Your travel to Nicaragua can be an easy journey if you are informed about the process, requirements and restrictions.
How to get here and what you need to know!
Nicaragua yoga retreat and surf camp, Magnific Rock, has been stealing the hearts of travellers since they opened their doors in 2011. With the borders of Costa Rica reopening earlier this year and flights operating into Managua, it is once again an easy journey to reach this paradise destination.
HOW TO GET HERE AND COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS
Entry into Nicaragua at this time is as relaxed as the people. The Nicaraguan government has done a great job at making this an easy process. No quarantine is required upon arrival and as long as you are holding a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test, as well as a valid passport with at least 6 months validity and proof of onward travel, then you will be welcomed with open arms.
FLYING INTO MANAGUA
Currently three airlines are operating flights into Managua, Nicaragua; Avianca, Copa and AeroMexico. All airlines require you to register your negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test 36 hours before your flight to Nicaragua. Your airline should send you an email with a link on where and how to upload this information. The RT-PCR test must be taken a maximum of 72 hours before the flight to Nicaragua. You will need to present your negative RT-PCR test results to immigration on arrival at Managua airport and there is a $10 entry fee to be paid in cash to the immigration officers.
Once you have exited the airport Magnific Rock can arrange for a taxi to pick you at the airport with our reliable and friendly taxi drivers who will bring you on the 2.5hr scenic drive to Magnific Rock, Popoyo. If you would like to stop for drinks or food, just let the driver know and he will be happy to accommodate you.
FLYING INTO COSTA RICA
Alternatively, many guests have been choosing to arrive here via Costa Rica. Popoyo, where Magnific Rock is located, is in the south of Nicaragua, and it is very close to the land border crossing at Penas Blancas. There are direct flights available into Liberia, Costa Rica, and the border crossing is generally quick and easy making this a good option for many. You do not need to provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test to enter Costa Rica, and if you are fully vaccinated with the last dose being administered a minimum of 14 days prior to your arrival in Costa Rica, or you are 18 years of age or younger, you do not need travel insurance. Details of accepted vaccines are listed at the bottom of this article. However, if you are unvaccinated, you must obtain travel insurance for the entirety of your stay in Costa Rica.
World Nomads Travel Insurance is a reliable insurance company that offer the full necessary coverage. Whichever insurance you choose, it must meet these requirements:
1. Valid during the entire stay in Costa Rica (coverage dates)
2. $50,000 for medical expenses, including COVID-19 infection
3. $2,000 for lodging expenses in the event of COVID-19 quarantine
Travelers must ask their insurance company for a certificate or letter in English or Spanish stating the following information:
1. Name of the individual traveling
2. Validity of the effective policy during the Costa Rica visit (travel dates)
3. Guaranteed coverage for medical expenses in the event of COVID-19 in Costa Rica, valued at least $50,000
4. Minimum coverage of $2,000 for lodging expenses for quarantine or trip interruption for this same amount
This certificate must specify that the policy covers COVID-19 and must be uploaded to the HEALTH PASS to be reviewed and approved by Costa Rican authorities.
COSTA RICA HEALTH PASS
You must complete the HEALTH PASS form within 72 hours of your arrival to Costa Rica. And if you are fully vaccinated you must attach your vaccination certificate to the HEALTH PASS. After you complete the form you will receive a QR code that must be carried on your phone and shown to immigration on arrival to Costa Rica.
In addition to the registered HEALTH PASS, tourists must also have their passport with the validity of a minimum of 6 months and be in good condition, along with proof of onward or return travel and sufficient funds, which is a minimum of $100 a month, to cover the entirety of your stay in Costa Rica.
CROSSING THE BORDER AT PEÑAS BLANCAS INTO NICARAGUA
The Peñas Blancas border crossing is open from 6am to 11pm and we recommend that you arrive as early as possible as the border can get very busy.
