The best time to go
There’s no shortage of gorgeous weather and warm temperatures in Nicaragua. The ideal time to visit would be from December to May, the country’s driest months of the year.
Air Transat has flights departing Toronto and Montreal for Nicaragua twice and once a week, respectively. Flying from Toronto to Managua, Nicaragua’s capital, will take about five hours.
The legal paperwork
Canadians travelling to Nicaragua will need a tourist card in addition to a valid passport. This can be purchased upon arrival for around $10 USD. The tourist card will also allow you to travel to nearby countries such as Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. To get married in Nicaragua, you are required to present your passport and sometimes your birth certificate, so keep a copy of this handy. If you’ve been married before, bring copies of your marriage dissolution documents or visit a local Nicaraguan lawyer for help in drawing up documents that prove you are single. When exchanging nuptials, it is required to have two people with Nicaraguan permanent residency as witnesses, and only a notary or judge will be able to perform the ceremony.
When it comes to resorts in Nicaragua, it’s hard to beat the Barceló Montelimar, a four-star beachfront property on the Playa Montelimar. This gem is tucked away in a tropical oasis on the Pacific coast, 75 kilometres from the Augusto C. Sandino International Airport in Managua. The resort features an idyllic stretch of sand, as well as a beautiful terrace and lush garden for incredible views of the ocean. All three serve as great wedding venues for everything from relaxed affairs to formal black-tie events. There are several amenities at the Barceló Montelimar to enjoy before and after the big day, including three swimming pools and a buffet restaurant, plus three specialty restaurants, which serve everything from sushi to Italian fare and fresh seafood. Oh, and did we mention that one of the resort’s seven bars offers an up-close view of turtles on the beach while you sip delicious drinks? Cocktail hour never sounded so good.
The local customs
Your wedding celebration offers many opportunities to get creative with incorporating Nicaraguan culture. After your ceremony, serve alcoholic beverages with rum, the country’s hard liquor of choice. Alongside your wedding cake, offer your guests beverages such as the national drink, Pinol, which is made of corn flour and water, and coffee. For late-night food that’ll get your guests talking, serve nacatamals, the Nicaraguan version of tamales, which include cassava root and meat wrapped in leaves. If you want to pay homage to traditional Nicaraguan dress, incorporate bright, cheerful colours into your attire. Finish your bridal hairstyle with a beautiful flower in your hair, and include fun jewellery pieces and a shawl in your collection of bridal accessories.
All-inclusive packages at Barceló Montelimar with Transat start at $1379 CAD* and for just $2000 USD the resort offers a wedding package that includes a beach ceremony set up, buffet-style reception, disco music and open bar for five hours and even a champagne toast! Of course, the total cost of your wedding in paradise will entirely depend on the type of celebration you opt for, the dates you book, and the number of guests you invite. Wedding options in Nicaragua range from modest to luxurious, and costs will reflect this.