Citizens of the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and the European Union require just a passport to enter Nicaragua and may stay for up to 90 days. The passport must be valid for at least 6 months after the date of entry. Visas can be extended at the Office of Immigration in Managua for $12 a month. The office, called the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería (tel. 505/2244-3989), is located 2 1/2 blocks north of the Tenderí stoplights.
Nicaragua is part of a 2006 border control agreement with Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, allowing travel among the four countries under one tourist card. The number of days of your tourist card is determined at the first of the four countries entered.
When leaving Nicaragua, you must pay a C700 airport tax, which must be paid in cash in either U.S. dollars or Nicaraguan córdobas. (This is sometimes included in the price of your airline ticket.) There is also a tourist entry fee of C100 that must be paid upon arrival into the country.
Nicaraguan Embassy-Consulate Locations -- For countries not listed below, consult www.ni.embassyinformation.com.
In the U.S. and Canada: 1627 New Hampshire Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20009 (tel. 202/939-6531; fax 202/939-6532).
In the U.K.: 36 Upper Brooke St., London W1Y 1PE (tel. 171/409-2593; fax 171/409-2536; www.nicaragua.embassyhomepage.com).
In New Zealand: 50 Clonbern Rd., Remuera (tel. 64/9373-7599; fax 64/9373-7646; firstname.lastname@example.org).
The websites listed below provide downloadable passport applications, as well as the current fees for processing applications. For an up-to-date, country-by-country listing of passport requirements around the world, go to the "International Travel" tab of the U.S. State Department website at http://travel.state.gov.
For Residents of Australia -- You can pick up an application from your local post office or any branch of Passports Australia, but you must schedule an interview at the passport office to present your application materials. Call the Australian Passport Information Service at tel. 131-232 or visit the government website at www.passports.gov.au.
For Residents of Canada -- Passport applications are available at travel agencies throughout Canada or from the central Passport Office (Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Ottawa, ON K1A 0G3; tel. 800/567-6868; www.ppt.gc.ca). Note: Canadian children who travel must have their own passport. However, if you hold a valid Canadian passport issued before December 11, 2001, that bears the name of your child, the passport remains valid for you and your child until it expires.
For Residents of Ireland -- You can apply for a 10-year passport at the Passport Office (Setanta Centre, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2; tel. 01/671-1633; www.dfa.ie). Those 17 and under, or 66 and older, must apply for a 3-year passport. You can also apply at 1A South Mall, Cork (tel. 21/494-4700) or at most main post offices.
For Residents of New Zealand -- You can pick up a passport application at any New Zealand Passports Office or download it from their website. Contact the Passports Office at tel. 0800/225-050 in New Zealand, or 04/474-8100, or log on to www.passports.govt.nz.
For Residents of the United Kingdom -- To pick up an application for a standard 10-year passport (5-year passport for children 15 and under), visit your nearest passport office, major post office, or travel agency; contact the United Kingdom Passport Service at tel. 0870/521-0410; or search its website at www.ukpa.gov.uk.
For Residents of the United States -- Whether you're applying in person or by mail, you can download passport applications from the U.S. State Department website at http://travel.state.gov. To find your regional passport office, either check the U.S. State Department website or call the National Passport Information Center's toll-free number (tel. 877/487-2778) for automated information.
There is a C100 entrance fee for all tourists. In theory, you may also be asked for an onward ticket and proof of sufficient funds, but this rarely happens. There is a tax on all electronic, alcohol, and other luxury goods that are not obviously personal objects (things still in their original packaging, for example).