COVID-19 & Nicaragua

We want your surf retreat in Nicaragua to be an amazing experience from start to finish; which is why we want to make sure you are prepared for the current travel regulations. Travel is a little more complicated than in the past, so we have gathered all of the most up to date COVID-19 related travel information in one place for you.

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. All visitors 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 bans or restrictions. All nations that were permitted to enter Nicaragua Pre-Covid are once again permitted to enter under regular visa requirements.
  • Most nations do not need to apply for a visa beforehand. 92 countries can visit Nicaragua visa free for 90 days and another 73 countries are eligible for a visa-on-arrival. Visa-free countries include the USA, Canada, the UK, Mexico, Australia, and more.

Entering Nicaragua

  • Anyone entering Nicaragua must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test. This must be a PCR test; rapid tests will not be accepted.

The PCR test must be taken no more than 72 hours before arrival, including transits, and must have a stamp and signature from the lab. A copy of this negative test must then be sent to the airline 36 hours before flight departure. Thus, you have 48 hours to get tested and receive the results. This regulation applies to fully vaccinated passengers as well. You will also have to print the result prior to checking in as in some cases they ask for the printed version and not just on your phone!

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

No passengers will be allowed to travel:

  • With quick or blood test results for COVID-19.
  • Who do not present the original PCR test results at the airport.
  • Who do not sent a copy of their test results to the airline within the timeframe detailed above.
  • Who present respiratory symptoms or fever.
  • Who does 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 option for getting to us. You can now fly into Costa Rica’s Liberia Airport and then take a private shuttle to our retreat in Nicaragua. If you are interested, here is what you need to know:

  1. Take a PCR test within 72 hours of arrival into Nicaragua. You can also take the test at Liberia airport, but you will have to spend the night there, as the results take 24 hours to process. The test must have a stamp and signature from the lab and must have been taken no more than 72 hours before arrival to the border.
  2. Take any flight to Liberia
  3. We will arrange a private transfer for you from Liberia to Northern Nicaragua. The border procedures are straight-forward and relatively easy. We work with a reliable company; ensuring that your safety and comfort on the journey is the top priority. The ride to our beautiful and remote location in Northern Nicaragua, from the Costa Rican border, will take about 6 hours and the cost of transport will be around $200 each way.
  4. The drive from Liberia to us is about 8 hours. The drive from Liberia to the border is about 2 hours.
  5. Once you arrive, it is time to kick back and enjoy your retreat!

Testing for Return to the United States

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

  1. Go to the capital, Managua, and take a PCR test. This will cost $150 USD. This option will take a full day and can be done on the same day as your flight home, however your flight must leave at 5 pm or later. We will take care of all the details. The testing is only available Monday to Saturday, so if you are leaving on a Sunday you must take the test on Saturday.

2. Use the BinaxNow Home Test for re-entering the US. Here are the details:

  • Order the BinaxNow Home Test through the eMed website. Your results will then be displayed in the NAVICA app. When taking your test, you will log into the eMed platform where a live, certified guide will walk you through the whole testing process.
  • Can I use the BinaxNOW Self Test? No. The over-the-counter BinaxNow Self Test is not eligible for travel purposes. You must 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. We recommend not waiting until the last minute, as to leave room for unforeseen circumstances.
  • When do I get my results? Your results will arrive within minutes through the NAVICA app. If test results are negative, eMed will send a digital health certificate with a QR code.
    • Please note that currently the only official COVID testing center in Nicaragua is located in Managua and home tests are currently accepted for return travel. However, regulations are always changing, so we will do our best to keep you informed and updated. We advise checking in with us before you travel. Our recommendation is to buy the home test.

Vaccines And Travel/ Return To The US

Effective November 8th, all non-citizen, non-immigrant (not a US citizen, US national, lawful permanent resident, or traveling to the US on an immigrant visa) airline passengers traveling to the US, must demonstrate proof of vaccination. Vaccination must be as defined by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Order and must be presented prior to boarding a US bound aircraft.

Fully vaccinated travelers will also be required to present a negative COVID test taken within 24 hours of arrival to the United States. This rule applies to all travelers – US citizens, lawful permanent residents, and foreign nationals.



  • So long as the above testing requirements have been met, there will be no mandated quarantine. We recommend checking your country of origin’s quarantine information prior to travel.

Travel Insurance

  • While not a mandatory requirement to enter Nicaragua, all visitors should hold valid travel health insurance with added COVID coverage. Travel Insurance is a mandatory requirement for participating on a Rise Up retreat.

Rise Up Surf Procedures

Luckily, Rise Up operates in open-air spaces and all activities and surf lessons are outdoors, allowing us to continue our retreats. That said, we have implemented some extra measures to ensure the safety and health of all of our guests. Here is how:

  • Hand sanitizer will be available in key areas around the resort.
  • Greater distance in lounge and dining areas, yoga spaces, and surf classes. 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 also welcome to bring your own.
  • All of our vehicles will be disinfected before and after every trip. All drivers will wear masks.


  • All team members are monitored closely. Anyone presenting flu-like symptoms will be sent home and tested.
  • All staff will wear masks when in contact with guests.
  • Hand washing will take place every 30 minutes for staff and every 15 minutes for our chef.


  • Common spaces will be regularly disinfected.
  • Masks and gloves will be worn by housekeeping staff at all times, and changed between each room.
  • We will check in daily with guests to see if they would like their room cleaned or not.


  • 48 hours before arrival, Rise Up requires all guests to confirm that they have not had any cold or flu-like symptoms.
  • We ask guests to be respectful of other guests and staff – keeping a safe and comfortable distance.
  • As per local Nicaragua policies, we will not enforce distancing.
  • Masks are not required, but advised to be used upon your own discretion.
  • We ask that guests bring their own masks.
  • Unfortunately, testing is not foolproof. There is the possibility of pre-incubation and travel exposure. A negative Covid test is a good sign, but in order to protect our local community, we advise wearing a mark when heading out into the village.

COVID Cancellation Policy

  1. The full payment will be due 60 days prior to the retreat’s start date.
  2. For last minute cancellations due to Covid we will asses each case on and individual basis bearing in mind that we typically do not offer refunds even in the event of Covid related issues.
  • 48 hours prior to arrival, Rise Up requires all guests to confirm by email that they are free of Covid symptoms.
  • Rise Up cannot offer any COVID-related refunds once a guest has booked or arrived.
    • If you begin to feel Covid-related symptoms upon arrival to the retreat, we will ask you to self-isolate. We will provide all the help we can – getting you to Managua, access to a PCR test, and helping you find treatment if necessary.
    • We strongly advise purchasing refundable airline tickets for travel to Nicaragua. It is also now mandatory have travel insurance that will cover any and all travel-related issues including last minute cancellations and any and all costs related to Covid.

We will do our best to update this page as requirements change. Last Updated December 22nd 2021.