Currency for Nicaragua: Nicaragua Bank & NIO Guide

In this article, we’re discussing the best currency for Nicaragua tourists and visitors. Not surprisingly, the answer is the Nicaraguan córdoba.

But depending on where you are traveling to, this can change. In this article, we’re going to answer important questions about the córdoba and share suggestions on where to get the best exchange rates as a foreign tourist.

This article is part of our free series on opening a foreign currency account which you can access here.

Feel free to use the table of contents to jump ahead to the sections most relevant to you.

Table of Contents

  1. Currency for Nicaragua
  2. What’s the Best Way to Get Nicaraguan Cordoba in Nicaragua?
  3. How to Transfer Money to Nicaragua?
  4. Frequently Asked Questions
  5. Do You Want Help Opening Bank Accounts?

Currency for Nicaragua

The currency for Nicaragua is the Nicaraguan córdoba with currency symbol C$ and ISO 4217 code NIO. Nicaraguan banknotes were first legalized in 1912, though they did not circulate until 1913. 

Getting córdobas in Nicaragua will require you to either exchange physical foreign currency in Nicaragua or withdraw directly from your foreign bank account. That said, choosing between ATMs in Nicaragua and Forex in Nicaragua often comes down to where you are traveling.

With this in mind, visitors are often encouraged to withdraw sufficient travel money for Nicaragua prior to leaving major cities and tourist destinations.

Of course, finding the best currency conversion rates when exchanging money in Nicaragua can be a challenge. This is true both in terms of finding a reputable currency exchange in Nicaragua and securing the best currency conversion rates.

While it is possible to visit currency exchange offices, currency conversion services at banks are often a suitable option to secure a reasonable USD to NIO exchange rate.

What’s the Best Way to Get Nicaraguan Córdoba in Nicaragua?

The best way to get Nicaraguan córdoba in Nicaragua is to visit a commercial bank, foreign exchange counter, or withdraw córdobas directly from a bank ATM. It’s important to note that while ATMs are available in most cities and major tourist destinations, they will not be available throughout the country. So, if you plan to travel outside of major tourist destinations, you should consider withdrawing sufficient córdobas to support your travels.

How to Transfer Money to Nicaragua?

In order to send money to Nicaragua, individuals and businesses can choose from a wide range of options, including conventional transfer methods and more obscure options.

Not surprisingly, the first option that most people consider is sending a bank transfer through the SWIFT network.

SWIFT stands for the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, which is a network of international banks that facilitate international transfers across the globe.

That said, there are a wide range of alternative transfer methods to choose from as well, including the following.

Options for Sending Money to Nicaragua

  • International transfer services
  • Money order services
  • Paypal or other peer-to-peer transfer services
  • Cryptocurrency transfers

Here is a closer look at a few of the most popular options in great detail.

International Transfer Services

There are a wide range of international transfer services to choose from when sending money to Nicaragua. In most cases, these services are delivered through digital platforms and mobile applications.

In addition to offering convenience, international transfer services are also one of the lowest cost options available. Additionally, if you choose to use one of the larger transfer services, your transfers will be secure with large licensed financial institutions.

Money Order Services

International money orders are available in most countries. However, it’s important to note that they are often more expensive than some of the other options available.

That said, money orders are secure and offer an immediate solution to sending funds. When using a large money order service provider, you can also arrange for money to be picked up in cash or to have it deposited directly into a bank account.

Peer-to-Peer Transfer Services

Peer-to-peer transfer services are another option for sending money to Nicaragua. In fact, they are one of the fastest and most affordable ways to transfer funds.

However, peer-to-peer transfer services do require both parties to have accounts with the same platform. Additionally, they can often be more challenging to fund and withdraw funds from than traditional bank accounts.

How to Choose a Method for Sending Money to Nicaragua?

As you can see, each of the options above have different pros and cons. So, it’s important to consider your specific objectives and situation when selecting a method to send money to Nicaragua.

Additionally, you should consider all of the options available. When doing so, consider the security, cost, and delay in your funds arriving to the intended recipient.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are three of the most common questions that we receive from people looking into the currency for Nicaragua. If you have further questions you would like answered, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us directly.

What’s the Currency in Nicaragua?

The official currency in Nicaragua is the Nicaraguan córdoba with currency symbol C$ and ISO 4217 code NIO. The córdoba was first introduced in 1912 following the formation of the National Bank of Nicaragua (BCN) and Nicaragua’s monetary law. When introduced, the córdoba was near par with the United States dollar, which may have been influenced by the United States’ presence in the country at the time of introduction.

How Much is $100 US in Nicaragua?

Over the last five years, the value of $100 US dollars in Nicaragua has ranged from a low of NIO 31.52 to a high of NIO 39.69. That said, in recent years, the value of $100 United States dollar in Nicaragua typically ranges between NIO 35.94 and NIO 37.00.

What Is the Best Currency to Use in Nicaragua?

The best currency to use in Nicaragua is the Nicaraguan córdoba (NIO). The córdoba is the official currency of Nicaragua and the only currency widely accepted across the entire country. That said, it is possible to use United States dollars (USD) in certain parts of the country as well. However, USD acceptance is not universal. So, if you are traveling to areas of Nicaragua that are not heavily visited by tourists, you should always ensure you have sufficient NIO with you for your needs.

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