COVID-19 & Nicaragua

Our main concern is making sure your surf retreat in Nicaragua is a great experience from beginning to end—including your preparation! We understand that there’s a lot of travel information out there about COVID, so we’ve gathered the information in one place so you don’t have to worry about searching the internet for the most up to date information.

We know this isn’t the fun part, but no stress—in no time, the only thing we’ll be sharing with you are waves! 


  • Nicaragua officially reopened to tourism on July 14th, 2020, and visitors from all countries are welcome with proof of a negative PCR test.
  • Currently, the only flights available to Nicaragua are through Avianca, Copa and Aeromexico airlines 


  • Nicaragua does not have any covid-related country bans or restrictions. All nations that could enter Nicaragua before covid are once again permitted to enter under regular visa requirements.
  • Most nations visiting Nicaragua do not need to apply for a visa beforehand, as 92 countries can visit visa-free for 90 days, and another 73 countries are eligible for a visa-on-arrival. Visa-free countries include: USA, Canada, UK, Mexico, Australia, and many more.

Entering Nicaragua

  • Anyone who enters Nicaragua is required to have a “negative COVID-19” certificate, with a negative COVID-19 test result. This test must be a PCR test. Not a rapid test.

This test must be taken no more than 72 hours before arrival and must have a stamp and signature from the lab where it was taken—this includes transits. This negative test must then be sent to the airline 36 hours before departure thus you have 48 hours to get tested and get results. This applies even if you are fully vaccinated!

  • All arrivals will be screened at the airport
  • Face masks are required during the flight as well as upon arrival at the Managua airport

No passengers will not be allowed to travel:

  • With quick or blood test results for COVID-19.
  • Do not present the original PRC test results at the airport.
  • Do not send the copy of the test to the airline in the times detailed above.
  • Who present respiratory symptoms or fever.
  • That they do not meet the requirements requested by the country’s authorities.

Fly In To Liberia And Take Private Transport To Rise Up 

As of April 2021 there is an alternative way to get to us which gives more flight options by flying in to Liberia International Airport in Costa Rica and then taking a private shuttle to us. Here is what you need to know:

  1. Take PCR test within 72 hours of arrival into Nicaragua or you can take the test at Liberia airport and spend the night somewhere as the results take 24 hours. This test must have a stamp and signature on it but it can be a printed copy and not the original if done in the US. The important part is that it is printed and within the 72 hours of when you arrive at the border.
  2. Take any flight to Liberia
  3. We will arrange a private transfer for you from Liberia to us in Northern Nicaragua. The border procedures are straight forward and very easy. We work with 100% safe and reliable company that will ensure you are taken care of from the time you arrive in Liberia to our doorstep and vice versa. The cost of this transport to and from Liberia to us is around $200 each way (remember we are located in the beautiful and quite Northern coast of Nicaragua is about 6 hours from the Costa Rican border)
  4. The drive from Liberia to us is approximately 8 hours. The drive from Liberia to the border is approximately 2 hours.
  5. Once you arrive then it is time to kick back and enjoy your retreat.

Testing To Return To The United States

There are two options for testing to get back to the US:

  1. Go to Managua (the capital city of Nicaragua) and do a PCR test which costs $150 US. This will take a full day and can be done on the same day as your flight if your flight is at 5pm. We take care of all the details. The testing is only available from Monday to Saturday so if you are leaving Sunday then you will have to do the test on Saturday.

2. use the BinaxNow Home test to test before leaving back to the US. Here are all the details. 

  • order the  BinaxNOW Home Test through eMed platform and use the results displayed in the NAVICA app. When taking your test, you’ll log in to the eMed platform. A live, certified guide will be there to walk you through the testing process.
  • Can I use the BinaxNOW Self Test? No. Abbott’s recently authorized BinaxNOW Self Test that’s available over-the-counter at retail stores is not eligible for travel purposes. You should purchase the BinaxNOW Home Test through eMed.
  • When should I take my test before returning to the U.S.? No more than three days prior to your flight taking off. We also recommend you not wait until the last minute — in the event of any unforeseen circumstances.
  • When do I get my results? You can expect them to arrive within minutes through your NAVICA app. If test results are negative, eMed will send a digital health certificate with a QR code via the NAVICA app. United accepts that as proof of your negative test result.
    • Please not that the only official Covid testing center in Nicaragua is in Managua and that the home tests are working for return as of right now July 2nd 2021 but this is subject to change and we will do our best to keep this page updated but it is always wise to ask us right before you travel. We recommend that to buy the home test but also know that during your stay there is a possibility things will change and you will have to do the official test in Managua*


  • There are no quarantines as long as the above testing requirement is fulfilled. We recommend that you check your country of origin’s quarantine information upon return from Nicaragua.

Travel Insurance

  • While not a mandatory requirement, all visitors to Nicaragua should have valid travel health insurance that also covers COVID. 

Rise Up Surf Procedures

As Rise Up operates in open-air spaces and all activities, surf lessons, and other activities are outdoors, we do not expect much to change about the Rise Up Surf experience. That said, we have implemented some extra measures to ensure you feel extra safe during your stay:

  • Hand sanitizing stations will be set up in key areas in the resorts. All guests are required to sanitize upon arrival, and each time they enter from their rooms.
  • Greater distance in lounge and dining areas, yoga space, and during surf classes and video feedback sessions will be implemented—observing the 2m distance rule. Dining will take place in our outdoor rancho and only plated meals will be served.
  • We will assign guests a personal yoga mat, block, and strap to use throughout the week. You are welcome to bring your own.
  • All our vehicles for airport transfers or surf trips will be disinfected before and after every trip. All drivers will wear masks at all times.


  • All team members will be monitored closely and anyone with any flu-like symptoms will be sent home immediately and will be tested.
  • All the staff in contact with guests will wear masks when the 2m rule can not be observed and will change clothes upon arrival.
  • Hand washing will take place every 30 minutes, and every 15 minutes for our chef—washing of hands will be mandatory upon each entry to the kitchen.


  • There will be an increased disinfection of common spaces.
  • Masks and gloves will be worn by housekeeping staff at all times, and changed between each room.
  • We will verify daily if guests would like their room to be cleaned or not. 


  • Rise Up requires all guests to confirm no cold or flu-like symptoms 48 hours from arrival.
  • We ask guests to be respectful of other guests and our staff and keep a safe distance— please consider your room/group your bubble.
  • We will not enforce distancing as per local Nicaragua policies.
  • Masks are not required, but we ask that when unable to safely distance from others, guests use their discretion.
  • We ask that guests bring their own masks.
  • Unfortunately, testing is not fool-proof and might be taken pre-incubation. We must also acknowledge the potential for travel exposure, post-test results/arrival. Although arriving with a negative COVID test result is required by the government, and we will not require on-site mask-wearing, we do ask that you wear a mask when appropriate such as heading out into the local community. 

COVID Cancellation Policy

1. $500 US non refundable and non-transferable deposit to book retreat but it will be transferable to another date if we are given more than 60 days notice. 
2. Full payment due 60 days before the start date of retreat. 

  • Rise Up requires all guests to confirm a lack of COVID symptoms 48 hours from arrival via email.
  • Rise Up cannot offer any COVID related refunds once a guest has arrived.
    • Once onsite if you present symptoms or feel sick then we will ask you to self-isolate and we will provide all the help we can, to get you to Managua to get a PCR test and treatment if necessary.
    • We strongly recommend purchasing refundable airline tickets for travel Nicaragua and also travel insurance that covers all possible issues related to travel including delays or change of schedules.

We will do our best to update this page as requirements change.