Nicaragua has two big providers of telefonía fija (fixed phone lines) and telefonía móvil (mobile phone lines):
Claro offers basic fixed-line and advanced digital-line packages. They also offer a number of pre- and post-paid mobile phone plans, including 3G mobile internet that you can use throughout the country. A list of Claro’s stores can be found here.
Movistar offers prepaid and postpaid fixed telephone lines. Just like Claro, Movistar also has a range of options for mobile phones, including 4G availability in some areas. To get more information about packages and fees it is best to visit one of the stores in Nicaragua or contact them via their website.
Prepaid sim card packages (Prepago SIM) from both Claro and Movistar are the easiest to obtain. Simply buy a sim card at one of their stores or kiosks (located in supermarkets, airports, etc.) and put it in an unlocked mobile phone. The number on the front of the package is your new Nicaraguan phone number.
You can now receive calls, but in order to make calls you will have to buy credit. Look for any shop that has a ‘recarga’ or ‘recharge’ sign outside, where you can simply hand them some money and show them your phone number to add credit to your phone.
Even with pay-as-you-go SIMs, you can get package deals by texting your provider. For example, sending “Internet 5” may get you 5GB of internet for a set price. Movistar has a list of their prepaid packages here, while you can ask Claro for their offers in one of their stores.
Another option is to buy prepaid phone cards, which are sold in every phone shop and can be used at local pay-phones. These are a good option if you want to make a quick international call at a relatively low price. Be aware of what type of card you buy, as there are several pay-phone systems accepting different kinds of cards.