Information on Nicaragua
WEATHER AND SURF CONDITIONS
FOOD AND WATER
Is Nicaragua safe?
Yes, Nicaragua is very safe. It is actually rated the 2nd safest country in Central America. The only crime in our region is occasional petty theft, but Hacienda Iguana is a gated community with guards everywhere for added comfort so you have nothing to worry about at all.
Do I need to know Spanish?
It is very helpful if you know a little bit of Spanish. In the bigger towns some people may know a little English, but generally speaking, in the Tola region you will be getting by mainly with Spanish. Once here our trilingual management (English/Spanish/Russian) can help you with anything you would need.
Do I need to get any vaccinations?
It’s best to talk with your doctor but we would only recommend that you are up to date on your tetanus shot. We do not have Malaria.
Do I need a visa to travel to Nicaragua?
When traveling with a passport, citizens of the U.S., Canada and EU countries may stay in Nicaragua for 90 days. No visa is necessary for travelers from the U.S., Canada and Western Europe. Citizens from some Latin American, Asian, African, and Eastern European countries may require visas, which can be obtained at a Nicaraguan Consulate.
What kind of medical facilities are there?
All public and private hospitals and medical facilities in Nicaragua will treat foreign visitors in case of emergency, accident, sudden illness or a chronic disease. Most often you have to pay cash for treatment however some private hospitals accept payment by credit card. While medical facilities are rather limited outside of Managua, there are well equipped private facilities in the capital. If you need medical attention while in Nicaragua, the Metropolitano Vivian Pellas Hospital in Managua is a good choice. For minor colds, bumps, scratches, or stitches, the US funded private Rancho Santana Clinic, located about 15 minutes north outside of Hacienda Iguana is a good choice as well.
What’s the local time zone?
Nicaragua is six hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), and has no daylight saving time, during which time it is seven hours behind Greenwich. There is little seasonal variation at dawn (approximately 6.00 am) and dusk (6.00 pm).
Do I need to bring a voltage adapter?
If you are coming from the US or Canada you will not need a voltage adapter. Nicaragua operates on 110 – Volts AC (60 – cycle) nationwide.
Do I need to exchange my USD to Cordobas?
No, everywhere in Nicaragua accepts USD although you may lose a little money when buying things due to discrepancies in exchange rates so sometimes it is good to pay in Cordobas. Many people don’t accept ripped bills so make sure yours are in good condition. Small USD are recommended.
What is the current exchange rate?
The exchange rate is changing rapidly. In order to find an accurate exchange rate, please go to and check the “Tipo de Cambio”.
Can I use credit cards in the area?
A few places do accept credit cards but most do not. So please bring an ample amount of cash.
Are there any ATMs in the area?
Yes. It's in the commercial down town right next to the Satori Spa.
What’s the local sales tax?
There is normally a 15% tax added to sale of goods and services. A 10% service fee is usually added to the bill at most restaurants. In essence this is the tip. If not included, it will be specified on the menu.
WEATHER AND SURF CONDITIONS
When is the best time for surfing?
High surf season is considered April through September although you can still get great waves other times of the year.
What is the weather like?
The temperature here stays pretty constant year round, only fluctuating between around 85-93 degrees Fahrenheit. Rainy season is from the beginning of May until the beginning of November. May through September there is intermittent rain and the majority of the rain is at night. October is considered the super rainy month, it can rain all day and night for weeks and it wouldn’t be unusual to get “stuck” here as the rivers are often too high to cross at these times. November and December are still green and comfortable as the wind starts to pick up and it is dry from January through April. April is generally the hottest month.
What is the water temp?
Most of the year the water is comfortable (around 80 F), sometimes even warmer, but January through March the water can get a bit chilly due to upwelling caused by the constant offshore winds. This time of year I recommend bringing a 1-2mm wetsuit top or shorty wetsuit.
Can you arrange Airport transportation for me?
You bet! We can arrange a private sedan for $100 for up to 4 people. At $160 we have a new microbus that can carry up to 12. Please just let us know your number of people, preferred type of transportation, exact arrival time, airline and flight number and we can arrange your transportation for you. Your ride does include a stop at the grocery store as well.
How long of a drive is it from the airport to Iguana and how do you get there?
The drive from the airport to Iguana takes about 2-2.5 hours and the last minutes are on a dirt road.
Do I need a 4X4 vehicle?
The road from the airport to Hacieda Iguana is now paved. However if you decide to explore during rainy season (May-October) we do advise that you rent a 4X4. Depending on the amount of rain the rivers fill quite a bit and the road this time of year are generally muddy and bumpy. In dry season you do not need 4X4 but keep in mind that the road is dirt and can be bumpy so a larger car with bigger tires will make the ride more comfortable.
Where should I rent a car?
We have found some good deals through www.carrentals.com. Just put in your pick up location as MGA. Keep in mind that you will also be charged a mandatory insurance of around $10-$15/day on top of that price. Also there are a few rental agencies right outside the gated community in Riviera Market Place.
Are there any gas stations in the area?
Your best bet is to fill up in Rivas. There aren’t any actual gas stations in this area but there are a few places that sell gas and will siphon it into your tank.
What about the Policia?
They are pretty harmless here, but if they see you driving a rental or see surfboards on top of the car there’s good chance they’ll pull you over to try and get a bribe out of you.
FOOD AND WATER
Can you drink the tap water?
The water in our area is actually spring fed and is fine to drink, but we do also provide our guests with 5 gallon bottles of purified water for drinking.
Where is the closest grocery store?
Your best bet is to buy groceries, beer and alcohol on your way down from the airport. Your best options would be to stop at the Maxi Pali in Masaya or Rivas or take a detour through Granada and stop at La Colonia, the most Americanized supermarket. There is a great little market inside Iguana called Shaka Grocery. You’ll be able to restock on all odds and ends there with wide variety of groceries.
Are there any restaurants in the area?
You bet. Within Iguana we have 5 great restaurants, and many outside the gates. Take a look at the restaurant guide in the following pages for update information.*
Do you offer any sort of meal package or catering?
We have great local cooks that can be hired for full meal packages, depending on availablity. The meal packages include food, non-alcoholic beverages and a chef to prepare, cook and clean-up. For the meal package breakfast usually consists of a combination of pancakes with fruit, french toast, eggs, omlettes, gallo pinto, hasg browns, fresh fruit, tortillas and or toast. Lunch and dinner are generally a meat (chicken, fish, beef or lobster) with a potato, rice and/or tostones, and a salad/or fresh veggies. Our chef, also makes sandwiches, lasagna, tacos, pasta, hamburgers or BBQ. If there's anything in particular you'd like him to cook he'd be happy to do it.
We can offer:
3 meals a day for $35/person/day
2 meals a day for $30/person/day
or just dinner (no drinks included) $20/person
Kids under 12 can have smaller portioned plates at half price. For groups of 3 or less, there will be an additional charge of $10/person/day.
How often is maid service offered?
It depends on the property. The houses include cleaning service daily, some condos offer cleaning service every other day and others just twice a week. You will find the frequency of cleaning service under the rate section for each property.
Can I arrange for more frequent cleaning than what is offered?
You bet. It will just cost $8 for each additional cleaning that you would like.
Is there a phone I can use?
If its’ an emergency feel free to ask the Management to help you make a call, besides that we think email, Skype or internet applications are the cheapest and easiest way to be in touch with your loved ones, WhatsApp is highly recommended.
Is there internet?
Yes, each house or condo has wireless internet.