Frequently Asked Questions

Rancho Santana, Nicaragua

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Safe? You bet! Rancho Santana is a private, gated community on Nicaragua’s rural Pacific coast, and only owners and guests staying on property are permitted entry.  Additionally, Nicaragua has the lowest crime rate in all of Central America – only Chile boasts a higher safety rating than Nicaragua for all Central and South American countries combined according to a report published by The United Nations. 


The tap water on the property is very clean and safe to drink. Rancho Santana has a state of the art water system that sources water from our own fresh wells.  For those who prefer bottled water, a large bottled water dispenser is provided in all of our accommodations.

The ranch underwrites a health clinic just outside its gates which is fully equipped to handle any vacation-related injury or illness.  If an issue requires additional attention, we can assist with transportation to the regional hospital in Managua.  No vaccines or shots are required to travel to Nicaragua.



See our Travel page for a list of flight schedules, airlines and additional information.

If you are staying at a private home you are required to rent a 4×4 vehicle. We would also recommend renting a vehicle even if you are staying at The Inn, Casitas, or Villas as it allows for freedom to explore all parts of the ranch; otherwise, there is a shuttle available upon request.

Map: View an interactive map of our property.

While renting a car in Managua is an option, we encourage guests to rent from our convenient onsite Dollar Car rental agent where you will receive preferred pricing.  We can pick you up at the airport and you can pick up your rented vehicle from the ranch. View our transportation rates.

To request an airport pickup and reserve a rental car from our onsite agent, please contact

Unless you are familiar with the roads in Nicaragua, we recommend you let us pick you up at the airport. Rancho Santana is about 2 hours from Managua.  As with all Latin American countries, there are very few street signs, roads are not well lit, and GPS is not always reliable or available.

If renting your own car, we require you to have a 4×4 vehicle.  The vast and varied terrain of the ranch is not always easily accessible without a four wheel drive vehicle.  Click here for driving directions from Managua.

We strongly recommend our guests avoid driving at night. If you are arriving in the evening we would be happy to assist you with making hotel arrangements in Granada or Managua.

*Please note: If you decide to not use our airport pick up service and instead rent a vehicle from the airport, be aware that it is not uncommon to be pulled over by police in and around downtown Managua. In most cases they will simply ask for a valid driver’s license and registration. In the event of a traffic violation, you will be given a ticket (known as a multa) and your license will be held in Managua until you pay a fine.

Costa Esmeralda Airport (ECI) is now open.  Sansa Airlines currently offers 10 commercial flights to ECI from Liberia each week.  La Costeña Airlines offers private charter flights from Managua to Costa Esmeralda.  Private charter flights can be arranged directly through their websites.

Please note that no ATV’s, motorcycles, or golf carts are allowed on property.


Local Currency and Cash

The local currency is Cordobas (NIO). The current conversion rate can be found at XE Currency Converter. You will not need to bring or carry much cash. The US dollar is accepted almost everywhere in Nicaragua and we have ATM’s available at the ranch. Rancho Santana also uses a “wallet-less” system. Upon arrival you will open an account at the ranch where all goods and services will be charged.

A 15% IVA (Nicaraguan Sales Tax) is included on everything at the ranch, and a 10% gratuity is also included at our dining venues. For all other services, tipping is similar to the United States.


Staying Connected

Nicaragua uses the same electrical current and outlets as the United States (110 Volt, 60mz). Most cell phones will work and free wifi is available at all properties.

The electrical grid does experience unplanned outages from time to time; however, all accommodations are equipped with back-up power to run lights and basic appliances.


Food and Shopping

There are a wide variety of dining options located on our property (see our Dining page for the full range of dining options and descriptions).  For dining reservations, please email  We also have a local market (La Tienda) on-site with a selection of fresh foods & grocery items.  If interested in venturing outside the ranch, we can recommend local eateries in the area as well as provide transportation services.


Excursions & Activities

In addition to the amenities listed on our website, click here for a list of services exclusive to guests of Rancho Santana Vacation Rentals.

Check out our weekly activities page to stay up to date with all the special events and activities at the ranch. We also offer a number of day trips and excursions for those wanting to explore more of Nicaragua. For more details, please contact


For ease of packing, all of our accommodations are stocked with shampoo, conditioner, body wash and a hair dryer. Complimentary laundry service is provided for linens and towels in your accommodation.  Personal items can also be laundered for $5/load (first load at no charge).

Please note, the import and use of drones in Nicaragua is strictly prohibited.  While other personal electronics (cameras, laptops, etc.) are fine to pack, professional electronic equipment for commercial use may be subject to additional customs and import documentation and fees.


The ranch is spread across 2,700 acres of tropical dry forest, so be sure to keep an eye out for a variety of wildlife – like howler monkeys, sloths, and numerous species of birds.  Some of our animal friends can be extra curious, so we suggest making sure that all doors to your accommodations remain closed.


Weddings & Events

Rancho Santana is the ideal location to host a destination wedding, group retreat, or special event.  Our staff is happy to assist groups of all sizes for any occasion.  Click here to learn more about our event facilities.


Pet Policy

No pets are allowed on property at any time. Exceptions are made for service animals with proper documentation.

Still Have a Question?

Please take a moment to fill out this inquiry form.  This allows us to connect you to the person best able to respond to your personal interests in our seaside ranch.