How to use your curling iron in Nicaragua

Nicaraguan power outlet

Summary

First check that your curling iron can handle the voltage in Nicaragua:

  • If your curling iron can run using 120 volts or can support dual voltage (how you can check) then you will only need to use the correct power adapter listed below if the plug on your curling iron won't fit in the outlet.

If not then you can either:

  • Use a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] - you might still need to use an appropriate power adapter for Nicaragua but these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for travel.
  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - you can then use your existing curling iron and other applicances with a 120 volt Nicaraguan power outlet, however this is substantially bulkier, heavier and more expensive than a dedicated travel curling iron. A voltage transformer changes the voltage but not the actual physical shape of the plug on your curling iron to fit in the types of wall outlet used in Nicaragua, so check that the voltage transformer includes a power adapter for Nicaragua otherwise you will need to bring a seperate power adapter. Please be aware that your own existing curling iron might not be suited for travel and you risk damage in a suitcase. [7] [AD]
Warning: If your curling iron won't handle the 120 volts used in Nicaragua you run the potential risk of a blown fuse, damage to your curling iron or even an electrical fire hazard. Prior to using your curling iron in Nicaragua read the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using a curling iron in Nicaragua

Will my curling iron work in Nicaragua?

This will depend on if your curling iron can operate using the 120 volts used in Nicaragua:

Can I use my American curling iron in Nicaragua?

The guides on this page assume that you are a reader from America travelling to Nicaragua and provide advice on using your American curling iron with a Nicaraguan power outlet.

Nicaragua power outlets and plug sockets

What is the mains voltage in Nicaragua?

Power outlets in Nicaragua are 120 volts.

What electrical frequency is used with a Nicaraguan power outlet?

The frequency of the current used in a Nicaraguan power outlet is 60Hz. [8]

Which power adapter will you need to bring when using a curling iron in Nicaragua?

Type A and B power outlets

Which power adapter will you need to bring when using a curling iron in Nicaragua?

There are two types of power outlets used in Nicaragua, types B and A with the primary power outlets being type B:

  • Plug Type A - This wall outlet, technically known as a type A power outlet, is identified by two thin slots adjacent to each other.
  • Plug Type B - You can recognise the power outlet by 2 slots with a single semicircle shaped hole below for the slightly longer ground pin.

A Type B power adapter is suitable for powering a 120 volt curling iron in Nicaragua, read the step-by-step instructions below for full details of how to use a curling iron in Nicaragua. Please be aware that unless you that have a dual voltage curling iron you will need to check if you also need to bring a voltage converter.  [4] [9] [AD]

Dual voltage curling irons

Is my curling iron dual voltage?

An easy way how to tell if your curling iron can support dual voltage is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the handle or the plug. The location will vary depending on the make or model of your curling iron and should also be written on the box or in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage curling irons can change automatically, however other models will have a switch which allows you to toggle between different voltages depending on which country you are visiting.

  • Single voltage might say a specific number - such as 110V. If this number matches the 120 volts used in Nicaragua then you should be able to use your curling iron with a Nicaraguan power outlet.
  • Single voltage might also have a small voltage range with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 100-120V. If the 120 volts used in a Nicaraguan power outlet falls within the range shown on your curling iron then you should be able to use it in Nicaragua.
  • Dual voltage will typically say a larger range separated with a slash - such as 100/240V. Your curling iron will be capable of being used in Nicaragua or any other country if these numbers are shown.

Travelling to Nicaragua with a curling iron

Is it safer to bring your domestic curling iron or dual voltage curling iron to Nicaragua?

It is preferable to bring a dual voltage curling iron rather than bringing your existing domestic curling iron to Nicaragua as it is safer to assume that it will operate correctly with the 120 volt power outlets used with a Nicaraguan power outlet, provided that you bring the correct plug adapter for Nicaragua.

Be aware that bringing expensive domestic curling iron could place it at risk because of potential damage or loss in transit by airline baggage handlers. The inconvenience and costs of replacing or repairing an expensive specialised curling iron in Nicaragua could outweigh the costs of buying a cheap dual voltage travel curling iron [2] before setting off. If you intend to bring your own personal curling iron in your luggage it is recommended to either slot it inside a sneaker or boot to protect from light damage, alternatively use a heat resistant and shockproof hot tools travel case which will also allow the curling iron to be transported right after use without risk of burning.  [10] [AD]

Can curling irons go in your hand luggage to Nicaragua?

