Nicaragua - Profile
- In recent years Nicaragua has been avoided by cruising yachts and for good reason, although with the changing political situation this is no longer the case. The shallow reef-encumbered Miskito coast has many attractive anchorages, but navigation is difficult and even in the past when the area was not off-limits, most yachts restricted their cruising to the more accessible Corn Islands.
- The opening of Marina Puesta del Sol, 13 miles north of Corinto, marks an improvement in facilities available.
- Nicaragua's decision to extend its territorial waters from the normal 12 miles to 25 miles has resulted in the seizure of some foreign flagged vessels, mainly fishing boats. In their fight against illegal fishing, the Nicaraguan authorities have confiscated boats and arrested their crews, as a result of which the USA have warned all US vessels to avoid Nicaraguan waters, both on the Pacific and Caribbean side. Cruising yachts do not appear to have been affected, but those which intend to stop in Nicaragua should proceed directly to an official port of entry.
- Even after the cessation of hostilities, provisioning in many places is still difficult. Even essential goods are difficult to obtain in some places and this includes fuel. There are simple repair facilities in most ports.
For advice of keeping safe, see the UK FCO website
It is advisable to keep well offshore if transiting past Nicaragua. A small boat on passage from Panama to Belize was set-upon by over 30 pirates in December 2016 at the Media Luna Cays. Read report here.
The Caribbean Safety and Security Net (email@example.com) provides information by anchorage or by island, so sailors can plan their cruising in the Caribbean with an eye to appropriate behaviour and precautions wherever they decide to go. Should you have suffered a boarding, robbery or attack on your yacht or have information about a yachting-related security incident, go to the CSSN homepage and click on the "Report an Incident" icon. The associated form is quick and simple to complete and ensures that all the necessary details are reported. The CSSN is the most comprehensive source of Caribbean security incidents against sailors. Remember, it is every cruiser's responsibility to ensure that incidents are reported. Also cruisers can subscribe to e-mail alerts, follow on facebook and twitter and listen to the SSB Voice Service.
The Caribbean Security Index (CSI) is a a tool to assist cruisers in assessing the probability of crime at ports and anchorages throughout the Caribbean. The CSI provides a means of assessing risk in a given area.
Also be sure to check the noonsite Piracy & Safety Pages
Last updated December 2016.
The climate is humid and hot, December to May being the dry months, while June and October are the wettest. Violent northerly winds occasionally affect both coasts in winter, particularly the Caribbean coast. On this coast the prevailing winds are E or NE, while winds on the west coast are usually light. The coasts are sometimes affected by tropical storms, the season for which lasts from June to October.
For links to free global weather information, forecast services and extreme weather information see the Noonsite Weather Page.