It wasn’t easy, but we finally decided on our October Country of the Month. We chose the “land of lakes and volcanoes” because as the Montana winter approaches, we’re already dreaming of the tropics and Nicaragua is one of Central America’s most underrated gems. Speaking of seasons, there is never a “bad” time to visit Nicaragua. But since most people have a limited number of vacation days, it makes sense to plan a trip for that specific window of time when your desired experiences can be optimized. For example, if your goal is to see lush, green jungles, you’ll probably want to visit Nicaragua during its invierno, or winter season. If lying out in the sun is your number one priority, then you’ll probably want to visit Nicaragua during its verano, or summer season. To better understand Nicaragua’s seasons and how they are observed, it helps to understand the country’s climate and culture.
Nicaragua has your quintessential tropical climate. I.e. it is composed of only two seasons, the dry season (a.k.a. summer), and the rainy season (a.k.a. winter). Although it has a summer and a winter, the temperatures never change that drastically. When packing for either season, it’s safe to assume that temperatures will not fall below the 70°s or soar too high into the triple digits.
That said, when compared to its neighbor Costa Rica, Nicaragua is generally hotter and drier. Of course the climate varies depending on whether you’re on the Pacific Coast, Caribbean Coast or somewhere in between. (Nicaragua may be the largest country in Central America, but it’s actually not even as big as the state of New York.) The Caribbean coast receives a lot more, actually twice as much, rain than the Pacific coast. In the interior of the country, the climate is generally cooler, drier and less humid.
Nicaragua’s Rainy Season: May – November
During Nicaragua’s rainy season, showers on the Pacific Coast may only last a matter of minutes; however there is usually a lot of cloud cover. Showers on the Caribbean Coast are heavier and tend to last much longer. There is also much more humidity on the Caribbean Coast. As long as you don’t mind a daily afternoon and/or evening shower, you should be fine traveling in the western part or central Nicaragua during the rainy season. As long as you don’t mind consistent rain or occasional downpours, you should be fine traveling in eastern Nicaragua during these months. Although the rainy season is known as “winter,” the temperatures are still quite warm and range from the low 80°s to the low 90°s.
Travel Impacts & Considerations
During Nicaragua’s rainy season, be prepared to take advantage of the following:
- Lush, green scenery
- Smaller crowds
- Reduced rates
- Bigger waves for surfing
Rainy Season Reviews:
- “Our Austin Adventures trip was a wonderful introduction for us and our two teens to so much of what Nicaragua has to offer. Our week featured an engaging mix of adventures and activities in the land of lakes and volcanoes. We met some of the warm (and baseball-crazed) Nicas and enjoyed learning of their history and culture. Very highly recommend. Would love to go back!” – Bill, McLean, VA, July departure
- “I loved that our tour was in the heart of the city and also in the beautiful remote settings. The local beef was amazing!” – Cory, Manlius, NY, November departure
Nicaragua’s Dry Season: December – April
Nicaragua’s dry season runs from the beginning of December through the end of April. Perfect timing for those of us who live in the north and want to trade snow and ice for sand and swimming! December through February is usually the most popular time to visit Nicaragua. The later it gets into the tail end of dry season (i.e. April), the more likely it is to be hot and dusty, especially on the Pacific Coast.
Travel Impacts & Considerations
During Nicaragua’s dry season, be prepared to take advantage of the following:
- Ideal weather conditions for outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking, surfing, zip-lining and more
- Conditions conducive to wildlife sighting – i.e. it’s a lot easier to see monkeys and birds in the canopies when there are less leaves in the trees
- Less mosquitos
- Clearer water for snorkeling and fishing
Dry Season Reviews:
- “This was one of my favorite trips. The planning and creativity of our guide and your staff made it unforgettable. Julio was an amazing guide. I loved Nicaragua but he truly made this trip awesome.” – Mark, New York, NY, January departure
- “The trip was really fun for us and the kids and provided a different view and exposure than we’ve had on other trips.” – Tim, Atlanta, GA, December departure
Holidays & Fiestas in Nicaragua
While Nicaragua does not have an official religion, it is predominantly Roman Catholic. Most shops are closed on and around the holidays, and it’s also not uncommon for services such as public transportation to be shut down at the same time. The country loves to observe its holidays and celebrating them should be the country’s national sport. Here are a few holidays and fiestas that you’ll want to know about before you go:
- Diriamba Fiestas (February)
- Holy Week (March – April)
- Palo de Mayo (May)
- Sandinista Revolution Day (July)
- Santo Domingo Celebrations (August)
- Corn Island Crab Soup Festival (August)
- Battle of San Jacinto and Independence Day (September)
- Feast of the Immaculate Conception (December)
- Christmas (December)
- New Year’s Eve (December)
Pick Your Package (or Create a Custom)
If you’d like to experience the land of lakes and volcanoes with your family, check out our Nicaragua Family: Granada to San Juan Del Sur package. If you’re looking for an adventure-filled itinerary designed for adults, check out our Nicaragua: Granada to San Juan Del Sur package. Finally, if you’re interested in visiting the country when we don’t have a scheduled departure, contact an adventure travel consultant today and find out how your dream custom package can come to life!