Nicaragua Weather, climate and geography

Weather & climate

Best time to visit

The climate in Nicaragua differs according to region, so the best time to go varies. The climate is tropical for most of the country and so hot all year round, with temperatures of around 27ºC (81ºF) all year round. In the lower lying areas temperatures range from 22ºC (72ºF) to 30ºC (86ºF), whilst in the mountains it will be cooler; generally hovering between 12ºC (53ºF) and 20ºC (68ºF).

Most tourists visit during the dry season, which runs from December to May. The rainy season is from June to November and the on the Pacific side the rainy season runs from May to November. The climate on the Atlantic northwestern side can be very temperamental and generally receiving the highest volumes of rainfall in the country.

The peak time for visiting Nicaragua is from December to March, so those wishing to avoid the crowds may want to consider travelling during the shoulder season months of May and November.

Required clothing

Lightweight cottons and linens are required throughout the year – bring shorts, t-shirts, and beach wear if you’ll be visiting the coast. Waterproofs are advisable during the rainy season. Warmer clothes are advised for the northern mountains; think woolly knits and layers that allow you to wrap up warm as the temperature drops.

Geography

Nicaragua is the largest country in central America, bordering Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. To the east lies the Caribbean, and to the west the Pacific. In the north are the Isabella Mountains, while the country's main feature in the southwest is Lake Nicaragua, 148km (92 miles) long and about 55km (34 miles) at its widest. The island of Ometepe is the largest of the 310 islands on the lake. These islands have a reputation for great beauty and are one of the country's main tourist attractions.

Lake Managua is situated to the northwest. Volcanoes, including the famous Momotombo, protrude from the surrounding lowlands northwest of the lakes. The country's main rivers are the San Juan, the lower reaches of which form the border with Costa Rica, and the Rio Grande. The Corn Islands (Islas del Maiz) in the Caribbean are two small beautiful islands fringed with white coral and palms. They are very popular as holiday resorts with both Nicaraguans and tourists.

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