Nicaragua, which had been in the headlines in the 90's because of its civil war, is the world's safest travel destination after Canada. Thanks to an ambitious government program, the network of roads has significantly improved over the past years. This especially applies to central Nicaragua and the Pacific coast, while the connection to the Caribbean coast continues to be rather rudimentary. Since many points of interest are difficult to reach with public transportation, Nicaragua is good place to travel with a rental car.

For driving in Nicaragua a valid driver’s licence from the country of residence is required. But to avoid discussions with the Police during routine checks it is better to take an international driver's license with you.
The official traffic regulations generally correspond to the international standard, are however often ignored.  Watch out for buses that often take the right of way. Beyond the large cities, the traffic is thin since there are few private vehicles. Don't drive too fast, since you can expect the main street to have potholes. At night there are several cars on the road without lights. In general: if you pay attention while you are behind the wheel, you will get along on Nicaragua’s streets just fine.

The speed limits in Nicaragua vary depending on street conditions and the amount of traffic. There are many police checks. The network of gasoline stations is generally dense.

Which rental car is the right one?

Not all rental cars are suitable for all routes in Nicaragua. After substantial investments in the past years, many roads are paved and are in very good condition, but there are also gravel and dirt roads for which we recommend an off-road vehicle. This especially is the case during the rainy season from May to November. For this reason, you will find the necessary information concerning road conditions, estimated travel times and distances for every trip on the maps from If an off-road vehicle is absolutely necessary, this is clearly indicated on the section of the map. Use this information when planning your trip in Latin America.