Nicaragua Travel Advisory

Travel Advisory
January 11, 2024

Nicaragua - Level 3: Reconsider Travel


Reissued with updates to information on arbitrary enforcement of laws.

Reconsider travel to Nicaragua due to arbitrary enforcement of laws, the risk of wrongful detention, and limited healthcare availability. Exercise increased caution in Nicaragua due to crime.

Country Summary: Throughout Nicaragua, government and law enforcement officials continue to target individuals and organizations seen as opponents of President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo. U.S. citizens, including dual Nicaraguan-U.S. citizens, have been subject to revocation of Nicaraguan citizenship, reentry bans, expulsion, and other actions. The government and its affiliated groups have been reported to:

  • Arbitrarily prevent individuals from entering or departing Nicaragua by air or land for perceived associations.
  • Search personal phones, computers, and documents for anti-government content, limit photography of government property, and sometimes seize devices.
  • Systematically target individuals for political reasons, regardless of nationality, including former allies, political activists, business representatives, clergy, human rights advocates, civil society leaders, academics, and members of the press.
  • Arbitrarily target pro-democracy advocates and their family members.
  • Confiscate privately-owned land, residences, financial assets, and personal property without warning or due process.
  • Arbitrarily detain, accuse, and charge individuals with terrorism, money laundering, and organized crime offenses for political reasons without respect for fair trial guarantees.

U.S. citizen residents of Nicaragua also report increased scrutiny of alleged political speech.

U.S. citizens arrested in Nicaragua may find themselves subject to prolonged detention without charges or respect of fair trial guarantees. The judicial process lacks transparency, especially in politically motivated arrests and property dispute cases. Political influence and pressure may influence the outcome of legal proceedings.

The Department has determined the risk of wrongful detention of U.S. nationals by the Government of Nicaragua exists.

Travelers should exercise increased caution and be alert to the risks of crime, including violent crimes such as sexual assault and armed robbery.

Poor infrastructure in parts of the country limits the Embassy’s ability to assist U.S. citizens in emergencies. U.S. government personnel under Chief of Mission security responsibility may be subject to restrictions on their movements at any time.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Nicaragua.

If you decide to travel to Nicaragua:

  • Consider arrangements to depart the country quickly.
  • Ensure your U.S. passport is valid and available for a quick departure from the country, if needed.
  • Avoid demonstrations and restrict unnecessary travel.
  • Do not attempt to drive through crowds, barricades, or roadblocks.
  • Maintain adequate supplies of food, cash, potable water, and fuel in case you need to shelter in place.
  • Use caution when walking or driving at night.
  • Keep a low profile.
  • Do not display signs of wealth such as expensive watches or jewelry.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Country Security Report for Nicaragua.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.

Travel Advisory Levels

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Managua
Km 5 ½ Carretera Sur
Managua, Nicaragua
+(505) 2252-7100
+(505) 2252-7100
+(505) 2252-7250

Nicaragua Map