Boat Licence-permits- needed to operate a taxi boat in Nicaragua

Hi, I am just back from a 5 week 'business seeking tour' of Panama Costa Rica and Nicaragua.  My Spanish wife and I (I am English) have found an opportunity to setup and offer a taxi boat service within Nicaragua, which is the country (out of the three visited) we fell in love with.

Does anyone have any knowledge of what motor boat captain licences/permits/qualifications are needed and if any, how/where to get them?  The maximum passenger number would be x 20 passengers.

We realise we need public liability insurance and set-up the business in Nicaragua, but we are struggling to find information of the boat licence/permit issue. Even the Ministerio de transporte e Infrastructura (maritime dept) doesn't seem to be able to help!

Any help/guidance/suggestions/contacts would be welcomed!!


I am from the US, ex mariner, ex licensed captain. Currently in Ecuador.  I ve also lived a bit in Central and South America...... so here is a suggestion, may work or not....

Why not go directly to the Guarda Costa  or the Nicaraguan Coast Guard or the part of the navy responsible for  whatever section of the coast you are interested in.  Dont e mail them, go directly to  whichever district  office is responsible for your area of interest , sit down and have a talk with them to see what you can find out. My first guess is that you will have better luck with the people responsible for  enforcement of maritime safety  than you will with functionaries pushing paper in a city  several hundred kilometers distant.  I know this worked for me in Mexico and more than once in the US.  My experience is most officials will be happy to talk to a foreigner-- plus the initial contact is a valuable contact in building  a good relationship. This can be very helpful in the future of your venture.

Just a thought. Good luck, fair winds and following seas


Hi expat,  a huge thanks for your reply and great advice.  I will be returning in the new year to pick this project up again in person (as you suggested) and I will certainly do what you suggest. I have a lot of dealings in Spain and they all have to be face-to-face, and you get the run-a-round being sent from one person to another, and so I will expect much of the same!

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