Nicaragua Travel Update & COVID Requirements

COVID UPDATE & Requirements – Sept 21, 2020

So many people asking similar questions about Travel to Nicaragua and COVID-19 So here is some info! *** Please see updates to this post at the bottom of the page***

The Borders of Nicaragua are open to all countries. All visitor must comply with Nicaragua’s VISA requirements and COVID-19 testing as per Nicaraguan Government mandate. In an attempt to answer some questions concerning COVID we have collected some info we hope you find useful. Please verify and confirm all the info below with the airlines, the Nicaraguan Embassy and/or Ministry of Health Officials closest to you.

  • Commercial Flights via Avianca Airlines have successfully resumed to Nicaragua as of Sept 19th, 2020.
  • Baggage allowance must be reviewed with the airlines prior to booking as there may be restrictions concerning the number of bags you can travel with.
  • All privately chartered flights coordinated by Tour Operators using Avianca as their carrier have been canceled.
  • COVID TEST per each passenger is needed in order to enter Nicaragua. Please confirm with your airline what kind COVID TEST is accepted. As fare as we know, the exact test required by the Nicaragua Ministry of Health is a “Real -Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) for COVID-19 (Hisopada), also known as quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR) carried out in a period no longer than 72 hours before entering the country. The name of the test in the United States is : RT PCR, Molecular Biology, amplification of the RNA f the SARS-COV2 Virus – performed by a a pharyngeal and Nasophasyngeal swab. NOT to be confused with an RT_PC (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction.) Please visit or for testing sights.
  • KIDS COVID test is required without limitation to age. Yes, infants also require the COVID Test mentioned above.
  • Responsibility – it is the passengers responsibility to confirm with the laboratory where the test is performed that it is the same test required by the Nicaraguan, health authorities a.k.a. MINSA.
  • Test results must be provided to the airlines and the Ministry of health for confirmation of permission to enter the country at least 24 to 36 hours before checking into your flight.

As Commercial flights begin to enter the country, we look forward to having visitors come and enjoy the country, safely and responsibly. Masks are required in many government and private business establishments and per managements indications.

For more information on General Travel to Nicaragua click here!

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Link to Avianca Notice Click HERE:

Testing Locations in South Florida

Below are some options that were provided to expats within a Private Expat FB group call “Expats in Nicaragua”. These locations have not been verified, please make sure to review the details prior to proceeding and check in with Avianca or the Health Ministry office vía the Nicaraguan Embassy.

*** Past Passengers testimonials of Avianca from Various responses to this Post ***

Remarks below posted by Jacquelyn D Hunter on an Facebook expat group named Expats of Nicaragua – who flew to Nicaragua on Sept 19, 2020:

  • “many passengers got turned away bc (because) Avianca informed them they were not on the approved list from MINSA”
  • “it seems some people sent in the COVID results by email too late”
  • “i heard MINSA claimed to not have received part of the results”
  • “I saw a couple people turned away bc (because) they had PCR test and not the RN PCR or RNA PCR test results.”
  • “I even saw one girl turned away at the gate bc she didn’t have her Covid results printed out”

*September 16th 2021 Update to Traveling to and from Nicaragua*

Entry into the United States from Nicaragua

The requirements to enter Nicaragua during the pandemic have stayed the same since the last post regarding the subject. However, there has been a new change regarding the importation of rapid AG tests. Starting a few months ago you were able to use rapid AG tests sold at in order to enter the United States, saving time & money that would have normally been spent going to the government’s PCR testing facilities in Managua. 

However, as of last month the importation of these tests is no longer permitted.  So please, if you are planning on visiting Nicaragua soon and were planning on using a Rapid AG test to re-enter the United States its best that you make plans during your travel to visit one of the government’s PCR testing facilities to complete your test and acquire your COVID test results.  The good news is that the government can now email you the results so that you don’t have to return to Managua for the results. More information on the dedicated page regarding ‘Getting your COVID-19 Test in Nicaragua.’

Entry into Nicaragua via Costa Rica

You still must complete a PCR Test from your home country in order to enter Nicaragua, however, this is not the case for entry into Costa Rica. As well, if you are fully vaccinated and can show proof you no longer have to purchase insurance when entering Costa Rica. Previously one of the requirements to enter Costa Rica was purchasing insurance for a minimum of five days.  As of August 2021 the Costa Rican government is no longer requiring this if you are fully vaccinated.  

Once in Costa Rica its about a 75-90 minute drive to the land border Peñas Blancas.  Once at Peñas Blancas, provided you have a printed out valid, negative PCR test you’ll be able to show your results to the border control officers and be permitted to start the immigration process.

The PCR test can be completed at a number of free testing sites located throughout the United States and Canada as well as the pop-up tents outside of the Liberia, Costa Rica airport. Personally speaking my family and I have used the, free, relatively quick service provided by the website and their drive-through service to complete our PCR tests. They are located around every major metropolitan area in the United States and you will usually get your results back within 24 hours. You can schedule your

Visit the website
Pick from a number of different locations surrounding almost all metropolitan areas
Pick a time to either visit their kiosk or drive thru the testing site. After this step you’ll need to provide your information


  1. Test results must be provided to the airlines and the Ministry of health for confirmation of permission to enter the country at least 24 hours of before checking into you flight.

    Is it 24hours? I read it was 36hrs???

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