Noche de Agüizotes, October
Turtle-watching at La Flor, October
International Poetry Festival, February
La Purísima in León, December
Perfect beach weather in the Pacific region with almost nonstop sunshine, but it's the peak of high season so expect bigger crowds and more expensive accommodations.
Stadiums get packed for the finals of Liga Nacional de Beisbol Nicaraguense (Nicaraguan National Baseball League). Catch games at the Estadio Denis Martínez in Managua.
Crowds thin out but it's still all sunshine, making this one of the best times to plan a beach break. It can be uncomfortably hot in cities.
International Poetry Festival
Top Spanish-language wordsmiths from around the globe gather for this festival in Granada that celebrates the spoken word, with regular readings and well-attended fringe events.
The heat wave continues with soaring temperatures and dry conditions. Whether it falls in March or April, Easter is big business: prices spike, accommodations sell out and beaches are packed.
Head to Masaya on the weekend before Palm Sunday for this religious festival that involves getting dressed up in bizarre costumes – even local dogs get in on the act!
Semana Santa in Léon
Easter is a huge deal all over the country, but nowhere does it quite like León, where the traditional fireworks and parades are accompanied by sawdust mosaics and a sandcastle competition.
More sunshine, this time accompanied by big, consistent surf in the Pacific and calm seas throughout the Caribbean, ideal for diving and snorkelling. After Easter, crowds drop dramatically.
The combination of big swells along the Pacific and bright sunshine brings optimal conditions (and big crowds) to many of Nicaragua's best surf breaks, including the acclaimed Popoyo.
Low season is underway with sunshine still sticking around, but by the end of the month the skies open, marking the beginning of the wet season.
Bluefields' fertility celebrations culminate in a boisterous carnival on the last Saturday of the month. During the closing Tulululu, the entire town takes a midnight romp through the streets accompanied by a brass band.
Heavy rains drench the entire country. This brings significantly cooler temperatures, but turns some rural roads into pools of mud that are difficult to negotiate.
San Juan de Bautista
The normally serene flower-growing town of Catarina is transformed by this wild festival in honor of San Juan Bautista, featuring dancing, ceremonial fights and music.
Rains continue throughout the country, though rain showers rarely last more than several hours. Most hiking trails are now muddy but many waterfalls are at their spectacular best.
Aniversario de la Revolución
Dress in red and black, and head to the plaza in Managua to celebrate the revolution alongside hard-drinking Sandinista supporters from across Nicaragua. The bohemian fringe event in nearby San Antonio means more music.
Rains generally ease a little in the Pacific with most days enjoying long stretches of sunshine. Meanwhile, the Caribbean experiences one of its wettest months.
Santo Domingo de Guzmán
Managua's biggest religious procession sees believers covering themselves in used motor oil to accompany a tiny statue of the saint in his journey from the hills of Santo Domingo into the heart of the capital.
Corn Island celebrates the end of slavery with a parade, concerts, plenty of beer, and free bowls of crab soup and ginger bread for all in attendance.
Fiestas de Agosto
Halfway through August, Granada honors the Assumption of Mary. Expect religious processions – the most important one on August 15 – equestrian parades, food stands, fireworks and live music in the parks, and revelry by the lakefront.
The height of hurricane season in the Caribbean may disrupt travel plans, although when there are no storms the weather is generally bright and there are great deals on accommodations.
Feria de Maíz
The farmers of Nueva Segovia descend on the northern town of Jalapa for a celebration of everything corn. There are corn clothes, corn altars and corn dances, not to mention chicha (fermented corn drink).
Rains return with a vengeance throughout the Pacific with frequent heavy downpours in the afternoons. Traveler numbers reach their lowest point, with accommodation prices being the most competitive.
Turtle-watching at La Flor
Refugio de Vida Silvestre La Flor is the backdrop for one of nature's most amazing spectacles when olive ridley turtles arrive (sometimes up to 3000 in one night) to lay their eggs in the sand.
Noche de Agüizotes
This spooky festival in Masaya brings to life characters from horror stories of the colonial period with locals in elaborate creepy costume dancing in the street. Keep an eye out for the headless priest.
Things get moving again following the easing of the rain. Travelers spread out throughout the country and the festival season warms up with a number of important events.
Nicaragua's Garifuna community celebrates their rich cultural heritage with drums, dancing and gastronomy in the remote community of Orinoco on the shores of Laguna de Perlas. The concert features Garifuna artists from throughout Central America.
Dancers from all over the country travel to San Carlos for this colorful parade of floats on the Río San Juan, accompanied by concerts and a food fair on the waterfront.
The end of the rains in the Pacific region sees the high season begin in earnest and beaches becoming busy, particularly north and south of San Juan del Sur.
Celebrated on the eve of the Immaculate Concepcíon, La Purísima (and La Griteria) sees hordes of children going door-to-door singing songs to the Virgin Mary and receiving candies. León gets into it with unrivaled vigor.