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Nicaragua

Nicaragua Film & Photography Production Services

Are you a media company, brand, ad agency or production company looking for film / photography production support or shooting crew in Nicaragua? We have fully vetted, locally based fixers, service producers, directors, DP’s, videographers, cameramen, photographers, sound operators, production drivers, and a range of other film crew. Contact us for referrals, questions, cost estimates and references.

Want to know more about shooting in Nicaragua? See below for an introduction to Nicaragua locations, permits, when to shoot, costs, talent, crews, equipment, art department, studios, post facilities, visas and work permits, film friendly hotels, transport, communications and safety advice.

Nicaragua Film Locations

Nicaragua is bordered by Costa Rica to the south and Honduras to the north, with the Caribbean Sea to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Nicaragua has three distinct geographical regions:

Pacific Lowlands. Located in the west of the country, these lowlands consist of a broad, hot, fertile plain. Punctuating this plain are several large volcanoes. Nicaragua has 19 volcanoes, 9 of which are active. Volcanoes of note include Masaya, Concepcion, and San Cristóbal. Lake Nicaragua is the largest freshwater lake in Central America and is home to the world’s only freshwater sharks. La Chureca is the largest garbage dump in all of Central America. In addition to its surf beaches and resort communities, the Pacific Lowlands are also where you will find much of Nicaragua’s Spanish colonial architecture including the city of Granada. Managua is the capital and main entry point by air.

Central Highlands. This is an upland region away from the Pacific coast, with a cooler climate than the Pacific Lowlands. About a quarter of the country’s agriculture takes place in this region, with coffee grown on the higher slopes. Oaks, pines, moss, ferns and orchids are abundant in the cloud forests of the region.

Atlantic Lowlands. This tropical rainforest region, with several large rivers running through it, is sparsely populated. The Caribbean coastline is known for its abundance of lagoons and deltas. The Indio-Maìz Biological Reserve is located in this part of Nicaragua. Caribbean paradise looks can be found in the Corn Islands.

Nicaragua is home to some 78 nature reserves, parks and wildlife sanctuaries filled with a wealth of biodiversity.

Nicaragua Film Location Permits 

There are very few permitting requirements for shooting b-roll of public locations throughout Nicaragua. Larger shoots requiring exclusive use of public space need permits. Protected areas such as national parks also require permits. At present, filming with drones is prohibited. Please contact us for more location specific information.

When To Shoot?

Nicaragua has a tropical climate. The rainy season runs from May to October, with heavy storms common. Travel on more rural roads becomes difficult. November through April is the hot, dry season and best time to film in Nicaragua for weather. For monthly weather statistics please see here.

Festivals and events of interest to filmmakers and photographers include:

• Festival of San Sebastian in January.
• Palo de Mayo in May.
• Fiesta del Toro Venado in October.

Public holidays may affect timing, availability and costs. See here for public holiday dates in Nicaragua.

Costs & Tax Incentives

Costs. Nicaragua is a very cost competitive place to shoot, with prices often coming in at half of what it costs to shoot in Costa Rica. Locations, local talent and support crew are very inexpensive. For larger projects, since there is little to no filming infrastructure, most key crew and equipment must be brought in from abroad. Our Nicaraguan fixer will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.

Tax Incentives. There are no tax incentives for foreign feature films or commercials shooting in Nicaragua.

Film Crew & Talent

Crews. Nicaragua has a small pool of local directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. Some English speaking key crew are available locally. Other crew you will need to bring in from abroad.

Contact us if you are looking for a director, DP, photographer, videographer (cameraman / camera operator), camera assistant (focus puller), sound operator, grip, gaffer, stylist, hair and makeup, PA / runner, production driver, or any other film crew for your shoot in Nicaragua.

Talent day rates and buyouts are negotiable. Casting facilities are rather undeveloped in Nicaragua so street casting is often required. Most talent looks in Nicaragua are Mestizo (mixed Spanish and Amerindian) with a considerable number of International-Latin looks available. Nicaragua’s tropical east coast is also home to a significant Afro-Carribean community where English is widely spoken. All other talent needs to be brought in from abroad.

Nicaragua Film Equipment

Nicaragua has no dedicated equipment houses at present. Some production companies have equipment in-house including HD cameras, and basic lighting and grip equipment. Otherwise, bring gear from abroad. Costa Rica is the closest production centre to bring in additional gear. For notes on bringing in gear see the below visas and work permits section.

Art Department, Studios, Backlots, & Post Production

Art department and set construction is limited.

Studios and backlots at present do not exist in Nicaragua.

Post Production. No post production facilities exist at present.

Visas & Work Permits

Work permits are not required. Most passport holders have visa-free access or visas on arrival for stays of up to 90 days.

Before arriving, crews must first submit their project synopsis, schedule, flight information, crew / passport details, and an equipment list to INTUR, the government tourism agency responsible for filming in Nicaragua. INTUR then provides the visiting crew with an official letter to enter the country and clear gear through customs. An official from INTUR will meet the crew at the airport to ensure everything runs smoothly. Permitting times vary. Allow at least 3 weeks for permission to film. Projects of a politically or socially sensitive nature, such as the Nicaraguan Canal, may be refused entry altogether.

Transport & Accommodation

Transportation. Highways connecting major cities are of a high standard. Rural roads become slower going especially during the wet season. Our Nicaraguan film fixer organises safe and reliable 4WD transport. Managua international airport is serviced by several international airlines.

Accommodation. Contact us for recommended film friendly hotels in Managua. For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments. If you are filming on the Pacific coast, Mukul is a luxury resort located a 2.5hr drive from Managua’s Augusto C. Sandino International Airport.

Final Notes

Safety. See here for up to date travel advice.

Projects. For an example of TV commercials, stills campaigns, online content, corporate videos, virtual reality 360 content, feature films, TV series and documentaries shot in Nicaragua, please see below:

Hire Nicaragua Production Support & Shooting Crew

If you are looking for a film or photographic production service company, line producer or fixer for your shoot in Nicaragua, please contact us.

If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in Nicaragua, such as a director, DoP, photographer, videographer (cameraman / camera operator), camera assistant (focus puller), sound operator, grip, gaffer, stylist, hair and makeup, PA / runner, production driver, please contact us.

We are able to provide you with answers, references and bids quickly.