel: +505 255 6900 – 84234

Fax: +505 255 6901



Hospital Salud Integral

Address: Montoya 1 c. al lago, 1 c. abajo, Managua, Nicaragua

Tel: +505 266 1707

Fax: +505 268 0271



Hospital Bautista de Nicaragua

Address: P.O. Box 709, Managua, Nicaragua

Tel: +505 249 7070, +505 249 1005

Fax: +505 249 7327

Website (Spanish):


Hospital Central

Address: Antiguo edificio del Banco del Café, Managua,Nicaragua

Tel: +505 278 1566 - 129