It is very rare that there are blackouts or brownouts in Nicaragua nowadays. You will very rarely see any sort of blackout occur for more than 20 or 30 minutes where I live, in Tola.
Maybe a few years back I would have given a different answer, when blackouts were a little more common, but nowadays we hardly ever had any sorts of blackouts. If we do there’s some sort of thunderstorm or a light post goes down. They’re very good at fixing it, and when there's a problem, it rarely persists for more than 20 to 30 minutes.
I would always recommend to anybody who comes and lives down here to have surge protectors on their appliances just because you’ll never know when you get a thunderstorm that produces a spike and a surge so I would recommend that you protect devices like your computer and your fridge and anything that’s important to you. Surge protectors are pretty cheap nowadays.
We do have a backup generator but we hardly use it. There are a lot of homes that are owned by expats and a lot of them are also vacation rentals for other people who are trying to visit the country so it’s always good to have a backup. You never want somebody to be left in the dark but even the generators that are equipped for bigger 3 or 5 bedroom homes, people rarely have to turn them on or rarely do they flip on because the electricity is a lot better than it was just a few years ago in Nicaragua.
Where you live also makes a difference. If you live in a place where you’re far away from the civilization, the situation may be different; it’s on a place to place basis, you know.
If you still feel you need a generator, it could cost from US $3,000 to $4,000 up to $10,000. It depends on what type of generator you’re buying.
(Terrace on a colonial style home, Nicaragua, pictured.)