So you’re coming to Nicaragua and you’re trying to decide what to pack. Your suitcase or backpack is filled to the brim and still you feel like you’re forgetting something. We understand.
Maybe you’re unsure of the difference between the rainy and dry season. Or you just want to make sure that you’re being culturally sensitive and causally comfortable at the same. Don’t worry, regardless of when you plan to visit or whether you’re traveling for 7 days or 7 weeks, this list has you covered.
We’ve created a specific Nicaragua packing list for you to ease your mind. You can print it out and check-it off, save it as a pdf on your computer or e-mail it to a friend.
The Important Stuff
- Driver’s license (if you’re planning to a rent a car)
- E-tickets for flights
- Credit cards & ATM card (don’t forget to set the travel notifications on your bank accounts so that your bank knows your traveling)
- The Guidebook on San Juan del Sur
- $10 USD cash for your entrance Visa to Nicaragua
- Spanish/English dictionary
- Books about Nicaragua to learn more about the country
- No more than 2 bathing suits or swim trunks / board shorts (For surfers it’s worth grabbing a pair of “Performance Stretch” board shorts from RVCA here. Once you try the Performance Stretch shorts, you’ll never go back.)
- 1 pair of water resistant sandals
- Rash-guard if you plan to surf. (Here’s my preferred brand for girls)
- Sunglasses (polarized preferred)
Rainy Season Only
- Patagonia light rain jacket
- SealLine Dry Case for your electronics (I’ve tried a lot of different types of dry bags and SealLine Dry Cases are by far the most reliable bags for rainy season and water sports.)
- Bug spray with DEET
Misc. Travel Stuff
- Ear plugs
- Eye mask
- Packing cubes (If you spend a lot of time on the road, these will change your life.)
- Pen & paper
- Snacks or energy bars
- Hydro Flask water bottle (If you don’t own one yet, buy it now. You’ll thank me later. The bottle will keep your water ridiculously cold regardless of extra sunshine.)
- Small backpack or day pack
- Toothbrush & toothpaste
- Hair brush & hair product
- Feminine hygiene products
- Face wash
- Shampoo & conditioner
- Hand sanitizer or handy wipes
- Eye-glasses and/or contacts
- Lip-balm (with SPF)
- Nail clippers & tweezers
- Body lotion
Medical Kit Travel Packet
- Prescription medicine (make a note of active ingredients in addition to brand in case of loss)
- Motion sickness remedy (if susceptible to sea sickness and plan to get on the water)
- Pain relievers
- Calamine lotion
- Diarrhea remedy
- Hydration tablets
- Allergy medicine (& EpipPen if serious)
- Standard first-aid-kit with bandages
- Sleeping aid for travel
- Swiss army knife
*Keep in mind that the pharmacies in Nicaragua are easily accessible and most medication is over the counter.
- Tablet or E-reader. (Personally I’m torn between the Kindle and the iPad, but I have to say that when you’re lounging by the pool in the tropics this Paper white Glare-Free Kindle is the perfect reading device.)
- Cell phone
- Camera if you’re using something other than your phone
- Flashlight or headlamp
- Laptop if you have to stay caught up with work
- If you’re coming from the US or Canada you do not need a plug adapter. Be sure to check.
- *P.S. Don’t forget the power cords and chargers for all your gadgets!
- 1 pair of long pants
- 1 light long sleeve shirt
- 1 pair of close-toed comfortable for walking or hiking
- 1 outfit for going out (dress or nice shirt)
- No more than 7 t-shirts or tank tops
- No more than 5 shorts or skirts
- No more than 7 sets of underwear and socks. (Quick drying are best)
*Keep in mind: you can easily do laundry while you’re here. Save space and weight by packing less.
Not necessary but fun to have!
- GoPro (great for surfing, fishing or ATV’ing!)
- GoPro Floaty (if you’re planning to surf)
- School or sporting good supplies to donate to a local non-profit or school in need
Disclaimer: We acknowledge San Juan Live has an affiliate relationship with Amazon, however you will not pay extra when purchasing through our direct site links. When specific brands of products are recommended, we assure that they are owned, used and tested by Brooke. After living here for almost a decade, she knows what works well in Nicaragua.