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Nicaragua Travel Budget: My Experience

Nicaragua on a Budget

Traveling in Nicaragua on a Budget

Budget Travel

Is it possible to travel in Nicaragua on a budget? Learn how much it cost me to backpack in Nicaragua — along with my favorite tips & highlights.


I think I’m in love. The Central American country of Nicaragua was a big surprise. I quickly got sucked into it’s laid-back pace of life, incredibly friendly people, and low cost of living.

I wasn’t planning on spending much time here. That scenario soon changed once I got to know the place!

Do you want to travel back in time? It’s possible in Nicaragua.

Venture into any of the many small towns to experience rural farming communities where water is collected with buckets, horses are the only way to get around, and even basic electricity can be hard to find.

Living in Nicaragua for a while was a refreshing pause in my journey, and I became captivated by it’s magic.

Nicaragua Travel Costs:

Nicaragua travel budgets can vary greatly. Here is a breakdown of how much money I spent over 4 months of travel there.

  • Food & Drink: $1,444 US (groceries, restaurants, water, alcohol)
  • Accommodation: $595 US (hostels, hotels, camping fees)
  • Transportation: $92 US (buses, taxis, boats)
  • Activities: $110 US (entrance fees, rentals, classes, tours, etc.)
  • Miscellaneous: $299 US (laundry, sundries, souvenirs, visas, etc.)




Budget Notes: I stayed almost 2 months at a hostel in Granada called La Casita that charged only $4 a night because it was low-season.


– Watching my first cock fight
Volcano boarding down Cerro Negro
– Building ovens out of poop
– Hitchhiking to visit Alberto
– Chicken buses


– The heat of Leon
– Sleeping on the deck of a cargo boat
– Crashing a motorcycle
– Witnessing how people live at La Chureca
– Chicken buses


– How cheap the country is
– How friendly the people are
– Chicken buses!

Stories & Adventures From Nicaragua

Planning to travel to Nicaragua soon? Browse all my blog posts from Nicaragua to get ideas & recommendations for your own adventures!

Read More Stories From Nicaragua Here

Final Thoughts

Nicaragua has a little bit of everything. Beautiful beaches, great surfing, active volcanoes, nature preserves, freshwater lakes, jungle rivers, quaint colonial cities, and a good chunk of the country is not easy to access and off the beaten track (just the way I like it).

Traveling in Nicaragua won’t break the bank either. I know I’ll be back again some day soon.

Additional Examples?

My last trip to Nicaragua was in 2011. Prices have probably changed a bit since then. We don’t all travel the same way either. So to help you get a better picture, here are a few Nicaragua travel budgets from others:

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Packing Guide

Check out my travel gear guide to help you start packing for your trip.

Book Your Flight

Ready to fly? Here’s how I find the cheapest airline flights.

Rent A Car

Discover Cars is a great site for comparing car prices to find a deal.

Cheap Accommodation

Learn how I save money booking hotels & vacation apartments.

Protect Your Trip

Don’t forget travel insurance! Protect yourself from possible injury & theft abroad. Read why you should always carry travel insurance.


I hope you enjoyed my Nicaragua Travel Budget! Hopefully you found it useful. Here are a few more wanderlust-inducing articles that I recommend you read next:


Friday 28th of July 2017

Hi, I'm planning 3 weeks in Nicaragua in February. My husband and I are thinking about taking our kitesurfing gear with us. In your opinion, do suitcases tend to be safe in the chicken buses, or would it be better for us to rent a car and drive ourselves around (which is what we usually do when we travel)? Thanks!


Sunday 24th of January 2016

Hey thanks for the nice article about lovely Nicaragua. I´ve also spent there 4 months working on a research project and...traveling a lot :) You can also check out my blog for the stories.

Linguists on the Loose

Tuesday 19th of January 2016

We have been traveling around Nica for the last three months, and it definitely is possible to travel on a bare bones budget! Nicaragua has some of the most beautiful pristine nature I've ever seen, and also some of the worst pollution. I have to agree with you on the chicken buses as well, they are interesting all right; we've seen chicks, chickens, dead chicken, piglets, and buckets of dying fish on them all in the same ride!


Friday 15th of April 2016

I saw your post on the Vagabond blog, which was written quite a few years ago. Your post was fairly recent, and was wondering whether accommodations are still cheap.I won't to get an idea on monthly cost are for rentals, especially near the beach. Craigslist are probably more expensive than what is typical.

Thanks Jack


Friday 18th of December 2015

Matthew, the next time you travel to Nicaragua, you should check out the East Coast. It is just as beautiful if not better than the West Coast of Nicaragua. The people on the East Coast, speak both Spanish and creole English.


Wednesday 18th of November 2015

What language can i use there? I only know english

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