Nicaragua is famed for being a budget backpacker's dream, and whilst you can definitely live cheaply here, life in the coastal surf towns can get surprisingly pricey.
But don't be dismayed, with rock-bottom accommodation prices elsewhere in the country, cheap bus travel, bargain supermarket prices (look no further than Pali!) and some of the best value surf-board rental we've found means that Nicaragua is an ideal place to spend weeks or even months!
The costs below are the average we encountered on our time in the country, and the individual items have been chosen for their ubiquity across the world and their popularity amongst backpackers. This will allow us, and you, to make a comparison of living and travel costs across Latin America.
Currencies are Nicaraguan Cordobas / $USD / £GBP. Conversion rate as at time of publication.
average daily cost for two budget backpackers
We lived pretty well in Nicaragua, without going over budget. If you really need to save money, you could probably live on £25 a day for two.
$C1130 / $45.8 / £28.3
average cost of a double room per night
Cheap doubles available in Granada and the Corn Islands balance out the much pricier San Juan del Sur and Playa Gigante.
$C412 / $16.7 / £10.3
basic breakfast out for one
On every street you will find a little comedor with large plates of gallo pinto and eggs for around a couple of dollars. We fell in love with a pricier version in Granada, but even at 90C it didn't break the bank!
60C / $2.26 / £1.49
one litre of water
Year-round high temperatures but at these prices you can still stay hydrated.
12C / $0.45 / £0.30
one cup of coffee
You'll be lucky to find a french-press but instead there's some surprisingly good instant coffee. If you see 'presto' in Pali - be sure to pick some up!
15C / $0.6 / £0.4
Eggs for breakfast, eggs for lunch, eggs for dinner...
25C / $0.9 / £0.6
one litre of local beer
The local Nicaragua beer, Tona, has been one of our favourites so far - and at this price you'll probably drink as much as we did. Remember to bring back your bottle to get the envase fee.
45C / $1.7 / £1.1
400g spaghetti and 400g marinara sauce
Always a reliable meal, pick-up you pasta and sauce in Pali and your money will go even further.
52C / $2 / £1.3
can of coke
Sometimes a girl just needs a can of diet coke, and whilst you can get a lot more water for the same price, a mild habit won't cost the world.
12C / $0.45 / £0.30
pack of 20 local cigarettes
Smokers should stock up here before heading south!
35C / $1.3 / £0.9