55 Interesting Facts About Nicaragua

Last updated on November 12th, 2017

About Nicaragua’s capital city, Managua

#26. Nicaragua has a population of around six million people and almost one million of them live in its capital city of Managua. It is also the country’s third largest city after Granada and Leon.

#27. Managua lies on a geological fault line that seismologists predict will cause the city to experience a severe earthquake every 50 years or less.

#28. A 1972 earthquake killed more than 19,120 Managuans and destroyed 90 percent of the city’s downtown area.

#29. The eleven year long Contra war of the 1980s further wrecked the city. Reconstruction began in earnest after the 1990 presidential election.

#30. Category Five Hurricane Mitch struck in 1998, killing over 3,000 and displacing over two million people. Learn more about hurricanes with National Hurricane Center.

#31. Managua replaced Leon as the capital in 1858 because Leon and Granada couldn’t stop bickering viciously about which of their cities should be the country’s capital. Neutral Managua was chosen instead.

#32. Tap water in Managua is considered safe to drink. Outside of the capital, bottled water is advised.

#33. The city is served by Managua International Airport. The country has three other airports as well.

#34. Taxis are readily available but be sure to get one with red license plates with legible numbers.

#35. Los Angeles and Miami are international sister cities of Managua.

Also read: Interesting facts about Paraguay

Facts about Nicaragua’s culture and cuisine

#36. Nicaraguans refer to themselves as Nicas.

#37. The official language of Nicaragua is Spanish but the native dialects and English Creole are also spoken.

#38. Nicaragua celebrates religious freedom by adopting no national religion; it is a secular state. However, 85 percent of the population is Roman Catholic.

#39. The Nicaraguan culture has been influenced from its Spanish, British, African and Caribbean roots.

#40. Though it is the largest country in Central American, Nicaragua has the lowest density of population.

#41. The Nicaraguan people are fairly young: 36 percent of the population is under 14 years of age. Their median age is twenty one.

#42. Most people are mestizos(Spanish and natives combined). The British brought African slaves to Nicaragua to work on plantations in the 1600s. Many Nicaraguans are their descendants as well.

#43. The Nicaraguans are a strong and resilient people who place great value on family and family life. They have shown a great deal of perseverance through times of great adversity and have tremendous national pride.

#44. The national dish of Nicaragua is “Gallo pinto” (spotted rooster): a combination of white rice and small cooked red beans, often eaten for breakfast.

#45. Corn is the Nicaraguan’s staple food. Nacatamales are corn flour dumplings filled with veggies and cooked wrapped inside plantain leaves. Corn is also used to make many different traditional drinks.

#46. Nicaragua is the birthplace of Ruben Dario, a notable poet who was extremely influential in the 1900s Latin America poetry community and is world renown.

#47. Bianca Jagger, Rolling Stone singer Mick Jagger’s ex-wife, is a Nicaraguan native who is an environmental and social activist and represents Amnesty International.

#48. Nicaragua is famous for folk dances, especially its “Palo de Mayo”. Music combines guitar and wooden marimba or flutes and drums. Dancing is a part of all holidays.

#49. Traditional arts include ceramics and earthenware still made in pre-Colombian designs, silver working and gold filigree, wood carving and embroidery.

#50. Independence Day is celebrated throughout the month of September and not just for a day. The Festival of Santa Domingo is in August and the Alegria por la Vida (Happiness for Life) Festival takes place in March.

You may like: Interesting facts about Bolivia

Nicaragua facts for kids

#51. Lake Nicaragua is home to the only freshwater sharks in the world, the bull sharks. They swim up the Rip San Juan from the Atlantic Ocean and once in the lake, adapt themselves to live in fresh water. Now rarely found in the lake, none have been spotted in years.

#52. The Bosawas Biosphere Reserves protects 12 different kinds of venomous snakes in its cloud forest.

#53. Baseball is the national sport and many professional baseball leagues exists. They enjoy both playing and watching baseball. Soccer (football) comes in second.

#54. The Managuans don’t name their streets. How do they deliver mail? Your address is given by whatever major landmarks you happen to live near (such as three blocks north of the Flower Corner). Sometimes the names of the landmarks change, so it can get very confusing.

#55. The country of Nicaragua is about the same size as the state of New York.

Nicaragua is a beautiful country with wonderful rainforests, mountains, lakes and both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Tourism increases each year and after reading these interesting facts about Nicaragua you can begin to understand why. Research this fascinating country on your own and plan a trip to see it for yourself.

Nicaragua – country at a glance

Independence15 September 1821 (from Spain)
Capital CityManagua
(12°9′N 86°16′W)
Largest CityManagua
(12°9′N 86°16′W)
Total area130,370 sq km
Population5,966,798 (July 2016 est.)
DemonymNicaraguan
National anthem"Salve a ti, Nicaragua" (Hail to Thee, Nicaragua)
Official LanguageSpanish
Government typePresidential Republic
PresidentDaniel Ortega (FSLN)
Vice-PresidentRosario Murillo
BordersCosta Rica and Honduras
CurrencyCórdoba (NIO)
ReligionRoman Catholicism
Life expectancy
73.2 Years (2016)
(The greatest fully authenticated age to which any human has ever lived is 122 years 164 days by Jeanne Louise Calment from France.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$5,300 (2016 est.)
Industriesfood processing, chemicals, machinery and metal products, knit and woven apparel, petroleum refining and distribution, beverages, footwear, wood, electric wire harness manufacturing, mining
Exports$4.492 billion (2015 est.)
coffee, beef, gold, sugar, peanuts, shrimp and lobster, tobacco, cigars, automobile wiring harnesses, textiles, apparel, cotton
Imports$5.902 billion (2015 est.)
consumer goods, machinery and equipment, raw materials, petroleum products
Climatetropical in lowlands, cooler in highlands
Terrainextensive Atlantic coastal plains rising to central interior mountains; narrow Pacific coastal plain interrupted by volcanoes
Natural resourcesgold, silver, copper, tungsten, lead, zinc, timber, fish
Agricultural land42.2%
Birth rate17.9 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate5.1 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Sex ratio0.95 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
National symbolturquoise-browed motmot (bird)
National colorsblue, white
Time ZoneCST (UTC−6)
Internet country code.ni
Calling Code+505
Drives on theRight
Data sourcesCIA, Wikipedia
Table last updatedMay 26, 2017