Whether you are looking to relocate full time, part time or just travel for Tourism, the following are some tips that will make your goal of getting to Nicaragua possible!
For avid travelers, as of today (Nov 2020), it seems like the ideal travel route is to plan your flight arrival into Liberia, Costa Rica and then cross over the land border into Nicaragua. For departure, it’s best to fly out of Managua, Nicaragua. Currently, the only commercial flights available are with Avianca, they provide connections in San Salvador &/or Miami. This 3 point travel is ideal because Costa Rica currently will allow only it’s citizens and residents, access from Nicaragua to Costa Rica via the land border at Peñas Blancas into Costa Rica. We hear this may change on Dec 01, 2020 but we will wait to see if it’s true.
Here is a link to a video interview with lovely lady named Vicky, who traveled with here family via Costa Rica to Nicaragua in mid November 2020 (with Pandemic Travel Restrictions) and she figured it out!
1 – Get the Right Covid Test
The test that is approved by Nicaragua is: SARS-COV-2 by RNA (RT-PCR) Detection
This test is not easily found in every state with the turn around time Nicaragua requires. For this reason we recommend taking the test in Miami, 3 days prior to onward travel to Nicaragua.
Test Locations in Miami Florida
A) BioCollections INC
- Cost of Test is $75 US dollars
- Address: 5735 NE 2nd Avenue, Miami FL. 33137
- Open 7am – 2pm Monday through Saturday.
- Closed on Sundays and Holidays
Locations for CoViD Tests in Costa Rica
San Jose – “Clinica Bíblica Hospital”
- Cost if test: Approximately $100 dollars
- Address – Exact location is: Hospital Clínica Bíblica – 14 Avenida, Laberitno, San Jose, Costa Rica.
- Tel +506-2522-1000
Liberia – “Hospital Metropolitan”
- Located in Liberia, (Guanacaste area) of Costa Rica. centeo Commercial Plaza Millenium, detras de las oficinas de Mutual Alajuela
- Price 53,000 Colones plus Tax (about $100)
- Results delivered 24 to 48 hours after test sample is taken
- For more information you may call +(506) 4000-676 or Whatsapp: +(506) 7171-0103
- Must set up appointment for test at least 48 hours in advance
2 – Time your Travel & Test Results Correctly
At the time of writing this post, Nicaragua requires a negative Covid Test to enter the Country, the test must be completed within 72 hours of arrival to Nicaragua.
When flying to Nicaragua from another country, the negative test results must be provided to the airline host or contact 36 hours prior to departure or the exact time the airline gives you via your direct booking process.
A traveler must time the test correctly since some testing locations are not open during weekends or during Holidays.
Counting the full number of days of the process we shall review the process for a simulated flight of 3pm on Day #3
Day #1 – get the test done at 9am and receive results late in the evening (in some cases, you must check website for results).
Day #2 A) – 5am Send email with PDF of Negative RNA RT -PCR Nasal Covid Test results to the airline by 5am (exact deadline instructions provided by airline). If traveling through Costa Rica and simply crossing the border on foot, this step is not currently required.
Day #2 B) – 9am receive an email from the airline where the airline acknowledges having received your email with your results. The email message usually states that provided that they don’t hear back from the Nicaraguan government, ‘please continue and be ready for flight check in’ for the following day.
Day #3 – 12pm (midday) arrival at airport for flight check in. Make sure to bring printed version of Negative Test Results to show the Health agents upon arrival to Nicaragua.
3 – Plan your Travel Route and Confirm Flights
Must confirm with Locals (expats as well) in Country if airlines are indeed flying. Don’t know anyone yet? No worries, join a Facebook group called “Expats in Nicaragua.” You can also check the US Embassy’s website by clicking here to see their latest updates on Nicaragua.
When crossing the land Border, you have to send your COVID test results to MIGOB and fill out this form.
Many airline companies are selling tickets in the event they begin to fly. Some airlines will provide refunds, others will provide credit towards a future flight. We have heard stories of people rescheduling their flights as many as 7 times since March 2020. It is now November 2020.
Travel Direct from Miami, Florida to Managua, Nicaragua – follow the steps above or click here for a detailed blog post on traveling from Miami to Nicaragua Direct. Currently you can travel via Private Charters organized by various Tour Operators in Nicaragua or take a Commercial flight provided by Avianca Airlines.
Travel to Nicaragua via Costa Rica by land – if traveling via Costa Rica, you will need to purchase travel insurance and provide proof of onward travel (printed reservation for ticket leaving Costa Rica) in order to be able to enter Costa Rica. The airline you reserved with will provide exact instructions on how to purchase the mandatory Costa Rica Health insurance. It is preferable to land in Liberia versus San Jose since Liberia is Closer to the Peñas Blancas Border with Nicaragua. However, check both since the price difference can be significant, especially with multiple travelers.
If landing in San Jose, it is best if you reserve a shuttle service (we are happy to refer you a great shuttle company) to pick you up and take you to the border direct. This trip will likely be a 6 hour trip.
If landing in Liberia, the trip to the border is usually about 1.5 hours. Also best to reserve a shuttle at least 24 hours prior to your arrival.
The border between Costa Rica and Nicaragua usually closes at 12 midnight. However, during the pandemic, it has been closing earlier. Some say 6pm, others say 10pm and still others say 12 midnight. In any case, it’s best to cross the border in daylight hours.
*ProTips for Avid Travelers*
If you are finding it difficult to find a good testing location close to home you can always plan to get your Covid test in San Jose or Liberia on the day you arrive. You can wait for the results in Costa Rica and head over to Nicaragua early the following day.
Due to Nicaragua requiring a COVId Test with time limitations, review your schedule and decide if you will get a test in Miami or Costa Rica. Depending on your flight arrival time, you may be able to take a straight shot over to Nicaragua as soon as you land, just remember to print your Test Results before arriving at the land border.
Second option – Depending on timing, it might be sensible to make a reservation for the night and get an early start the following day to Nicaragua. This will be a decision to make based on how long you will be flying and the time you arrive in CR.
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