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Safety in Nicaragua

Nicaragua is currently considered one of the safest countries for visitors and although most trips to this Central American country will be trouble-free, travelers must still be aware of potential risks they could encounter.

As the second poorest country in the western hemisphere, Nicaragua has problems with theft and gang activity. When traveling in large cities such as Managua or Granada, take the same precautions as you would take in any other large metropolis. There have been few violent crimes against gringos, but foreigners are far more susceptible to pick-pocketing and personal item theft. (Keep a particularly close eye on cameras, purses, backpacks, and rental cars).

To have a trouble free trip, please use common sense by keeping track of your belongings, traveling without expensive jewelry or other flashy items, and not drawing obvious attention to yourself. If, however, you are subject to theft, be sure to report it to the local police and your nearest embassy or consulate.

If you are driving in Nicaragua, there is a likely chance that the police will pull you over for an arbitrary or minor offense. Getting pulled over means that you will have to pay a substantial amount of money as a bribe. Due to the growing rate of highway robberies where criminals dressed as police men pull over unsuspecting drivers, the United States Embassy of Nicaragua has issued a warning for travelers to avoid the Tipitapa-Masaya Highway at night as well as exercising caution when driving from the Managua International Airport in the dark.

Nicaragua has a vast number of natural wonders, yet such splendors also come with a few hidden dangers. Be careful when you are swimming or surfing along the Pacific Coast. The Pacific Ocean has a strong undertow with equally powerful currents and waves. So strong is the pull of the sea that unwary visitors have both broken bones and drowned in its pull.

When hiking and climbing around the Nicaraguan jungles and volcanoes, make sure you have the proper foot wear and are adequately protected from the elements. If you plan to hike in an especially isolated area, please hire a local guide. There have been cases of hikers getting lost and injured along some of the more remote paths.

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Nicaragua : Safety in El Castillo, Safety, Safety, Women Travelers in Nicaragua, Taxi Safety in Managua, Organized Tours Before Entering Nicaragua and Suggested Itineraries for Nicaragua.

By Michelle Lillie
I am currently living on my fourth continent. I think that backpacks are one of the greatest inventions of all times. I adhere to the idea that if...
09 Mar 2009

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