Nicaragua, a country of Central America located just north of the Equator, has a tropical climate, hot all year round.
Temperatures are quite stable; however, there is a relatively cool winter from November to January, a hot spring from March to May, and a sultry and rainy summer from May to October.
In addition, there is a difference between the two sides: the west coast, facing the Pacific Ocean, is hotter and has a very pronounced dry season from December to April, while the eastern one, overlooking the Caribbean Sea, is more humid and rainy. In fact, the latter, being exposed to the north-east trade winds, receives rainfall even in winter, so the climate here can be defined as equatorial.
Consequently, rainfall is abundant on the east coast, where it even exceeds 4,000 millimeters (160 inches) per year, while it's much less abundant in the central plains (where the city of Managua and the lakes Nicaragua and Managua are located) and along the Pacific coast.

Pacific coast

On the west coast, it's hot all year round, but there are the sea breezes. However, we can notice a certain temperature increase in spring.

San Juan del Sur

Here are the average temperatures of San Juan del Sur, in the southern part of the Pacific coast.
San Juan del Sur - Average temperatures
Min (°C)212122222322222222222221
Max (°C)303132323231313130303030
Min (°F)707072727372727272727270
Max (°F)868890909088888886868686

In San Juan del Sur, 1,700 mm (67 in) of rain fall per year, with a dry season from December to April, and abundant rains from June to October.
San Juan del Sur - Average precipitation

The sun in San Juan del Sur shines regularly in the dry period, while in the rainy season, the sky is often cloudy in the afternoon, when thunderstorms break out, while in the morning, there are still a few hours of sunshine. Here are the average sunshine hours per day.
San Juan del Sur - Sunshine

On the Pacific coast, the sea is warm enough for swimming all year round.
San Juan del Sur - Sea temperature
Temp (°C)272727282929292929282828
Temp (°F)818181828484848484828282


Managua, the capital, is located 50 km (30 mi) away from the sea, and near a lake that provides moisture, so it is a particularly hot city, especially in spring, before the rains, and in May, the first rainy month, when, however, the rains slowly begin to lower the temperature. In the period from June to November, the maximum temperatures are around 31 °C (88 °F), but the humidity is higher. Here are the average temperatures.
Managua - Average temperatures
Min (°C)212122232423232322222121
Max (°C)323334353532313131313131
Min (°F)707072737573737372727070
Max (°F)909193959590888888888888

In Managua, 1,150 mm (45 in) of rain fall per year, and the dry season, which runs from December to April, is very pronounced, so much so that it almost never rains. In the rainy season, from May to mid-November, the wettest months are June, September, and October, with more than 200 mm (8 in) of rain per month. Here is the average precipitation.
Managua - Average precipitation

The sun in Managua often shines in the dry period, while in the rainy season, it shines for a few hours a day.
Managua - Sunshine

Lake Nicaragua

Nicaragua is known as the land of lakes and volcanoes. Some volcanoes rise directly from the plain, such as San Cristobal, other rise from lakes, such as Concepción, which emerges from Lake Nicaragua. In the north-central inland region, there is a mountain range, called Cordillera Chontaleña. In the highlands, the weather becomes mild above 1,000 meters (3,300 feet), in the so-called tierras templadas.

Caribbean coast

On the Caribbean coast, there is no real dry month; owing to both the rains and the trade winds, the temperatures are a bit lower than on the west coast, but relative humidity is consistently high.


Here are the average temperatures in Bluefields; as you can see, they are slightly lower than on the west side.
Bluefields - Average temperatures
Min (°C)222222232423232323222222
Max (°C)282930313130292929292928
Min (°F)727272737573737373727272
Max (°F)828486888886848484848482

Precipitation in Bluefields amounts to 4,000 mm (160 in) per year; it rains a lot and almost every day from May to December, with a peak in July, with as high as 665 mm (26 in) of rain. March and April are the only months when the rains give a little break, dropping to around 80 mm (3 in) per month, in both cases, in 12 days.
Here is the average precipitation in Bluefields.
Bluefields - Average precipitation

It goes a bit better further to the north, in Puerto Cabezas, where 3,000 mm (120 in) of rain fall per year, and rainfall drops to less than 100 mm (4 in) already in February.

Since the rains are more frequent and the rainy season is longer, the sun in Bluefields shines less often than in Managua and on the west coast. In particular, from June to August, the sky is often cloudy.
Bluefields - Sunshine

On the Caribbean coast too, the sea is warm all year round, as we can see from the water temperature near Bluefields.
Bluefields - Sea temperature
Temp (°C)272727282828282829292828
Temp (°F)818181828282828284848282

East of Bluefields, we find two islands, called Corn Islands (Big Corn Island or Isla Grande del Maíz and Little Corn Island or Isla Pequeña del Maíz), which have a similar climate, with the least rainy period from February to April.


Nicaragua is located in the path of hurricanes, which come from the east, ie the Caribbean Sea, and may hit the country in the period from June to November, though they are most likely from August to October. A particularly intense hurricane was Joan-Miriam, which caused serious damage throughout the country in late October 1988, especially in Bluefields, another one was Mitch in late October 1998.
Then, there are the depressions and tropical storms that can be formed on the Pacific, as early as in mid-May; they are usually not intense because they affect the country in the early stages of their formation, but they can still bring heavy rainfall, which in turn can cause landslides and floods.

Best Time

The best time to visit Nicaragua is from December to April in the central and western part (in Managua, you may prefer December and January, which are a little less hot), while it's limited to March and April along the east coast because of the rains (but after all, you can also go in February, especially in the north, in Puerto Cabezas, where it rains less).

What to pack

For the tierras templadas and the slopes of volcanoes: all year round, bring light clothing, a sweatshirt or sweater for the evening; a raincoat or umbrella.
For plains and coasts: bring light clothing, a sweater or sweatshirt for the evening from November to March, and a hat for the sun; in the rainy season (May to mid-November in Managua, and in practice, throughout the year on the east coast), a light raincoat for showers and thunderstorms.