Country: Nicaragua is the largest country in the Central American isthmus and borders Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. The country is situated close to the equator in the northern hemisphere, which places it entirely in the tropics. The Pacific Ocean lies to the west, and the Caribbean Sea to the east. Spanish is the official language and the capital is Managua. The country’s population is approximately 6 million.
To access emergency services: Dial 101
Currency: Nicaraguan Córdoba (NIO)
Recommended immunizations and vaccines for travelers: Before traveling to Nicaragua, ask your doctor what vaccines are recommended. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are excellent resources as well.
Insurance: Find out in advance if your insurance plan will make payments directly to providers or reimburse you later for overseas health expenditures.
It is also worth ensuring your travel insurance will cover ambulances or transport either home or to more advanced medical facilities, if needed. Not all insurance covers emergency medical evacuation home or to a hospital in a major city, which may be the only way to receive medical attention in a serious emergency.
Source: International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers
What to expect in a Nicaraguan hospital: Basic medical services and facilities are available in the capital as well as in many towns and villages of Nicaragua. However, the treatment for serious health problems is available only in the capital city.
In towns and cities where ambulance services are available, they offer basic first aid and transportation. In case of an emergency, patients are transported to the closest hospital that will accept patients. Public hospitals usually take in patients, unless the individual or their emergency contact implies they will pay for private hospital services.
Hospital personnel and physicians typically speak English and Spanish. Some of the private hospitals accept credit cards, but cash payments are usually required. Health insurance plans from the United States are usually not accepted in Nicaragua.
Contact your embassy/consulate: When in doubt, your country’s embassy is a good resource to turn to for medical assistance guidance.
JCI-accredited hospitals/clinics in Nicaragua: To read about specific facilities that are JCI-accredited, visit the Hospital Search section.
Nicaragua-specific helpful health resources:
Travel health notices: Visit the CDC or the WHO for up-to-date travel notices.