Central America during rainy/hurricane season

Old Aug 10th, 2015, 06:30 AM
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Central America during rainy/hurricane season

Hi everyone!

So, I'm planning a 3 month backpacking trip to Central America, focusing on Nicaragua and Guatemala but with some time in Belize, El Salvador, Honduras and Mexico as well. Maybe Costa Rica, but still undecided on that. Anyways, I was originally going to take this trip in January, February and March, but now it's looking for convenient for me to take this trip sooner rather than later; i.e. mid-September through mid-December (work-related reasoning).

That would mean I'd be traveling during peak hurricane season and the tail end of rainy season (from what I understand, November and December aren't too bad, and September is the worst month to visit).

My question is, how much would this really affect my enjoyment of the region? Growing up in Florida I'm VERY familiar with the concept of daily afternoon thunderstorms--but is it worse than that?

I haven't totally planned out the trip with the new dates yet, but here's a rough estimate of when I might be in each country:

-September: Nicaragua
-October: Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala
-November: Guatemala, Belize, Honduras
-December: Mexico

For Nicaragua, I wanted to spend about half my time in Ometepe/San Juan Del Sur which is what's most concerning for me with the weather, and the other half in Leon/Granada. I was considering Little Corn but that could be totally out with this weather.

El Salvador was 100% beach time so that could be a little rough in early October. Belize is also 100% beach time but I'm hoping I'll be alright by November? I can see the good things about traveling during rainy season: cheaper prices, less tourists, fuller waterfalls and greener forests. But, I don't want to A.) Be stuck in rain ALL the time during those 3 months or B.) Compromise my safety with bad roads or dangerous weather.

I'd really appreciate any tips or advice from people who have been during this time! Thanks!
kellyrenee118 is offline  
Old Aug 10th, 2015, 10:52 AM
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Just keep some flexibility in your schedule and rearrange the order if you were planning to head to the beach and a storm is brewing. You can keep track here:

For years we have visited CA in July/August because my husband and I were both educators. Now that we're retired we have mixed it up a bit but still love those summer trips. In 2012 Hurricane Ernesto brushed close enough to Belize while we were there that we had to change up our plans but still had a great trip. We had trip insurance because some of our stops that trip required full payment in advance; we made our next trip mainly on the insurance payout so it was a win all around. Other than that, very little impact from rain. We're splitting a month between Guatemala and Belize (mostly Guatemala) in October/November, just our 2nd fall visit and the 1st (Oct/Nov 2014) was amazing.

Pack really light - that's my best advice. I really can't believe how many youhng people I see hauling around 60-80 liter packs crammed full when 40-45 liters is more than enough (try to keep under 15#). Check out this great website and let me know if you want more packing advice.

My photos with blog, travelogue, and review links on the main page of each collection are below in case you're interested - all my recommendations are embedded there.
Have a great trip!
hopefulist is offline  
Old Aug 10th, 2015, 03:08 PM
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Thanks hopefulist! That's really reassuring, glad to hear I don't have TOO much to worry about
kellyrenee118 is offline  
Old Aug 10th, 2015, 03:15 PM
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I can only speak to December in Mexico, but that should be excellent weather by then.
suze is offline  
Old Aug 11th, 2015, 06:20 AM
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Re: Belize

By November, the probability of hurricane is almost zero, so I wouldn't worry. If there is a hurricane, just get away from water.

You will still get some rain, but typically, it doesn't rain every day nor all day -- you'll see way more sun than rain. When it does rain, it often falls in the very early morning so by 9 or 10 am, the sky is clear & sunny. I live here and don't own an umbrella! As for daily afternoon thunderstorms, I can't even remember the last time we had a thunderstorm.

Re: Mexico
In the Yucatan region, it MIGHT rain a couple of times per week -- nothing to worry about. It likely won't be all-day rain either.
MisterB2 is offline  
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