Reissued with updates to wrongful detention information.
Reconsider travel to Nicaragua due to limited healthcare availability and arbitrary enforcement of laws. Exercise increased caution in Nicaragua due to crime, and wrongful detentions.
Country Summary: The government of Nicaragua arbitrarily enforces laws for political purposes. Throughout Nicaragua, government officials and law enforcement continue to target those opposed to the rule of President Ortega. The government and its affiliated groups have been reported to:
- Systematically target opposition figures (regardless of nationality), including former allies, political activists, business representatives, clergy, human rights advocates, and members of the press.
- Arbitrarily target pro-democracy advocates.
- Prevent certain individuals from departing Nicaragua by air or land for political reasons.
- Arbitrarily seize and/or search private property including personal phones and computers for anti-government content.
- Arbitrarily charge individuals with terrorism, money laundering, and organized crime offenses for political reasons.
U.S. citizens have reported being subject to this treatment. U.S. citizen residents of Nicaragua also report increased scrutiny of alleged political speech and additional scrutiny by immigration officials.
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 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:
- Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before planning any international travel, and read the Embassy COVID-19 page for country-specific COVID-19 information.
- 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.