Driving in Nicaragua

Roads, safety and getting around

Driving in Nicaragua

While driving through Latin American countries certainly sounds romantic, roads in Nicaragua are plagued by potholes and absent road signs.

Roads change with the weather in Nicaragua, the rain literally washing away streets. The one constant of the roads however is the terrible potholes; the best way of avoiding them is to get behind a local driver and follow their lead.

Even if you own a car, it is generally recommended to get a taxi after dark, as police choose the night to lie in wait for bribes.

Traffic road rules

You may not believe that Nicaragua has standard traffic laws, but they do - they are just pretty much ignored. The basic traffic laws you should know are:

  • Drive on the right
  • Wear a seatbelt
  • Don’t use a mobile phone
  • Don’t drink and drive (fines of up to USD 200 and/or prison sentence)      


As already mentioned, the traffic police in Nicaragua are not necessarily the most honest of sorts, and will regularly target gringos for bribes. While annoying, the easiest way to deal with this should be encounter it is to just pay up and move on.

If you actually receive a real ticket your license will be taken and then you will pay a fine at a bank.

Further reading

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