6 Rainy Season Activities in Nicaragua

6 Rainy Season Activities in Nicaragua

Like other regions with tropical climates, Nicaragua  experiences only two seasons: a wet and a dry season. The dry season, which runs from December to April, is also peak tourist season, as visitors from North America and Europe trade sub-zero temperatures in their own countries for Nicaragua’s blue sky, sunshine and gentle tropical breezes.

The oft-overlooked Nicaragua rainy season is also known as the green season, when the added precipitation promotes new and renewed plant life, and turns dry, dusty countryside into lush green paradise. Despite the wide misconception of hours and days of unrelenting rain during the rainy season, travelers can typically expect daily afternoon and evening showers with plenty of sun during the day. 

Rain or shine, there is always a vast selection of exciting activities to check out in Nicaragua. In fact, the leaky skies from May to November are part & parcel of what makes this country a unique place to visit. And, with fewer tourists invading the hotspots during less popular months, you won’t have to battle other visitors to enjoy the view from La Merced tower in Granada, or drive hours to find a deserted stretch of sand to watch the sun set over the Pacific.

1. Visit the Rainforest

Rainforests tend to be wet year-round, and that doesn’t stop anyone from exploring. Nicaragua’s spectacular variety of flora and fauna is most abundant during the rainy season, which coincides with the breeding seasons of many different types of animals – sea turtles, several species of birds, amphibians, reptiles, and more. Waterfalls throughout Nicaragua are spectacular during rainy season. The dry season often causes streams and rivers to shrivel up to no more than a sad trickle, but when the rains start to fall, the rivers start to flow, resulting in gushing, glorious waterfalls.

2. Chill On the Caribbean Side

While the eastern side of Nicaragua doesn’t really have a true rainy season, it tends to be dry in the months of September and October, when the rest of the country is experiencing daily downpours. This is the perfect time for an adventure down Río San Juan to the Indio Maíz Biosphere Reserve, one of the most biologically diverse areas in the country, or a relaxing jaunt to the stunning white sand beaches of the Corn Islands. Revel in the laid-back Caribbean vibe and cuisine, and enjoy an experience distinctly different than you’ll find in the rest of the country. As an added bonus, lobster is in season on the Caribbean side from July to early March.

3. Surf Bigger Swells

Nicaragua has a reputation for great surf all year, but with the arrival of the rains, the size of the swells increase as well. Just beginning? Take a lesson and get a head start with one of the world’s most exciting water sports.

4. Hit the Beaches

What? In the rainy season? On the Pacific side of the country, rainfall is limited to a portion of the day from May until September. That means you can enjoy beautiful sunshine and catch some rays early in the day, then kick back later in the afternoon with a cocktail. As a bonus, with the rain, you can expect spectacular sunsets – nothing beats the glorious palette of colors the sky displays at this time of year.

5. Turtle Nesting

There are other places in the world where you can witness sea turtles nesting and hatching, but Nicaragua is one of only four countries where mass turtle arrivals, called arribadas, occur. Turtle nesting season runs from July to December, coinciding almost perfectly with the green season. Though nesting happens on beaches stretching down both of Nicaragua’s coastlines, there are two areas considered turtle hotspots: Padre Ramos Natural Reserve on the northern Pacific coast, and La Flor Wildlife Refuge to the south. Padre Ramos is one of only two major nesting beaches for the Eastern Pacific population of hawksbill turtles, and comprises almost half of all known hawksbill nesting in the Pacific. La Flor is an important nesting area for olive ridley, hawksbill, leatherback and green sea turtles, and is one of only two olive ridley arribada nesting sites in Nicaragua (the other is Juan Venado Natural Reserve, near León).

6. Check Out a Colonial City

Go back in time with a visit to one (or several) of Nicaragua’s colonial cities. They’re beautiful, rich in history and culture, and – best of all for the green season – they offer a vast selection of indoor activities to explore during less-than-perfect weather. Get up close and personal with Nicaragua’s unique culture and history with a city tour or cooking class, discover León’s many art galleries and museums, or pay visit to Granada’s chocolate spa for a day of indulgence & relaxation.