San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

President Ortega Opens Borders to Tourism

In an effort to boost tourism during times of hardship, the government last week announced that it is dropping all tourism visa requirements and opening its borders to tourists from across the world. The measure, originally announced last month (NT, Feb. 6), was passed by presidential decree March 13.

Tourism Minister Mario Salinas hailed the measure as an important day in the history of Nicaragua’s tourism industry.

“From today on, Nicaragua will be a country that is more open and more friendly to visitors,” the minister said, adding that the country should see immediate benefits from the measure, especially from Costa Ricans visiting here during Holy Week next month.

While tourists from the United States, Canada, the European Union and most of Central America never had to get a tourism visa to visit Nicaragua, tourists from other countries – mostly Costa Rica, Colombia, Eastern Europe and Asia – had to go to the nearest Nicaraguan consulate to apply for a tourism visa. But from now on, all tourists are welcome here with a passport, and can purchase the $5 tourism card from immigration authorities at the point of entry into Nicaragua.

–Tim Rogers


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