Our advice for men and women alike would be to concentrate on trekking/outdoor clothing and fairly lightweight but sturdy walking shoes.
As you can imagine, the humidity is very high here so be prepared.
A lightweight, casual wardrobe of loose-fitting, natural fabrics e.g. linen, silk, cotton or bamboo is recommended.
light wool is a good choice to wear against your skin as it naturally helps to regulate your body temperature. It keeps you warm in the cold, wicks away moisture when it's hot, and doesn't retain odours – even after prolonged wear.
In town when eating out, wear whatever you feel comfortable in. Downtown is very casual, although hotels are more dressy (dependent upon which level of hotel you stay in).
Wear plenty of sunscreen (we love the Riemann P20 range for 10 hour protection), plus sunglasses and a sunhat.
As in many countries use common sense and don't flash your money or valuables around. You may want to consider a money belt.
What Shoes To Pack
If you plan to do much walking, then lightweight walking shoes or sneakers are fine and anything that minimises the chance of a twisted ankle has got to be a good idea. Hotter shoes are very good.
Clothing Tips for Women
The humidity can play havoc with your hair – so think about accessories or a scarf to keep it looking neat and tidy.
Leave your valuables and jewelry at home, you really won't need them.
If you are going to visit any religious sites then be sure to cover your shoulders and bare legs – a pashmina can come in handy for this.
When visiting the beaches take a sarong to use with your swimwear. It can double up as a lightweight shawl in the evening teamed with a simple sundress or skirt. Avoid revealing clothes and very short shorts.
Clothing Tips for Men
For versatile and stylish casual or beach wear, try the Madda Fella range of shirts, shorts and polos.
For great versatile travel jackets with multiple pockets including RFID security options, we love the SCOTTeVEST range.
Pack for the Weather
Nicaragua is hot all year round but especially so during April and May.
The dry season is December, January, February, March, April and May – pack lightweight, loose-fitting clothes in natural fabrics.
For the rainy season of June, July, August, September, October and November pack a lightweight waterproof jacket or raincoat. It only needs to be light as the temperature will still be warm.
We love the Weather+ app – it gives an accurate 6 day forecast for day and night, which when you're planning from home is really helpful. You can keep all the places you've been to too – a nice way to remember your trip 🙂 Download for iPad/iPhone or Android
Regions of Nicaragua
If you plan to walk the volcanoes then lightweight walking shoes or sneakers are needed.
To explore the rich history and colonial charm of León, Managua and Granada make sure you take comfy footwear for daytime (try Hotter shoes, they provide total comfort and look great too).
A bag or soft-sided rucksack is a more practical option than hard cases when traveling around the country, and using packing cubes can help to keep your belongings tidy whilst compressing the volume too.
Combine your bag with a fold away day sack that will carry your essentials on day trips.
Look after your mobile phone with a phone bunjee- it protects against loss, theft and damage.
A microfiber travel towel is another great item to pack; they fold really small and dry quickly too, perfect for trekking or the beach.
To use electrical gadgets you may need a travel adapter plug, and also a step up voltage converter if your devices are not designed for the local voltage (120V).
Avoid paying unexpected baggage fees – use an accurate luggage scale to ensure you keep within the weight allowance. Don't forget to leave room for souvenirs on the way home! Nicaraguan coffee is a popular buy, as is Flor de Cana rum – just remember any liquids will need to be packed in your hold luggage. There are lots of traditional handicrafts including baskets, hammocks and pottery too; try to buy direct from the producer to help support their livelihoods – a few dollars will go a long way and means a lot.