I have heard that the exchange rate of Nicaragua's currency is "pegged" to the US dollar, and varies at a fixed, predicable rate rather than varying naturally with the markets. What is the rate currently, and how can I find what the rate will be for a given date in the future?

4 Answers 4


Currently the NIO is about US$0.0445. As for how it changes, I can't find that, and would be surprised if that is what happens - perhaps on the black-market as in somewhere like Uzbekistan where the rate is different from the official rate, but others may have some more information.

http://www.currencyconverter.co.uk/currencies/nicaragua-cordobas090326155555 has a really good summary of the history of the currency, how to get it, including through the 'coyote' street money traders, what to watch out for, and how the evolution of the currency has caused massive inflation.

  • 2
    For more on currency "pegging", I believe this Wikipedia article describes what is in place in Nicaragua.
    – jrdioko
    Jul 15, 2011 at 18:18
  • 5
    This appears to cover the history of what they've tried to do to introduce the crawling pegging of the cordoba to the dollar, and how it's not been too successful: mongabay.com/history/nicaragua/nicaragua-currency.html
    – Mark Mayo
    Jul 15, 2011 at 18:37
  • There are countries in Central America that use US currency, sometimes with their own versions of coins. They include El Salvador and Panama. There are other countries in Central America whose currency is pegged to the US dollar. An example is Belize where 2 Belize dollars is always 1 US dollar. The Nicaraguan government has changed substantially since I was last there though and I'm pretty sure it was a floating currency at the time 4 or 5 years ago. Jul 16, 2011 at 8:05

For the current rates, try Google:


(And keep in mind that Google quotes the international bank rates, you should add some 2.5% to the quoted rates)

  • 1
    Can you clarify the 2.5% you mentioned?
    – jrdioko
    Jul 15, 2011 at 22:26
  • 2
    The consumer exchange rates have roughly a 2.5% spread on the inter bank exchange rates. In other words, banks take 2.5% interest on all transactions. So you will never get the rates quoted by Google.
    – Jacco
    Jul 15, 2011 at 23:12
  • I wouldn't mention this 2.5% since there are many ways of changing currencies. My favourite is to change with other travellers at the official rate when I meet them travelling in the opposite direction. And offical and unofficial money changers in many places will charge a commission or skew the rate to create a profit or even offer better than official rates if there is a strong black economy. Jul 16, 2011 at 8:08

You can always check the National Central Bank for the exchange rate. "Tipo de Cambio" is the current value of a dollar in NIO. Of course there is always an unofficial exchange rate. But in Nicaragua the dollar is pretty common so most of the malls (Metrocentro, Galeria, Plaza Americas) have dollar prices but with local stores and markets (Oriental and Huembes) you would be better off carrying Cordobas (NIO).


Courtesy of Olsen & Associates:

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