Master, I would advise against skipping the Hep-B. Hep-B transmission is not entirely understood, and though Nica is an amazing place, the infrastructure reminds me of my worst childhood forts.
When I went I got both Hep vaccines and typhoid. The malaria pills are unnecessary unless you are planning on spending a ton of time in the jungle. They are not good for you, and when you get down there you'll find that most foreigners and Nica's with 'good' medical access do not bother. Get the Tetanus booster if you have the cash, I saw a snooty Israeli girl get attacked by a dog (hilarious) and she had to get one afterwards.
Buy the Ciproflaxin (anitibiotic to help stem the flow from your ass), and Diazepam (Valium) if you want, when in Nica. No prescription necessary and it's cheaper.
Though Lee's advise is spot-on, I ate and drank nearly everything when down there (and yes I payed the price). Still can't help but recommend the Carne Asada from the street vendors behind the cathedral in Leon, if you make it up North.....
Dengue is the skeeter disease one should worry about. I've never inoculated myself for my annual pilgrimage. But It was always before the rains. My wife got stung in the arm between 2 veins by un alacran. Guarao is the remedy I used. I hear from a guy who laid in a bed of scorpions that YooHoo chocolate drink is the anti venom.
I was down in Nica less than a year ago and didn't do any doctor prep work. no pills, no shots, no nothing. And I live to tell about... nothing. If you go during the dry season (winter) there won't be the water and moisture that breed disease so that should ease some fears. Just be a smart traveler and be prepared to bribe and/or play dumb with police if you're driving. White people = money. The way people are talking about all the possible problems you should probably also prepare for the end of the world, in case that happens when you're in Nicaragua. Good luck and enjoy the waves. You'll need a 1mm top in the south and boardshorts in the north. The South is overrated in the dry season or at least was pond like last January.
I would pass on malaria pills, I've never done them but use bug spray and a mosquito net and have been fine. The water is so jacked that I got really sick after drinking beers that had been resting in it so be weary. Be sure to shake out clothes and shoes, best to leave clothes turned inside out to be thorough. I got bit by scorpions twice down there and one of them turned out to be a bummer. Bring a first aid kit with stretchy coban bandages that help give good pressure on deep cuts, you may need it and you may be able to help other surfers! In some areas clinics and hospitals can be quite a hike.
I've been to Nica about 10 times over the last 6-7 years. Malaria is not an issue on the Pacific Coast (Tola & Rivas provinces) I got the Hep A and B vaccines to cover as a general precaution -not necessary but I felt it was a good idea. Definitely drink only bottled water , the guys are right on the cipro, knocks out the stomach bugs. Definitely bring bug spray. Be mindful of what you eat (cook it- boil it- peel it or forget it) Have fun an post some pics when you get back
There is some nasty **** out there. Take the suggestions seriously. On top of the vaccines, stay away from the following:
-Rivermouths after a rain. There is no EPA down there so the waste basically goes from the toilet to the lineup
-any food that has to be cooked. I ate some chicken on a stick from a street cart in managua once and I think I still feel sick from it. Stick to fruits and veggies, or a REALLY trusted restaurant.
-Snakes, man, take 'em seriously. Some of the most deadly snakes in the world (see fur de lance) call the arid regions of southwest nica and northwest costa rica home. Always carry a flash light at night.
-Scorpions.. take em seriously too, man. They like to hang out under beds, in shoes, in showers, etc. I once took a shower with a couple big red ones, didn't realize it until I was drying off. Nearly had a heart attack. Get stung by one of those and no surfey surfey for days.
-water, even ice in the bar drinks. Some areas in or near the mountains have great water, some areas pull straight from the rivers
-watch your back. In general, the public is very friendly. Don't forget about that civil war, it is over but corruption and drugs and violence are out there floating around. IF you go out looking for trouble, you WILL find it. Bring cash to pay off the corrupt cops. Many are nice and helpful, many just want your gringo bucks.
What I don't understand is VB juveniles posing as surf travel experts. As is the case here.
Poseur, you are called.
Any of this 'information' that you posted is available from any travel site or from many previous posters on swellinfo forums.
Look....you're a young guy, full of piss & vinegar, Sandbridge is your world where your da-da taught you to surf. It's a small world & you demonstrate that with your vitriolic (look it up) defense of WRV's (lack of) client service.
You get off on posting your opinions that specifically attack on other posters. Because you are....see the above.
Now, some may rush to your defense, whatever.
Some may say that you're trying to provide helpful travel info, whatever.
But you & I both know that you just don't get outta town that often.
You're an authority on very little; perhaps the beer selection at the 7-11 on 40th Street?
You 'shred' Sandbridge, in your own opinion; yet others have seen you surf & have called you out on your arrogance.
And that's the thing that I have a problem with: your arrogance.
You're the guy that shiiiites on others for no reason other than self-gratification.
You're the guy that has the gear & flaunts it with the sense that gear makes you somebody.
You're the guy that snakes anyone & everyone & then bellows about being a local.
You're the guy who lives for this forum & can not handle it when you get criticized for your attitude.
You're a little boy who has yet to grow up and you're an engineer by training & expense.
Go build something; instead of tearing down.
Lee's right about the rivermouths. We were in the water after a rain last year and got out after about 5 minutes because you could just see/feel the water and how dirty it was. Had great experiences at Popoyo and Buena Onda. We rented our own SUV the first time and drove at night which they say is a pretty stupid idea. No problems, but looking back probably not smart. The only time we ran into a cop was on the drive back from San Juan Del Sur and I think we had to pay the man holding a machine gun 5 American dollars to let us pass. the locals we ran into were very friendly. Our truck got stuck once and an entire family with woman and children hopped out to push us out. Luckily I had a few dollars on me at all times for situations like that. I wouldnt touch the food in Managua, but that's just me. bottled water is a must.