Nicaragua is a largely peaceful country. Most of the crime in Nicaragua is petty crime spurred by the nation’s poverty, which is considerable. However, according to the U.S. Consulate, violent crime in Managua and other cities is on the rise.
Areas to Avoid:
Avoid walking alone at night in Managua and other urban areas. If you must get somewhere, use an official cab (with a red license plate). Extra caution should also be exercised when traveling to remote parts of the country, as well as on the Atlantic/Caribbean coast.
Safety and the Police:
Outside of major cities and heavily populated areas, police coverage is extremely limited, especially on the Atlantic coast.
According to NicAmigo, police checkpoints are becoming more and more common on Nicaragua’s roads. While these are a hassle if you’re driving through Nicaragua, they’re beneficial in maintaining the country’s safety. If you're pulled over, know that it's illegal for the police to accept bribes in Nicaragua (though it still happens).
Tips on Staying Safe:
- Avoid political demonstrations—they can become violent.
- Never drive on rural roads at night. If you can help it, don’t drive at night at all. If you must, stay on major highways and carry a cell phone.
- Do not resist a robbery attempt, as many robbers carry weapons.
- Carry all important documents on an underclothes money belt.
For police emergencies, dial 118
For traffic accidents, dial 119
To contact the U.S. Embassy in Managua, dial (505) 266-6010 or 268-0123
For more about safety in Nicaragua, read the Nicaragua Consular Information Sheet.