Residing in Nicaragua

Please note: The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the entities or individuals whose names appear on the following lists. Inclusion on this list is in no way an endorsement by the Department or the U.S. government. Names are listed alphabetically, and the order in which they appear has no other significance. The information on the list is provided directly by the local service providers; the Department is not in a position to vouch for such information.

Many Americans live in Nicaragua.  Some come as missionaries.  Some are born here.  Many Americans come to Nicaragua to retire.  No matter your reason for being in Nicaragua, you can find information about residing in Nicaragua below.  Many private, non-governmental websites – www.nicaliving.com, http://www.ticotimes.net/Regional/Nicaragua, and others – provide information on residing in Nicaragua for English speakers.

The following is a list of bilingual schools in Managua.  It is by no means comprehensive.

The American Nicaraguan School: (http://www.ans.edu.ni, Tel 2252-7310), Accredited by AdvancEd and the Nicaraguan Ministry of Education is one of the oldest accredited private schools in Managua.  Preschool through 12th grade.  English primary language.

Lincoln International Academy: (http://www.lincoln.edu.ni, Tel 505-2276-3000) Founded in 1991, is a private, Catholic, co-ed school.  Preschool through 12th grade. SACS approved. English primary language.

Nicaragua Christian Academy: (http://www.nca.edu.ni, Tel 505-2265-2277) Accredited member of the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI). Also accredited by SACS and the Nicaraguan Ministry of Education. Preschool through 12th grade.  English primary language.

Nordic International School: (http://colegionordico.org/en/nordic-school/, Tel 505-2277-1113) Private, co-ed international school founded in 2010, formerly the Swedish School. Preschool through 8th grade. Accredited by the Nicaraguan Ministry of Education. English primary language.

Notre Dame School: (http://www.notredame.edu.ni, Tel 505-2276-0463) is a private, Catholic, co-ed school.  Preschool through 12th grade.  Spanish/English bilingual. Offers 6 IB courses.

Pierre and Marie Curie School: (http://www.curie.edu.ni/, Tel 505-2276-1611) is a private, co-ed school. Preschool through 12th grade. Spanish/English/French trilingual.

Saint Augustine: (http://www.csa.edu.ni, Tel 505-2271-1941, info@csa.edu.ni) Founded in 2001, is a private, Catholic, co-ed school. Accredited by NEASC and the Nicaraguan Ministry of Education. Preschool through 12th grade. English is the primary language.

Saint Dominic School: (www.saintdominicschool.edu.ni, Tel 505-2255-0174) Founded in 2000, is a private, Catholic, co-ed school. Member of International Montessori Council. Accredited by Nicaraguan Ministry of Education. Preschool through 12th grade. Spanish/English bilingual.

Bringing Pets from the United States to Nicaragua

You will need:

  • A certificate issued by the ministry of agriculture, USDA is preferred. However, certificates of good health issued by a veterinarian with recent rabies vaccine will also be accepted. For dogs: multiple canines, for cats: multiple felines and parasite treatment within the past year.

When your pet arrives:

  • You will need to pay U$10.00 per pet to a MAGFOR Quarantine Delegate at the Managua International Airport. You will also need to pay an additional U$10.00 per pet to customs.
  • We recommend you request assistance from airline personnel to contact the MAGFOR Quarantine Delegate; their office is near the immigration check points.
  • It is important to remember that the MAGFOR Quarantine Delegate will require the original form of the certificate and any other documentation you have brought.

Note: Please remember that the Managua Airport does not have any facility to store pets. Therefore, all arrangements so the owner may be in Nicaragua at the time of arrival should be done in advance. The payments mentioned above are done when the pet arrives. Whether that be on the same flight with the passenger, or if the owner is already in Nicaragua, they still need to be sure they are in the airport at the arrival time of the flight.

Bringing Pets from Nicaragua to the United States

  • Bring your pet and your pet’s vaccination record to a registered veterinarian, the veterinarian will issue a health certificate for your pet.
  • Most veterinarians will take care of the below process for a fee.
    • Take the health certificate to Centro de Tramites de Exportacion (CETREX) and request an export permit. Address for CETREX: Plaza el Sol 1 ½ C. al Sur, Mano Derecha.
    • Authenticate the export permit at the Nicaraguan Chancery (MINREX).  Address for MINREX: Sobre la Avenida Bolivar, Del Cine Gonzalez, 1 C. al Sur.

