Basically, Nicaragua enjoys a stable tropical climate with minimal temperature fluctuations throughout the year. Topographical differences, however, create a variety of climatic characteristics: In the lower regions up to 700 meters, where many of the tourist attractions are to be found, maximum daily temperatures average between 30 and 35° Celsius; at night temperatures drop to a pleasant 20 to 25° Celsius. In the central highlands (750 to 1600m), one can expect between 15 and 27° Celsius.
The greater part of the country knows only two seasons: The dry spell from November to April and the rainy period from May to October. During the dry season there is no rain whatsoever. In the wet months, short but heavy downpours occur at intervals but this usually amounts to no more than one hour of rainfall altogether throughout the day.
An exception to this is found on the Caribbean coast and particularly along the San Juan River. In this rain forest region precipitation is high the whole year long with lesser intensity between February and April.
Furthermore, the Caribbean coast is frequently subjected to hurricanes in September and October. The two most devastating in recent past (1988 Joan and 1998 Mitch) caused many deaths and severe destruction.
The Best Time to Travel
Almost any time of the year has its attraction. Only the last month of the dry period (usually April) is not particularly appealing. At this time the country is parched, many trees have lost their foliage, the fields are brown and the air is full of sand.
The most pleasant season for a visit on the Pacific side or in the central highlands is at the beginning of the dry period (November to January) when temperatures are reasonable and the vegetation is still green. The high season for tourists is between mid-December and end-March.
But even the rainy season is worth experiencing. The vegetation recovers and the flora bursts into flower. The rain brings a welcome cooling. Especially the months of June to August are interesting for an extensive tour of the country without encountering many other tourists.