These 2 Airlines Are Launching Nonstop Flights to Nicaragua: Here’s Why You Should Go


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As part of their winter strategy, American Airlines and Spirit have restarted flights to Nicaragua, a small, historically neglected nation in Central America that few Americans know about. Given that it is not as popular as Mexico or Costa Rica, or a well-developed tourist destination, why then is Nicaragua a market worth exploring by these carriers and Why should I you consider visiting first?

For simplicity, its popularity is increasing minute by minute.

Young woman traveler photographed on a swing on the ocean in front of an exposed volcano in Nicaragua, Central America

This year, Central America overtook Europe for the first time in hostel bookingssignaling that the Old Continent’s days as the world’s premier backpacking hub may be numbered, especially now that the cost of long-distance travel is rising and the Eurozone is facing one of its most debilitating crises nowadays.

On the other hand, the southernmost reaches of the Northern Hemisphere are warmer than ever:

Nicaragua much more accessible to Floridians this winter

American Airlines aircraft take off

Two years after suspending operations due to Covid, American Airlines has finally reinstated its flights Miami (MIA) – Managua (MGA), officially becoming the first US carrier to add direct flights to Nicaragua now that both countries’ borders are open. Nor will these be sporadic flights – as confirmed by the Americans, the frequency is Daily.

From November 30, flight AA 2243 will take off from Miami daily at 10:25 a.m. and land in Managua, the capital of Nicaragua, at 12:18 p.m. Back home, American Airlines customers can board flight AA 928, also daily, taking off at 1:20 p.m. and landing again in Miami at 4:55 p.m. Other specifications include:

Passengers boarding an American Airlines plane at an unspecified airport
  • Aircraft deployed en route are a Boeing 737-800
  • The number of seats is 160 (16 Business, 24 Main Cabin Extra, 132 Economy)
  • Plane tickets start only $265 one way (Economy)

American Airlines now offers one of the best connectivity to and from Central America, offering a total of 282,584 seats spread over 1,665 flights by December, as reported Cirium. Notably, Nicaragua was the missing piece of the puzzle on an already comprehensive flight map, which included all of the regional favorites from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Costa Rica.

Fort Lauderdale regains direct connection to Managua

Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport building exterior

Following in the footsteps of American Airlines, Spirit is gearing up for winter, having Just announced its low cost flights departing from its Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International (FLL) to Managua, resume this winter. Coincidentally, on the same date as their full-service competitor: November 30.

As for frequency, much like the revitalized Miami-Managua Air Bridge, it will be a daily flight. This particular route had been suspended since March 2020, once Covid was declared a pandemic and strict border measures were enacted in response. Now that travel rules have been relaxed, Spirit feels confident in promoting Nicaragua as a destination Again.

Young woman using phone taking picture inside an airplane, Air Travel Concept

You can find more details below:

  • Road operated on a Airbus A321
  • Capacity of 228 seats*
  • Prices as low as $108 one way on Spirit’s Saver$ Club*

*The allocation of seats has not been specified

Outbound flights (NK 435) must depart at 23:45 and arrive at 1:23 the following calendar day. Returning home (NK 434), residents of Fort Lauderdale must arrange to be at the airport for a 2.5 hour flight, which will land in Florida at 6:00 a.m. Based on his planned frequency, Spirit should be able to offer 1,596 places per week once the service is launched.

Like American Airlines, the low cost brand – which should soon merge with JetBlue after Frontier lost its offer – significantly boosts service to Central America. Prior to Nicaragua, he had established ties with Belize, Guatemala, Panama and El Salvador, to be proud “ to bring affordable fares back to the up-and-coming region.

View of Granada, Nicaragua, Central America

Why visit Nicaragua?

With increasing numbers of Americans seeing no value in 9-5 jobs and instead looking to explore the world, even if on their own, not only traveling solo, but also long-term travel is becoming the norm. Interestingly, the lesser known part of the Americas has become a safe haven for them in the wake of the pandemic and the cost of living crisis.

Central America is, by far, a leader in travel trends this year, with hostel bookings up 40% on 2019 and a range of countries launching digital nomad visas to attract young travelers who are also remote workers – like Nicaragua’s close partner Costa Rica. As a member of the group, Nicaragua is at the forefront of this revolution.

Digital nomad woman near the beach, remote work concept

Although it has yet to officially open its market to nomads, or even completely lift the pandemic-era barriers to short-term tourism, it has relatively lax entry rules and everything adventurers are looking for now that the world has reopened:

  • Incredible landscapeswith some of the largest lakes in Central America
  • Lively nightlife, especially in cities like Managua and Leon)
  • A rich cultural scenewitness the architecture of the colonial era of the city of Granada
  • Very affordablebeing one of the places where your hard-earned dollars go the furthest
Botswana rainforest, Nicaragua, Central America

According to a survey conducted by Hostelworld in March 2022, 74% of respondents said their ‘priority’ when traveling is ‘seeking nature’ and other ‘experiences of the natural world’. Ideally, Nicaragua is home to the second largest rainforest in the Americas – the Bosawas – and a plethora of lakes, volcanoes and other reserves.

Apart from its amazing nature, when it comes to travel expenses, it is simply one of the most affordable destinations. In fact, its capital, Managua, was named by Mercer the second cheapest throughout Latin America. On average, a single person settling in the country for a month can expect to live on only $536 without rent.

Colorful houses in Granada, Nicaragua, Central America

Of course, those visiting on a vacation week should spend far less. In summary, if you’re looking to save a few hundred dollars, while having an international experience this year that ticks all the boxes on your post-Covid travel list – nature, culture, economics – you should definitely consider exploring Nicaragua.

Luckily for you, two of America’s most popular airlines are returning to sunny, tropical Nicaragua just in time for winter.

Nicaragua Entry Rules

Aerial view of the Nicaraguan coast, Nicaragua, Central America

When visiting, Americans must meet one of two simple criteria:

  • Fully immunized Americans may enter without requirementon presentation of a vaccination certificate mentioning at least two doses of a approved vaccine
  • Unvaccinated Americans are welcome to visit once with a negative RT-PCR test issued within 72 hours of hall in Nicaragua*

*You must start counting down from the expected time of arrival in the country, as opposed to the time of departure

Read more:

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Disclaimer: Current Travel Rules and Restrictions may change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm entry of your nationality and/or any changes to travel conditions before travelling. Travel Off Path does not approve travel against government advice


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