We recently took a flight to Nicaragua in the last 30 days and this is an easy guide to navigate the requirements to get into Nicaragua!
The airline we took was Avaianca and their requirement for us to fly was to have a negative COVID test within the last 36 hours and the Nicaraguan government requires a negative COVID test within 1 day prior to travel. So for us, we were flying out at 5 pm and our window of getting our COVID test reported was from 12 am – 5 am to be within that exact window that would qualify.
What Didn’t Work!
We scheduled a COVID test at Walgreen s because it was no charge and we could do it through the drive through. However, after we did that COVID test we realized it was not a certified PCR test. We had some friends that had gone previously in the month and they did not get in because the test was not certified.
So then we went to a pharmacy that said they could give us a certificate saying that the test was certified, so that’s where we headed next. However after she conducted those tests and we paid $40, the test results did not state that it was a PCR test. It was, however, certified. So it was not a good test either.
What Did Work!
We found a certified testing site, we scheduled the test, paid the $80 for each person to get the certified test. They were able to put the correct date and time on the test so it did fall between the window that we needed, so that was very helpful.
We presented the test results with our passports when we got to the airport and they literally took about a half of a second to look at it, they didn’t question or really even acknowledge it. So I guess they were happy with the way the sheet was presented.
On The Way Back
To leave Nicaragua we also had to have a COVID test before leaving no more than 1 day prior to leaving. So we wanted to save some money and time so we were going to take our own tests. Which we did purchase for about $20 each. Unaware that there were differences in the home tests, we purchased the wrong one! The test you have to take with you has to be proctored. So before you purchase the test make sure that you have a QR code that you scan on the box that then takes you to a proctored test.
So then that left us having to take the test offered in Nicaragua. We started the day going to take a COVID test there in Managua. The first stop we made was the correct testing site for the citizens of Nicaragua. So they gave us a direction sheet and told us to go to a different location for non citizens. Thankfully we had a driver and an interpreter or we would have probably felt helpless.
We managed to find the other testing site and proceeded to start that testing process. Every person in your party has to fill out a form, present your passport and then pay $150 per person. Luckily there was not a line and so we got through the process fairly quickly, meaning it only took like 40-45 minutes.
After testing, they will post your results online or you can come back at 3 to pick up the paper results. The testing site said the airlines preferred the actual piece of paper so we arranged our day to come back at 3 to pick up our results.
They were printed out, we put them in envelopes and were on our way again!
If I Could Choose!
The only thing I would do differently is all the money that was spent on the tests could have gone to the people of Nicaragua instead of the testing sites. They definitely could use it!