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Is Nicaragua a Safe or Dangerous Country?Nicaragua has a low crime rate, but it has some dangerous areas like any other country. The efforts of the National Nicaraguan Police have reduced gang and organized crime in the past few years. Opportunistic attacks and murders can happen especially in Rivas and Managua, the capital. However, petty crime is still a concern. Pickpockets and thieves work on public transport and around bus stops. Most criminals have weapons, so in order to avoid getting injured, do not resist. In case of getting robbed, notify the police and get a signed and sealed copy of their report. Avoid traveling alone at night. It is best to get a licensed taxi even if you are a couple of blocks away from your destination. We recommend that you travel in groups or with someone who does not only speak Spanish, but also knows the local areas. However, most visitors have not had a problem during their vacations. We recommend that you use common sense and avoid isolated areas as well as walking alone at night. It is important to follow the news on television and radio closely. Be aware of your surroundings at all times like you would in any large city.
Warnings & Dangers
OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM
Standard safety precautions are recommended in Nicaragua as crimes of opportunity, including petty theft, pickpocketing and bag-snatching are common. Exercise common sense and remain vigilant for suspicious behavior as you would in any other country.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : HIGH
Pickpocketing and purse snatching are common in tourist locations and public transportation. Pickpocketing is common in markets, so never keep anything in your back pocket and take as little with you as possible.
MUGGING RISK : HIGH
There have been reports of express kidnapping by using unauthorized taxis. Authorized taxis have red plates, the driver’s ID number, name, and a visible photograph.
SCAMS RISK : HIGH
As in any other country, taxi drivers will try to take advantage of travelers by overcharging them. Remain vigilant for thieves that use different strategies to rob you like a tap on the shoulder, spitting or getting something spilled on you. We strongly encourage you not to use public ATMs. There have been scam reports involving attempts to obtain a victim’s ATM card and PIN, as well as reports of extortion calls.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM
We recommend avoiding buses at night due to the frequency of armed robberies by gangs, so only use them to travel within the city during daylight hours. Radio-dispatched taxis are safer and a more reliable way to get around the city. Sharing taxis with strangers is common, so if you prefer to avoid this, tell the driver and set a fare for a solo journey before getting in the car.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
Earthquakes can happen at any time. The Hurricane season runs from June to November. Rainy season runs from April to October, which may provoke flooding. Nicaragua has active volcanos: San Cristobal, Cerro Negro, Telica and Concepcion on Ometepe Island. San Cristobal has been active since December 2012. Monitor local media and follow the advice of the local authorities.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
Mexico has not recently been targeted by terrorist attacks.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : MEDIUM
Women should be careful around men, even with hotel employees. Avoid isolated locations and traveling alone after dark. Remain extra alert at bus stops and in taxis. Many female tourists have been victims of sexual assaults in the beach community of Monterrico and the town of Panajachel. There are also warnings of constant sexual harassment in the form of cat calling, kissing noises, and/or whistling. We recommend you ignore these comments and keep walking. If you are being followed (unlikely, but possible), go into the nearest large shop or hotel.