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What you need to know before you visit Nicaragua.

Before You Go: Frequently Asked Questions


Getting to Hotel el Casino in Casares

Direct flights to Managua from Houston, Miami, Los Angeles makes travel to Nicaragua quick, safe, and easy and our staff will be happy to arrange ground transportation from the Managua airport to Hotel el Casino in Casares.

Passport and visa

Make sure you bring your passport and any medications that you require during your stay. Citizens of the USA, the European Union, Switzerland, and Norway do not need visas.

Nicaraguan tourist cards are issued on arrival for $5 U.S. dollars. We recommend that you bring exact change in crisp dollar bills in your hand luggage for this purpose.

  Nicaragua map showing details of the Carazo region (La Boquita, Casares) and San Juan del Sur.

Stay in touch

Cell phone reception is good at Hotel el Casino, just make sure to check with your carrier about supported functionalities, foreign charges, and so on.

The hotel's cyber cafe offers wireless connection (WIFI) to the Internet along with 15 computers and a color printer for its guests.

What about the money, honey?

The Nicaraguan currency is the Cordoba. As of April 2010, the Cordoba was valued roughly one twentieth of the U.S. dollar (100 Cordobas was equal to $4.72) and nearly one thirtieth of the Euro (100 Cordobas was equal to €3.54). Use the currency widget on this page to find today’s exchange rate to the U.S. Dollar, Euro, or any other currency.

Generally, most stores and vendors in Nicaragua will gladly accept either Cordobas or U.S. dollar, but if you plan on paying with the latter you must know that only pristine bills will be accepted and that your change will often be in Cordobas.


Hotel el Casino accepts major credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express), U.S. dollars, Cordobas, or a combination of all three. The closest ATM is at Pali in Diriamba, while banks with tellers for cashing travelers checks, additional ATMs and so on are found in Jinotepe, 30 kilometers from Casares.

Time zone

Nicaragua is on the same time zone as Central Standard Time (like Chicago). Since the country does not adjust for daylight savings time, the country is effectively on Mountain Standard Time (like Denver) during that part of the year.

Electrical outlets and voltage

Nicaragua uses the same plugs and current as the United States: 110 volts.

Water quality

It is generally not recommended for foreigners to drink the water in most of Nicaragua. Hotel el Casino has bottled water for sale and use safe water for cooking and cleaning food and dishes.


Nicaragua’s official language is Spanish. Some Nicas speak a little English, but fluent speakers are rare to encounter. Hotel el Casino owner and manager Patrice Glo speaks fluent French, Spanish, and English and he will be happy to assist with anything if needed.

Climate and weather

Nicaragua is generally hot—average temperature is 82 degrees Fahrenheit, while humidity averages around 75 percent. The two seasons are rainy and dry. The dry season lasts from mid-November through May, while the rainy season extends from the Summer till the late Fall.



Nicaragua is the second poorest country in Western hemisphere after Haiti, yet the safest in Central America. Yes, that means less crime than Mexico and Costa Rica. Travel is safe day and night. As a precaution, Hotel el Casino keeps a night guard on duty, but we’ve yet to have a single incident.

Last, but not least…

Relax, this is Nicaragua!