Note: For the most complete and accurate information on the importation of pets and other animals into the United States, please check with the Centers for Disease Control and Customs and Border Protection.  Different types of pets have different requirements so owners should be well informed on each process as it applies to them.

Regulations governing transit are administered by the National Police’s Central Transit Bureau.  For specific information concerning Nicaraguan driver’s licenses, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, please refer to the National Police website. You may also contact the Embassy of Nicaragua or a Nicaraguan Consulate for further information.

The information listed below is merely a sketch of the process and may not be entirely up-to-date given the frequency with which regulations change. Specific questions should be directed to the Nicaraguan government.

Every district in Nicaragua has a local transit bureau office – sometimes co-located at the police station – for issuing driver’s licenses and license plates.

If you are in the Managua area, you may consider processing your initial papers at the SERVIGOB (“Government Services”) building where the majority of public services are housed.  Payments and exams are conducted relatively quickly. SERVIGOB also provides notary services for legal documents.

Address of SERVIGOB: de la rotonda de Plaza Inter, 1 ½ C. al norte, mano derecha (close to the Vice Presidencial offices)

Nicaraguan Driver’s Licenses
Short-term tourists who have a valid U.S. license are generally exempt from needing a Nicaraguan driver’s license.  However, U.S. citizens who are Nicaraguan residents are required to have one.

General steps for a new driver’s license:

  • Copy of your passport or Nicaraguan Resident Card.
  • To be Older than 21 year old.
  • Certificate of approval of the theoretical- practical exams realized by the Transit Police Station Office and/or any Center authorize by them.
  • Certificate of examinations of the vision and the Blood type, with the recent date, both emitted by the Nicaraguan Red Cross.
  • License Insurance policy.
  • BANPRO (Bank of Production) deposit’s slip of payment of C$120.00 cordobas in account number 100-10000025581-5. This is the account of the National Police and there should be deposit slips for this at the counter of the bank.
  • Present current driver’s license still good for driving or less than a year of expiration.
  • Present certification from your Embassy of the type of license that you own and the type of vehicle that you can drive with it.*

* Unfortunately, our office cannot provide this certification of the type of license that you own. The Nicaraguan Police Department has been known to accept a sworn statement like this one (pdf, 33KB) notarized by a consular official, where the license’s owner states the types of vehicles he/she can drive.  You can prepare this statement before you come to our office, but  please wait to sign in front of the consular officer. Sample Sworn Statement  (pdf, 33KB)

Note that Nicaraguan driver’s licenses feature a photo, blood type, name, passport number, and emergency contact information, but not a date of birth.  A driver’s license is not accepted as an official identification document in Nicaragua.  Only passports and cédulas serve this function.

Vehicle Permits
Nicaraguan law allows tourists to enter the country with their vehicles on the assumption that they will take their vehicles with them when they go. One important note is that Nicaraguan customs does not permit the entry of vehicles which are ten years old or older.

Vehicle Insurance
All vehicles must have local third-party liability insurance. This is available through several local companies for between $120 and $240 per year, depending on the amount of coverage purchased.  Many U.S. citizens take out more comprehensive insurance from U.S. firms for additional protection

Road Conditions
For information on road conditions in Nicaragua, please see the Our Country Specific Information for Nicaragua and our Warden Announcements.

The following is a list of English-language religious services in Managua. It is by no means comprehensive.  The services are arranged alphabetically and the order in which they appear has no other significance.

Catholic Mass in English in Villa Fontana

Mass in English: Sundays at 4:00 PM
Catholic Church: Jesús de la Divina Misericordia
(Jesus of the Divine Mercy)
Address: From Club Terraza, 2 blocks West (Towards UNAN)
Contact Information: Father Raul Zamora razgue@yahoo.com
Parrish Phone: 2270-6997

Covenant Church Inter-Denominational

Address: Universidad Americana UAM
Time: Sundays at 10:00 AM
Contact Information: ccmanagua@mac.com; Pastors David and Claudia Albrecht, tel (505) 2-263-2667 or (505) 8-484-4607

International Christian Fellowship

Address: Nicaraguan Christian Academy, Km 11 Carretera Viega a León
Time: Sundays at 8:00 AM
Contact Information: www.icfmanagua.org; Pastor Mike Havlin,
tel (505) 8-869-2367