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Geography, Weather, & Wildlife of Nicaragua


Nicaraguan Geography - Conception Volcano
Conception Volcano

Nicaragua sits in the middle of Central America. The country borders Honduras in the north and in the south borders Costa Rica. Nicaragua stretches from the Pacific Ocean in the west to the Caribbean Sea in the east.

Despite Nicaragua's small size and its borders with both the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea, the country is quite elevated and mountainous. These mountains tend to rise straight out of the ocean, but on the Caribbean Sea side, there is a plain, although it is quite forested. The mountains peak near the Pacific Ocean coast, where the large Lake Nicaragua stands; from this lake and the mountains, a number of rivers run east into the Caribbean Sea.


Nicaragua's temperatures and weather is very dependent on elevation and season. The country has two seasons, wet season from about May to November and dry season from about December to April. However, even with these two seasons, rainfall varies greatly as the Caribbean Sea coast tends to get rain year round and will annually get three to five times more rain than the Pacific Coast. The second major influence on the weather in Nicaragua is elevation. At sea level the days and nights are much hotter with temperatures rarely dipping below 70° F (21° C) at night and daily highs jumping another 10-20° F (6-11° C). As the elevation rises, temperatures drop, but no place ever reaches the freezing point, with the mountains only getting down to about 60° F (15° C) at night. There is a chance for hurricanes from about June to November, but most Caribbean Sea hurricanes miss them to the north.


Nicaragua Wildlife - Puma (Cougar)
Puma (Cougar)

Nicaragua has an incredibly diverse amount of wildlife due to their location, weather, and size. This begins with their mammals, among the larger of these being the jaguar, deer, and puma (cougar). Among the smaller species are numerous monkeys, ocelot, armadillo, anteater, and sloth, although there are dozens more. Among the sea life are large fish like the shark to more traditional fish both in the salt water ocean and Caribbean as well as freshwater fish in the country's lakes and rivers.

The bird life is perhaps more diverse than the mammals and freshwater fish life as there are hundreds of birds that life in the country or migrate through annually. Among the birds are warblers, macaws, parrots, hummingbirds, and the more unique barranquero. The reptile and amphibian life resembles that of the country's neighbors, with crocodiles, turtles, snakes, and iguanas among others.

This page was last updated: March, 2013