When is the Best Time to Visit Nicaragua?
If you’re looking for a new vacation destination this year and want something off the beaten path and affordable, have I got a spot for you! Nicaragua has great beaches, surfing, culture, adventure, and lovely people. Everything you need for a memorable trip, no matter when you go. It doesn’t seem to make it to the top of many people’s travel list and that’s a shame. The weather is great most of the year and it’s not overcrowded. To get what you want out of a Nicaragua vacation, it’s important to be aware of the differences in weather throughout the year.
When is the best month to visit Nicaragua?
As with most places in the world, what your trip will look like depends on when you visit. Rather than the traditional four seasons, Nicaragua instead has two: dry season and rainy season. Most people choose to visit in the dry season but despite its name, visiting in the rainy season may not be as wet as you think.
One thing to keep in mind is that the weather can be very different between the Pacific side and the Caribbean side of Nicaragua, with the latter being hot and humid with significantly more tropical rains all year long. The central mountain region tends to be cooler with more sporadic rain.
In my own opinion, the best time to visit Nicaragua would be the first two weeks of December or the last two weeks of January. You’ll get the best weather while avoiding the biggest crowds.
November – April
This is when the majority of people visit Nicaragua. The dry season starts in November so everything is still lush and green for a bit while the days are dry and the temperatures are still hot but manageable. It’s the perfect time for exploring colonial cities, taking surf lessons, or volcano boarding.
By December leaves start dropping from the trees. It’s a great time for the beach, lounging by the pool, and boat cruises.
Christmas, New Year’s, and Easter fall in this time frame and peak travel times so expect attractions to get crowded and accommodations to be booked up. Expect higher rates for the first two weeks of January, but then prices should start coming down.
January and February is the best time to learn how to surf in Nicaragua since the waves tend to be at their smallest. If it’s kite surfing on Lake Nicaragua you want, visit in February for the tail end of the windy season. By March the land is pretty dry and brown so don’t expect beautiful greenery.
- Avg. Temperature: 21 – 34° C (in Managua)
- Avg. Monthly Rainfall: 3 – 42 mm
- Avg. Daily Sunshine Hours: 7.7 – 9.4
May – June
If you like the heat, visit in May. While technically the start of the rainy season May is often more associated with stifling heat. If there is rain, it typically falls in the afternoon or overnight and rarely lasts more than a couple of hours at a time.
May and June is just about the perfect time to surf in Nicaragua (if you’re experienced) with low winds and great waves. This time of year is also particularly great for birdwatching and snorkeling. The wet season also makes for great hiking, horse backing riding, zip lining, and kayaking because of the slightly cooler weather and million shades of green.
- Avg. Temperature: 23 – 34° C (in Managua)
- Avg. Monthly Rainfall: 130 – 224 mm
- Avg. Daily Sunshine Hours: 6.2 – 7.4
July – October
The heart of the rainy season. Surfing is still great in July and August while the rain is still mostly at night keeping everything lush and green.
If there’s a time to avoid travel to Nicaragua it’s September and October. Daily rains can be heavy and sometimes disrupt travel, especially in rural areas. On the upside, prices are cheaper during October than any other time of year.
- Avg. Temperature: 22 – 31° C (in Managua)
- Avg. Monthly Rainfall: 136 – 280 mm
- Avg. Daily Sunshine Hours: 4.9 – 7.2
With something special with each month and each season, there’s never a wrong time to visit Nicaragua.
January 26th, 2018 at 11:45 pm (#)
Choosing the best time to visit a place is always so tricky! Best weather and avoiding the thickest crowds is def the two most important things. Here in SE Asia, we also have to make sure to check every country’s rainy season before we go, too! We haven’t traveled at all through Central or South America yet, so I know nothing about the best times of year to visit there. Your post was incredibly helpful!
January 27th, 2018 at 12:11 am (#)
I’ve seen so much about Nicaragua lately, and I am intrigued! Thanks for sharing such a comprehensive post. It’s good to keep in mind that I should avoid going in September and October due to the rains – very helpful to know in advance!
January 27th, 2018 at 7:06 am (#)
Yes I’ve heard Nicaragua is very affordable. You’ve just encouraged me to visit even more! <3 Maybe I will this this year in November.
January 27th, 2018 at 1:50 pm (#)
Your shots are just making me wanna pack and go to Nicaragua! Love the timeline for visiting too :)