GETTING TO PEÑAS BLANCAS
Transport is easily accessible across the border and we recommend you either book an International Bus with Tica Bus, Nica Bus or Transnica. The bus will take you to the border, wait for you and drop you off at your final bus destination in Nicaragua. We can arrange for a taxi to be waiting to pick you up from the bus stop. This is a completely hassle free option, but you must book your bus ticket in advance.
Traveling independently is easy and cheap with regular shuttles available from Liberia and La Cruz airport to Peñas Blancas border crossing. The bus or shuttle takes around 1 hour and costs 1760 colones.
PAY THE EXIT FEE
When you arrive at the border you will be directed to a small office where you will need to pay the $10 Costa Rica exit fee. After this, continue on to the immigration office to receive a stamp in your passport and show your receipt for payment of the exit fee.
Now you have officially left Costa Rica and need to either walk (5 mins) or travel in your transport to the Nicaraguan immigration office. Here you need to pay a $14 entry fee and show proof of your negative RT-PCR test along with proof that you submitted the Nicaragua Health form. You are required to submit this form 7 days before entry into Nicaragua. The immigration officer will also ask for your accommodation address in Nicaragua and a Nicaraguan contact number. You will receive a stamp in your passport and you are now free to enter and start exploring the beautiful land of Nicaragua.
FROM THE BORDER TO MAGNIFIC ROCK
Once you have entered Nicaragua there are an array of shuttles, taxis and buses available to take you to your first destination, which is normally San Juan Del Sur. From San Juan Del Sur you can hop on the local chicken buses for a true Nicaraguan experience or we can arrange for a taxi to pick you up.
ARRIVING AT MAGNIFIC ROCK
Now it’s time for you to relax and enjoy the friendly Nicaraguan hospitality along with spectacular views across the Emerald Coastline. Sip on a Flor de Cana and enjoy some delicious food at our restaurant. In no time at all, you will be feeling revived from your journey and it won’t be long until you are ready to dive into the water and catch some waves with our Magnific Rock Nicaragua Surf Camp. We have the best waves for beginner surfers on our doorstep at the aptly named “Beginners Bay”. And for the more experienced surfer, there are an endless array of spectacular bays to explore with world class surf breaks.
When it’s time for you to return home we can help organize the COVID-19 PCR test depending on your countries requirements. We have home testing kits available which are accepted by the United States or we can book you an appointment for a lab test at the official Ministry of Health: MINSA, in Managua.
While Costa Rica does not require a negative test to enter, you will most likely need one for your next flight. Most labs in Costa Rica will only provide PCR results the next day, so if time is tight, you can get same day testing and results in Managua for $150.00 prior to departure.
The test is done at MINSA testing facility and is available from 08:00am until 10:30am. You will receive your results via email any time between 15:00 and 17:00 that same day.
Exit fees must be paid at immigration when leaving the country. If you are flying out of Managua, you will need to pay a $35 exit fee at the airport. If you are exiting the country at a land border crossing, the exit fee is $4. Try to have the correct money as change is rarely available.
AstraZeneca: Covishield, Vaxzervia, AXD1222, ChAdOx1, ChAdOx1_nCoV19 India
Janssen: COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen, Johnson & Johnson y Ad26.COV2.S
Moderna: Spikevax, mRNA-1273
Pfizer-BioNTech: Comirnaty, BNT162b2 y Tozinameran
Sinovac: COVID-19 Vaccine (vero cell), Coronavac ™
Sinopharm: SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine (vero cell), Inactivated (InCoV)
Covaxin: BBV152, Bharat Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine
Vaccinated tourists must attach their vaccination certificate to the Health Pass. Also, the vaccination certificates and vaccination cards must contain the following information:
- Name of the individual who received the vaccine
- Date of each dose
- Pharmaceutical site
WE LOOK FORWARD TO WELCOMING YOU AT MAGNIFIC ROCK SURF CAMP AND YOGA RETREAT
We hope you have found this blog useful and please know that this is the most up to date information about travel into Nicaragua and COVID-19 requirements available at this.