Climate & when to go
Nicaragua has a range of microclimates, and it's always worth checking the weather to see where you want to go first. On the Pacific side, invierno (winter), or rainy season, runs May to November, at its rainiest in September and October when sea turtles nest 3000-strong to a beach. Verano (summer), or dry season, is November to April, the best time for hiking, camping and partying, as it coincides with high tourist season (December to March), most pronounced along the Costa Rican border. As verano desiccates to a close, the Pacific forests lose their leaves and lake levels drop revealing sandy lake beaches that you'll put to good use as temperatures soar from the normal high 20s into the mid-30s or worse.
And then there are the mountains, from the islands of cool cloud forests atop each volcano to the monolithic granite peaks of the central highlands, where the seasons become blurred in the chilly misty mornings, with temperatures between 12°C and 24°C. On the Atlantic side rainy and dry seasons are almost entirely academic, so check the weather; along the Río San Juan, one of the wettest places on earth, always pack a raincoat.