Interesting facts about Nicaragua

nicaragua flag

Nicaragua, set between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, is a Central American nation known for its dramatic terrain of lakes, volcanoes and beaches.

The official name of the country is the Republic of Nicaragua.

Nicaragua is bordered by Honduras to the north, the Caribbean Sea to the east, Costa Rica to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the west.

The official language is Spanish.

As of 1 January 2016, the population of Nicaragua was estimated to be 6,118,432 people.

Nicaragua covers a total area of 130,370 square kilometers (119,990 square kilometers of which is land area). It is the largest country in Central America.

Managua is the capital and largest city of Nicaragua. Located on the southwestern shore of Lake Managua, the city was declared the national capital in 1852.


Nicaragua is mountainous in the west, with fertile valleys. Two big lakes, Nicaragua and Managua, are connected by the Tipitapa River. The Pacific coast is volcanic and very fertile. The swampy Caribbean coast is aptly called the “Mosquito Coast.”

Mogotón is a mountain on the border of Nicaragua and Honduras. It rises 2,107 meters (6,913 feet) above sea level and is the highest point in Nicaragua.


Nicaragua has a coastline length of 910 kilometers (565 miles) most of which lies on the Caribbean.

Nicaragua has all kinds of beaches imaginable, from dark sand to white sand to virgin and wild beaches with an abundance of wildlife refuges.

San Juan del Sur is the most popular beach in the country. The beach is uniquely located in a splendid crescent-shaped bay. Over the years it has become highly visited by both tourists and locals, making a bustling commercial scene gradually arise.

san juan del sur

Nicaragua has 78 protected areas that cover 22,422 square kilometers (8,657 square miles), about 17.3% of the nations landmass.

Masaya Volcano National Park is Nicaragua’s first and largest national park. The park comprises an area of 54 square kilometers (21 square miles) and includes two volcanoes and five craters.

masaya volcano national park

Lake Nicaragua with an area of 8,264 square kilometers (3,191 square miles) is the largest lake in Central America, the 19th largest lake in the world (by area) and the 9th largest in the Americas.

lake nicaragua

Nicaragua has 2 UNESCO world heritage sites.

León Viejo is one of the oldest Spanish colonial settlements in the Americas. It did not develop and so its ruins are outstanding testimony to the social and economic structures of the Spanish Empire in the 16th century. León Viejo is UNESCO World Heritage Site.

león viejo

The Cathedral of León is a significantly important and historic landmark in Nicaragua. The Cathedral’s construction lasted between 1747 and 1814 and was consecrated by Pope Pius IX in 1860. Cathedral has maintained the status of being the largest cathedral in Central America and one of the best known in the Americas due to its distinct architecture and special cultural importance. The Cathedral of León is UNESCO World Heritage Site.

cathedral of león

Granada is the oldest colonial city in Nicaragua. Its colonial buildings in pastel shades, interesting history and relative safety make it an important tourism destination.


The earliest settlers were probably related to the Maya and Aztec people of Mexico. One of the largest groups of early people was the Nicarao. Spain ruled Nicaragua and many countries in Central and South America during the 16th century until the early 19th century. Nicaragua gained its independence from Spain in 1821 and became part of the Mexican empire for several years. Then it joined a group of nearby countries with a central government in Guatemala City called Provinces of Central America. Nicaragua split from the group in 1838 and became fully independent.

Nicaraguan cuisine includes a mixture of the indigenous Miskito people, Spanish cuisine and Creole cuisine. Much of Nicaraguan food is based on corn. Cassava, beans and chili pepper are also widely used as ingredients in different Nicaraguan dishes. While the Pacific coast’s main staple revolves around local fruits and corn, the Caribbean coast’s cuisine makes use of seafood and coconut.

nicaragua food

The national sport of Nicaragua is baseball, which is even more popular than football!

Lake Managua is the only freshwater lake where sharks live. Bull sharks enter the lake by traveling up the Rio San Juan river from the Atlantic Ocean. The sharks can adapt to fresh water, but they are now rarely found in the lake.

The name Nicaragua comes from the words nicarao and agua. Nicarao Indians were the first Indian tribes to occupy Lake Nicaragua, and the word agua means water in Spanish. When the Spaniards arrived in the country in the 1500s, they named it after the people they met and the vast amount of water in and around the country.

Nicaragua is among the poorest countries in the Americas.

Nicaragua’s economy is focused primarily on the agricultural sector. Their main crops are coffee, bananas, sugarcane, cotton, rice, corn, and sesame.

The local people call themselves Nicas, but most outsiders refer the people as Nicaraguans.