The official currency in Nicaragua is the Córdoba (code NIO; symbol C$), divided into 100 centavos. Notes come in denominations of C$500, C$100, C$50, C$20 and C$10. Coins are in denominations of C$5 and C$1, and 50, 25, 10 and 5 centavos.
The US dollar is accepted at most places, although change may be given in cordobas. The exchange rate used when paying with US dollars is generally a little worse, so for larger purchases it is better to exchange money first and pay in cordobas.
Foreign Currency Exchange
Foreign currencies can be exchanged at banks, at money exchange offices or at the airport. Rates vary - sometimes you will find a better rate at a bank and sometimes at a money changer, but banks are usually less convenient due to long line-ups. Recommended currency to bring to Nicaragua is US dollar since most exchange offices will not take other currencies, including euro, pound sterling or Canadian dollar.
Visitors bringing US dollars should only bring notes that are in good condition. Torn, marked or otherwise damaged notes may not be accepted.
Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) can be found in most cities. Most of them are located at banks, gas stations or supermarkets. They are linked to international networks (Visa / Plus or MasterCard / Cirrus) and can be used to get a cash advance on credit cards or withdraw money from an internationally acceptable debit card that work on the above networks.
Some ATMs charge additional transaction fee, some don't (on top of your bank's fee). Many ATMs in Nicaragua dispense both cordobas and US dollars.
Credit cards are widely acceptable at most stores, hotels, and restaurants throughout the country. They may not be acceptable in rural or more remote areas, so visitors should always carry some cash. Most commonly acceptable cards are Visa, MasterCard and American Express.
Traveler's checks are not widely acceptable and only some banks will exchange them for cash. Checks in currencies other than US dollar will not be accepted at all.
Banks are typically open from 8:30am to 4:30pm, Monday to Friday, and 8:30am to 12:30pm on Saturdays.
Current Nicaraguan Cordoba Rates
For other currencies or conversion amounts go to Currency Converter