budget: £2310 / $3742
total spent: £2176 / $3526
# of days: 77
avg. daily spend : £28.2 / $45.7
all costs for two people in average exchange rate at time of travel - currencies are £GBP / $USD
days on budget: 10%
days under budget: 65%
days over budget: 25%
Yeah, we spent a really long time in Nicaragua - but even we didn't actually realise quite how long until we sat down and did the maths for this article. We wish we could say it was entirely due to the country, but actually a good few weeks were just practicality. We were meeting Emily's parents in Panama for Christmas, and what stood between us and them was the famously expensive Costa Rica. We simply couldn't afford to leave Nicaragua.
Thankfully however, this diverse country had a lot of good stuff to offer us - surfing and cheap seafood anyone?
Although we technically came in under budget, it was a little closer than we were expecting.
So where did the money go? There are three main culprits - the Corn Islands, Playa Gigante and some decadent grocery shopping for two weeks in Granada. Getting out to the Carribbean sea was quite costly, and Playa Gigante is ridiculously over-priced, but we loved our time in each location.
£793 / 1285
Accommodation costs in the country vary from some of the cheapest in Central America (Granada) to some of the more expensive (Playa Gigante). In general, a budget double will cost you £8-11 / $12-17.
£130 / $210
With the majority of backpackers sticking to the Pacific Coast, you don't need anything but cheap local bus travel and the odd boat to move around. Our biggest cost was by far the epic 51-hour journey to reach the Corn Islands, but worth every penny.
£320 / $519
The breakfast is king in Nicaragua - fried eggs, gallo pinto, plantains and coffee for at little as £1.20/$2. Otherwise, local food is uninspiring unless you're on the coast where spending all your money on seafood is recommended!
eating out: 29%
£210 / $340
Flor de Cana will probably become your favourite rum ever at only £2/$4 per litre. Vicotria and Tona are your cheapest lagers to buy by the litre. You'll find great parties in almost every backpacker spot.
£366 / $593
Most hostels will have a kitchen and local markets are bursting with cheap fruit and veg. Pali is the cheapest supermarket, whilst La Union is a more upmarket option for luxuries (where most of our money went in Granada.)
£89 / $145
With an excessive indulgence in rum, comes a need for junk food and fizzy drinks.
sweets & treats: 4%
£40 / $65
As were here for so long, we took the opportunity to stock up on essential items. Although still expensive, they are much cheaper here than in Costa Rica.
£141 / $229
Surfboard rental at $10/day, free kayaking in a lake, boarding down a volcano and snorkelling in the Caribbean sea, you'll have no shortage of affordable adventure activities in Nicaragua. Museum entry is generally cheap and some of the best activities turn out to cost nothing.
£53.5 / $86.5
Unfortunately Nicaragua charges a $12 entry fee per person which we had to pay twice given we chose to extend our stay in the country.