Nicaragua - Rules of the Road

Traveling in Nicaragua is an exceedingly different occurrence versus driving in the US, and sightseers and travelers must understand that before hitting the Nicaraguan countryside. As a common rule, there are only a few paved roads, mostly key highways, and yet those are in bad shape. Secondary roads, if you can even consider them as that, are unpaved and rough, full of potholes and hazards, unlit, and have no shoulder.

Traveling through the nation is done on the right-hand side, as it is in the U.S. Visitors are cautioned that when considering a visit to Costa Rica or the Honduras for the duration of their visit to Nicaragua, they only go across the borders at the main border-crossing sites, Las Manos and Penas Blancas. Traffic laws are incredibly different in the country as well. Travelers involved in a wreck where a person is killed is instantly arrested until the reason of the fender bender can be discovered. You must never change a vehicle involved in the fender bender until the police arrive or the liability automatically lands on the individual who moved the vehicle.

As the government is financing funds for infrastructure, consisting of upgrading roads and bridges, the rainy season continues to take its toll on the highways. Even the best roads in the country have hazards that can cause an accident. Travelers to the country are intensely directed to carry insurance, be positive their vehicle is in full accordance with Nicaraguan transit law and to continuously carry a cell phone in case your car gets trapped has engine trouble in a rural area. Even better, visitors are instructed to hire a professional driver familiar with the area in the country and let him ferry you from one place to another. At no time take a public transit bus, as they are in poor shape and rife with criminals.

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