According to the TSA guidelines for curling irons there is no restriction on bringing a mains powered curling iron in your carry on hand luggage through airport security in the United States. The TSA also recommends that you should verify that the airline that is taking you to Nicaragua will allow curling irons onboard and that it will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the airplane. Packing the curling irons in a dedicated heat resistant protective hot tools travel case leaves it easily accessible when going through airport security, it can be packed away quickly and will avoid a tangle of power cables in your carry on luggage (the TSA suggests wrapping cords tightly around electronic items such as curling irons). If you intend to pack fragile or expensive curling irons in your hand held luggage then it is recommended to use hard carry on luggage as this provides the greatest protection against knocks and drops during transit.   [10] [11] [12] [AD]

Power converters for Nicaragua

What is the difference between a power converter and a power adapter for Nicaragua?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a power converter and a power adapter for Nicaragua?

A lightweight, cheap and small power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your curling iron to slot into a power outlet in Nicaragua, however a more expensive and heavier power converter will convert the voltage of 120 volts from a Nicaraguan power outlet to work with a non-120 volt curling iron. [7] [AD]

Can I use a curling iron with a converter in Nicaragua?

The correct type power converter (or voltage transformer) allows your curling iron using a different voltage to operate with the 120 volt power outlet used in Nicaragua. A power converter is suitable for travellers who wish to use their own domestic curling iron, however it could be more costly to buy a power converter than it is to buy a dedicated dual voltage travel curling iron [2]. Also worth noting, a travel curling iron can be significantly lighter than a power converter making a travel curling iron more suitable when packing. [7] [AD]

How to use a curling iron in Nicaragua using a type B power adapter

How to use a curling iron in Nicaragua by using a Type B power charger.

  1. Please make sure that the curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or works with a 120 volt power outlet but if not then don't attempt these instructions as you could create an electrical fire hazard, damage your iron or blow a fuse. Before using a dual voltage travel curling iron which can toggle between different voltages ensure the switch is set to the 120 volt setting for use in Nicaragua, please consult the owners manual for more information on where this switch is located.
  2. If the type of power outlet which is used in Nicaragua doesn't take the plug on your curling iron you will need to bring a Type B plug adapter [4]. This power adapter will convert plugs from other countries for a power outlet used in Nicaragua simply by changing the shape of the plug, however it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of the curling iron to work with a 120 volt supply.
  3. Begin by taking the Type B plug adapter and plugging it into the Nicaraguan power outlet. You can identify this wall supply by two thin slots adjacent to each other with a single semicircle shaped hole below for the ground pin.
  4. Then plug in the curling iron into the Type B plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Nicaraguan power outlet. The hair curling iron can now be switched on.
How to use a curling iron in Nicaragua using a type B power adapter

How to use a curling iron in Nicaragua using a type A power adapter

How to use your curling iron in Nicaragua with a three bladed Type A travel adapter.

  1. Please make sure that the curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or is compatible with a 120 volt power supply but if not then don't attempt these instructions as you could create an electrical fire hazard, damage your iron or blow a fuse. Before using a dual voltage travel curling iron ensure the switch is set to the 120 volt setting for use in Nicaragua, please consult the owners manual to find out where this switch is located.
  2. Please check that you don't already own a curling iron with a Type A plug - if it does then you won't need a power adapter (but please check that your curling iron can work with a 120 volt power outlet). You'll need to use a Type A plug adapter [6] if the shape of plug on your curling iron isn't the same shape as the plug outlet used in Nicaragua. This Type A plug adapter is designed to adapt different plugs from other countries into an electrical outlet in Nicaragua by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the voltage of your curling iron to work with a 120 volt outlet.
  3. Plug in the Type A plug adapter in the wall outlet. This power outlet (sometimes known as a Type A power outlet [5]) can be identified by two slots parallel to each other where the live and neutral plug outlet blades go.
  4. Plug in your curling iron into the Type A plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Nicaraguan power outlet.
  6. The curling iron can now be used in Nicaragua.
How to use a curling iron in Nicaragua using a type A power adapter

See also

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  1. Wikipedia - Nicaraguan Wikipedia page
  2. Amazon - dual voltage travel curling iron
  3. iec.ch - Type B power outlet
  4. Type B plug adapter - US and Japanese 3 pinned Type B plug adapters have a single unearthed round pin along with 2 shorter parallel rectangular flat blades containing holes in each blade, between $5 to $10.
  5. iec.ch - Type A power outlet
  6. Type A plug adapter - There are 2 parallel rectangular flat blades on an unearthed Type A plug adapter with small holes in each blade, between $10 to $15.
  7. Power converter - A step up step down power converter converts 110-120 volts up to 220-240 volts and 220-240 volts down to 110-120 Volts, between $120 to $130.
  8. Wikipedia - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country -
  9. iec.ch - IEC World Plugs by location -
  10. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners, between $10 to $15.
  11. tsa.gov - TSA guidelines for curling irons -
  12. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, estimated cost under $80.