Córdoba Oro and USD

A trip to Nicaragua means that you’ll have different currencies in your pocket. Official one is the Córdoba Oro (NIO), divided into 100 Centavos. It was introduced in 1912 and replaced the formerly used Peso. It is named after Francisco Hernández de Córdoba, the founder of the country. Due to inflation the currency had to be re-issued in 1988 and 1990. As often in Latin America, there is a secondary currency that is widely accepted. In Nicaragua this is the US-Dollar (USD) that you can withdraw at ATMs next to Córdobas and which you can use nearly everywhere.

Paying in Nicaragua is mostly hassle-free. You can use credit cards and in a lot of super markets, at gas stations and in most hotels. VISA cards worked better than MasterCards. You can find ATMs at banks in city centers, but most often you can withdraw cash at supermarkets and gas stations (which is a bit unusual at least for a German). What you’ll have to live with is the uncertainty of the maximum account of USD and Córdobas you can withdraw; you’ll simply have to try it out and it differs from location to location. Which currency to use when? If you’re in rather touristy places or using tourist services you’ll most often be asked for USD; in rural areas and untouristy places you’ll better go with Córdobas. But don’t worry, they’ll most often charge gringos higher prices anyway. 😉

Córdoba Oro and USD

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