How rainy is rainy season in Nicaragua
May 2, 2011 12:01 PM   Subscribe

Nicaragua travel/weather filter: How rainy will SW Nicaragua be in early July? There are additional questions inside:

We are experience Central American travelers (Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, Bocas del Toro) but have yet to travel in "rainy" season (almost always Dec-March).

We would like to visit Popoyo, San Lorenzo and San Juan del Sur for some surf seshes:

1.) If we travel in early July, should we expect torrential downpours or are we going to get some nice sun? Are there any reliable weather resources perhaps online?

2.) How commericalized is San Juan? Judging by my internet research it looks like it has turned into a kinda touristy trap place. Even if so, how accesible and less-ravaged are small surf spots nearby?

3.) Thoughts on renting a truck? Is it necessary to get to the good/secluded surf spots or is a bus sufficient.

4.) Anyone have any experience getting a data plan in Managua to use on a smartphone for GPS navigation?

Any other thoughts/recommendations would be super appreciated.
posted by Hurst to Travel & Transportation around Nicaragua (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
WeatherSpark has this stuff in their charts (you may need to ask for something other than NOAA data at the top right corner).
posted by atbash at 12:41 PM on May 2, 2011

Disclaimer: I haven't been to Nicaragua or San Juan del Sur in ~9 years.

1) I think you will get some nice sun. I was in Nicaragua from mid-June - August two years in a row and we had excellent weather for the most part. In Granada it seemed to rain (hard) daily in the afternoon, but usually only for two hours or less. I don't remember any rain in San Juan.

2) San Juan was not commercialized at all when I was there, but again, it's been a long time. From what I've heard, I think you're right about what it's turned into. I'm sure there is still local culture left beneath/behind the tourist traps if you move away from the main beach a bit. The main beach is not particularly good for surfing anyway, and I suspect that's where nearly all the tourists and commercialization have collected. In any case, it's a beautiful place.

3) I made it to one remote-ish surfing beach nearby San Juan that I can't imagine has been commercialized. We rode in the bed of an old 4WD (Russian?) truck to get there, which was a ride most tourists would be hesitant to take. I can't recall how we got on this truck, so I would suggest renting a 4WD truck unless you can figure out transportation definitively before going.

Sorry, I can't offer any advice WRT a smartphone/GPS data plan. I would try to download maps to your phone before you go, and just use it without data.
posted by aganders3 at 1:30 PM on May 2, 2011

A bit of searching makes me fairly confident that the surfing beach we visited was Playa Maderas. It wasn't a great beach (nothing like San Juan bay) for non-surfing, so I would assume it's still much much less touristy than the surrounding area. There is a hostel right there - Tres Hermanos, that I think is owned by a trio of brothers (all surfers) from the US.

If I remember correctly, it was essentially the only place there in 2002.
posted by aganders3 at 1:39 PM on May 2, 2011

good shit, thanks mate. I've heard that the main strip in San Juan is indeed party central, but I don't mind spotting into town there for a day or two and taking trips to better surf spots. The weather bit is most helpful!
posted by Hurst at 5:46 PM on May 2, 2011

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