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Currency in Nicaragua

Nicaragua鈥檚 currency is called the c贸rdoba (denoted as C$) which is dived into 100 centavos (垄). Introduced in 1912, the currency was named in honor of conquistador Francisco Hernandez de C贸rdoba, the founder of both the Spanish colony of Nicaragua, and the historical cities of Le贸n and Granada; his picture can be seen on the rarely used centavo bills.

C贸rdoba bills, which are often also referred to as pesos, are available in the following denominations: C$500 (red), C$100 (blue), C$50 (purple), C$20 (orange), C$10 (green). Coins are minted with the values C$5, C$1, 50垄, 25垄, 10垄, and 5垄. Unusually, Nicaragua also has small Monopoly-like bills with the values of 25垄, 10垄, 5垄, and 1垄. The one centavo note has a value of roughly 1/2000th of a dollar and has little use, even in Nicaragua.

Along with c贸rdobas, US dollars ($) in reasonably good condition are also widely accepted. You will always, however, get your change back in c贸rdobas. If you intend on bringing money into the country, then dollars are the only choice, as other major currencies including the euro (鈧) and pound (拢) will be practically impossible to use or exchange. Costa Rican col贸nes (垄) and Honduran limpiras (L) are also very difficult to exchange away from their respective borders. Although it is possible to use the dollar in most places, carrying c贸rdobas is a good idea since dollars are not excepted as payment on buses, for example. Many small shops and restaurants may also round the exchange rate up.

Large denomination notes of both currencies ($20, $50, $100, $500 and C$100) can be extremely hard to use or exchange, especially outside of Managua. Vendors of all stripes are reluctant to except large bills due to the fear of counterfeiting, or simply because they don't have enough change.

The following exchange rates were correct as of Febuary 2009.

US$1 = 18 C$

鈧 1 = 22.7 C$

For current exchange rates visit:

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Nicaragua : Using Credit Cards in Nicaragua , Money and Costs in Nicaragua - Overview, ATMs in Nicaragua, Using Travelers Cheques in Nicaragua, Banks in Nicaragua and Wiring Money to Nicaragua.

By Tom Ravenscroft
Initially intending to just pass through Ecuador on his year-long sojourn across the world, Tom Raven Scroft decided to set up camp in Quito as an...
19 Feb 2009

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