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Excerpted from the Nicaragua Career Guide

Cost of Living

Nearly everything one needs is inexpensive in Nicaragua. The exceptions are electricity, fuel and imported cars, which are relatively much more expensive.


Rental prices vary greatly depending on the type of housing sought. Renting a house with typical expatriates’ comforts in popular cities like Managua, Granada and San Juan del Sur can cost almost as much as in some provincial European or North American cities.


Buses are the most common form of transportation in Nicaragua, and bus routes are extensive. An urban bus ride in Managua costs about 0.10 USD.

Medical Care/Health Insurance

The Instituto Nicaragüense de Seguridad Social (Nicaraguan Institute of Social Security, website available in Spanish) manages Nicaragua’s universal health care system (Sistema Nacional Único de Salud), which is divided in three plans or regimens depending on the professional position and economic possibility of each citizen: contributory, non-contributory and voluntary regimens.

Work Schedules and Holidays

Workers are entitled to one day off for every six working days, and 15 days of vacation for every six months of uninterrupted employment. Also, workers are entitled to a bonus (aguinaldo) of one month’s salary (‘thirteenth month’) after a year of work.


Income taxes are based on progressive rates up to 30 percent. Non-residents are taxed 15 percent on Nicaraguan-sourced income.

Social Security and Pension

Old age, disability and survivor pensions are available for public and private sector employees aged 16 and older. Employers, the self-employed, clergy and those who were previously covered by the program may opt for voluntary coverage.

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