Indeed, items imported from the US are typically more expensive in Nicaragua.
Often 40% or more than you’d pay back home. If you’re after those items at any cost, there are malls that cater to the Nicaraguan upper crust. These malls have stores you’re likely very familiar with, at least by name if not by personal shopping experience.
Names like Kenneth Cole and the Gap are among those familiar to most Americans. Because Nicaragua is economically challenged, you can easily find a local to custom tailor a whole new wardrobe for you very inexpensively.
So you may want to store or discard most of your clothing back home.
Oddly there are very few department type stores in Nicaragua. So if you’re on the hunt for housewares, you’re going to have to do some detective work.
But if you’re willing to put the effort in and you’re not fussy about a particular brand name, you’ll find what you need much cheaper than back home.
Most Expats bring electronics and computers from home. They’re easy to bring with you and would be very expensive to replace in Nicaragua.
Of course, medicine is something you don’t want to play guessing games with. Bring enough of your prescription drugs to last a significant time and have a plan to get more from the US in case you’re not able to find what you need in Nicaragua.
[More on costs of medical treatments and supplies]
Another consideration when bringing your belongings into Nicaragua is import duties and taxes. Fortunately, the Nicaraguan government has put incentives in place to attract foreigners, particularly retirees.If you’re a retiree, then you can import US$20,000 of your personal belongs into the country completely tax free.
You can also bring your personal vehicle too if it’s less than 10 years old. So, for most people, you could bring just about everything you’d need and want for everyday life – without fear of paying duties and fees.
Of course, you still have to get it there. And that’s where personal choice comes in. Do you want your own stuff bad enough to pay the exorbitant cost for shipping it?