Join InterNations

The world's largest expat community

A Comprehensive Guide on Moving to Nicaragua

  • Connect with fellow expats in Nicaragua

  • Join exciting events and groups for expats

  • Get information in our expat guides

  • Exchange tips about expat life in Nicaragua

  • Rajat Bhatnagar

    After spending my whole life as an expatriate, finding this platform and joining the Managua network made me incredibly happy.

An amazing community is waiting for you!

Meet internacional people at local events

Socialize, enjoy hobbies, and make friends

Get info, and feel at home abroad!

Relocating to Nicaragua

Despite being settled by the Spanish Empire way back in the 16th century, Nicaragua has remained somewhat closed off from the outside world for a long time. It’s fair to say that throughout the 20th century, Nicaragua was a place that only backpackers and those that wanted to go off the beaten track traveled to.

These days, however, there’s an increasing shift towards expats heading to Nicaragua to find work and a home or even to retire, and there is a wider range of tourism options, too. In fact, Nicaragua seems to be undergoing a tourism revolution, with more luxury resorts to choose from and a wider range of food options to cater to foreigners, too.

The Land and Its People

Despite covering an area of ground similar to Greece, there are vast parts of the country that remain practically uninhabited, as they are made up of ancient forests and nature reserves. The capital city of Managua is the third largest of the settlements in Central America, while León is recognized as the cultural capital of the country, with a strong literary culture, and the famous León Cathedral, which has been declared a world heritage site.

Nicaragua’s population numbers around 6 million people, and the country contains many different cultures with their own histories and traditions. Along the eastern coasts, native tribes still maintain their own traditional way of life and speak their own languages, although you’ll find throughout the rest of the country that the lingua franca is Spanish. As such, learning Spanish is fairly essential for anyone intending to settle here, and key phrases are invaluable for getting around.

In general, the local population includes people whose heritage dates back to Africa, Europe, Asian, and the Middle East, as well as indigenous peoples, so there’s a real sense of a rich and complex national identity.

The Climate in Nicaragua

You’ll find that there is some variation in the climate of Nicaragua from region to region. Regions that are at a higher altitude experience slightly cooler temperatures, in the range of 12°C to 20°C, while a few of the lower lying areas are subject temperatures of around 22°C to 30°C.

Mostly, expatriates moving to Nicaragua will encounter a tropical climate with an average of 27°C all year round. As such, it’s a good idea to look into accommodation that has inbuilt air conditioning as the heat and humidity can take some time to get used to.

Visas for Nicaragua

For most nationals, a visa is not necessary when traveling to Nicaragua for a tourist stay of under 90 days. Visitors do, however, need to purchase a tourist card upon arrival. Most places of employment will arrange any details of work permits for you, and for people conducting short-term business without residency there is no need for a permit.

Those that intend to stay longer or are looking to apply for residency should get in touch with Nicaraguan Immigration for more details. There are a lot on incentives for people to retire to the country, as it boasts no tax on out of country earnings, rolling residency options of five years (with renewal options), and a tax break of around 10,000 USD on any furniture or goods you want to bring into your new home, on top of the allowance of one automobile for personal use, duty free.

As you can imagine, this along with the warm climate and the friendly culture attracts a lot of people to spend their post-career days in Nicaragua. It is relatively easy to apply for retiree status, as all of the paperwork is straightforward and there are no hidden fees. It’s also worth looking into what ‘retired’ status actually means in Nicaragua, as there is a fairly liberal interpretation of what counts as working. For example, many retirees open hotels or small restaurants without voiding their agreement.

You can even extend the notion of ‘retired’ to mean anyone who has a stable income, so it’s not even necessary to be over 45 in order to claim this privilege. All that is required is a proof of citizenship from your current nationality, some form of proof of health, and no outstanding disputes with local police or customs.

Apr 27, 2024, 3:00 AM
4 attendees
Let’s get together next 26 April, Friday. Come and enjoy having time with InterNations members. Great food, delicious drinks and good ambiance at Intercontinental Hotel Managua. Date: Friday, 26 Apr
Jan 20, 2024, 1:30 AM
6 attendees
Let’s start the new year with some delightful and tasty sushi at NAU Lounge! I am very excited to invite you all to join us for our first IN event of the year. Friday, January 19th at 18:30h - 22:0
We are thrilled to invite you to our upcoming event at the Club Terraza! Join us for an exciting night of bowling, where we'll celebrate and enjoy the company of both Nicaraguans and expats living in
Dear InterNations Members, We're excited to invite you to a special gathering at the luxurious Hotel Intercontinental! Join us for an evening of networking, socializing, and making new connections.

See all upcoming events for expats in Nicaragua

Our Global Partners

  • Rajat Bhatnagar

    After spending my whole life as an expatriate, finding this platform and joining the Managua network made me incredibly happy.

  • Catus Bogdan

    A friend invited me to InterNations. Now I know much more about expat life in Managua and I'm less nervous when it comes to moving there.

Our Global Partners

Communities in Nicaragua

Like-Minded Expatriates in Nicaragua

Nicaragua Guide Topics