Traveling to Nicaragua or other Central America countries? Not sure what to pack? When I was planning my trip to Nicaragua in May, I had no idea what to wear. I’ve been to Mexico and Peru, but wasn’t sure if the social dress code would be the same, or if the climate would be similar. Nicaragua is famous of being in the mid-90’s year round and the rainy season starts in the summer (read lots of humidity!)
After spending a week traveling around to San Juan del Sur, Granada and Leon, I figured out what the best things to wear in Nicaragua are. Read on to see my packing list tips!
The biggest element to think about when packing clothes for Nicaragua is the heat. Pretty much year round it’s going to be burning during the day, the worst hours being from 11-2pm. We made sure to book hotels with A/C, but many restaurants and other buildings still don’t have it, so you may have a hard time hiding from the heat. With that in mind, light weight clothes, dresses and tanks in any color but black are the best options.
Nicaragua Packing List
Bikinis: The beaches here are off the hook and you’ll get tan faster than at home. Make sure to bring a bikini or a skimpy suit – the least amount of fabric to cover you up will not only keep you cooler, but will help combat the tan lines you are going to get. Everyone else at the beach are Americans, Canadians or Australians, so nobody cares how little you wear.
VERY Comfortable Sandles: You’ll be walking everywhere and the streets are typical for Central American (uneven and rocky). Make sure you bring a sturdy pair of sandles (that can get wet!) to live in during your trip.
Dresses: Maxi or shorter, dresses that are lose and comfortable are the best ones to bring. I brought about 5 different ones and loved how they kept my legs and arms cool. Plus, dresses look nice. Travelers frequently default to wearing just active gear, but that gets old, fast. I prefer a cute summer dress over jogging shorts any day. Avoid tight bodycon dresses. They’ll just stick to your skin and be uncomfortable!
Sleeveless Tops: At all costs, avoid anything with sleeves. My friend brought along a skirt that had large bell sleeves and cut-outs on the shoulders and she was burning up. So don’t be tempted! Only bring tops without any sleeves. I brought a few ranging from nice (for nights out) to casual (for daily wear) to active (like kayaking). All types came in handy.
Shorts/Culottes/Jumpsuits: I’m a curvy girl and my thighs rub together when I walk (and that’s perfectly normal!) But, when I spend a whole day outside in 95 degrees and humidity, I get welts on my inner thighs because they rub together too much. Gross, I know, but I wanted to talk about it because it was something I forget to think about. Luckily, I had packed this jumpsuit, which is an extremely light weight fabric so despite covering my legs, I wasn’t at all too warm. I also packed a pair of knee-length culottes that saved my thighs towards the end of the trip. They don’t have to be active wear clothing, but make sure to bring a few thigh-saving bottom pieces.
Mid-Size Cross Body Purse (with a zipper!): My go-to travel purse is a mid-size cross body purse with a zipper. I love being hands-free when traveling, and a cross body allows that. The size is important. You want a purse that is big enough to carry a waterbottle, wallet, maybe a camera and room for things you pick up throughout the day. The zipper is also important – it’s very easy for the Oliver Twist’s of the world to reach into an open purse and steal your things. I always bring a purse that has a zipper, so during large crowds I can place my hand on the zipper to ensure nobody is accessing my purse that way.
I hope this helps you figure out what you should pack and wear in Nicaragua! Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions!