Travel Alert May 2018: Managua in Nicaragua

If you are traveling to, from or through Managua in Nicaragua over the next few days, be aware that civil action — which has been occurring in recent weeks and is still ongoing — in and around that city may disrupt your travel plans.

Travel Alert May 2018: Managua in Nicaragua

According to this official travel advisory from the Department of State of the United States as of Monday, April 23, 2018 but updated earlier this month, the United States government ordered the departure of United States government family members and authorized the departure of United States government personnel.

Political rallies and demonstrations are occurring daily, often with little notice or predictability.  Some protests result in injuries and deaths. Demonstrations typically elicit a strong response that has in the past included includes the use of tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets, and live ammunition against participants and occasionally have devolved into looting, vandalism, and acts of arson. Ability to purchase food and fuel may be limited, and access to the Sandino airport in Managua may be blocked. Both the Government of Nicaragua and the United States Embassy in Managua are limited in the assistance they can provide. Travel by United States government personnel within Nicaragua is restricted, and additional restrictions on movements by United States government personnel outside of United States diplomatic facilities may be put in place at any time, depending on local circumstances and security conditions, which can change suddenly.

Violent crime, such as sexual assault and armed robbery, is common. Police presence and emergency response are extremely limited outside of major urban areas. United States government personnel are prohibited from using public buses and mototaxis and from entering the Oriental Market in Managua and gentlemen’s clubs throughout the country due to crime. United States government personnel require special authorization to travel to the Northern and Southern Caribbean Coast Autonomous Regions due to crime and transportation safety concerns.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Nicaragua:

  • Avoid demonstrations.
  • Restrict travel except in an emergency or to depart the country.
  • Shelter in place if your surrounding area is affected by demonstrations or move to a safer location if your current location is unsafe.
  • Consider arrangements to depart the country if you feel unsafe in Nicaragua.
  • Maintain adequate supplies of food, potable water, and fuel if sheltering in place.
  • Use caution when walking or driving at night.
  • Keep a low profile.
  • Do not display signs of wealth such as expensive watches or jewelry.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Report for Nicaragua.
  • United States citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Flight Waivers, Delays and Cancellations

If you are traveling to, from or within Managua, expect delays and cancellations of flights. Keep up to date on the latest information pertaining to this civil unrest which may adversely affect your travel plans. Better yet, postponing or canceling your trip might be a better option — no matter which mode of travel you plan on taking.

If you have a flight scheduled, your flight may be delayed or canceled — and you may be eligible for a waiver of a fee to change your itinerary.

Here are two airlines which have issued travel alerts as a result of this civil unrest:

  • American Airlines has issued a travel alert for Managua for Friday, May 11, 2018 through Thursday, May 31, 2018; and Sunday, June 10, 2018 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • United Airlines has issued a travel alert for Managua for Wednesday, May 16, 2018 through Friday, May 25, 2018; and Friday, May 25, 2018 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.

Summary

Be sure to contact your airline or transportation provider for the latest information pertaining to your travels — if they are adversely affected — and please: travel safely.

Imagery ©2018 TerraMetrics. Map data ©2018 courtesy of Google Maps.

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