Nicaragua Facts: 55 Interesting Facts About Nicaragua

Nicaragua is a beautiful tropical country with amazing landscapes and friendly people. Its warm climate and biodiversity are enough to lure visits from all over the world. With these interesting facts about Nicaragua; let’s learn more about its culture, history, people, economy, geography, cuisines, capital city, map, poverty and more…

Interesting facts about Nicaragua’s Geography and Climate

Fact 1. Nicaragua consists of three definite geographical regions:  the Atlantic Lowlands, the North-Central Highlands and the Pacific Lowlands and the latter is the most populous region of the country.

Fact 2. Central America’s largest lake is Lake Nicaragua, which provides the water supply for much of Nicaragua and is the country’s largest tourist attraction. This lake is enormous and contains the largest lake island in the world.

Fact 3. Nicaragua’s famous Dual Volcano is the only one in the world that is fed by two separate flows of magma. This makes it possible for it to erupt from two types of magma channels.

Fact 4. There are around 430 volcanic islands in vast Lake Nicaragua. Nicaragua uses the intense steam from deep inside its volcanoes for geothermal energy.

Fact 5. The country is susceptible to both earthquakes and volcanic activity as well as being extremely susceptible to hurricanes.

Fact 6. Nicaragua has declared 70 areas as protected regions of water and land in order to protect their endangered species. These include different species of monkeys, boa constrictors, jaguars, sloths, green turtles and sea turtles.

Nicaragua on map with neighboring countries
Nicaragua on map with neighboring countries

Fact 7. Nicaragua’s wettest months are usually from June to October and its driest season from December through May. The most popular time to come visit is usually November.

Fact 8. The eastern, or “Mosquito coast” of Nicaragua receives the most rainfall in the country.

Fact 9. Almost all the tiny islands in the Atlantic off the coast of Granada, Nicaragua are for sale. Most prices range in the millions of dollars.

Fact 10. The higher elevations of the country have somewhat cooler weather than the tropical climates.

Related: Interesting facts about Costa Rica

Facts about Nicaragua’s History

Fact 11. The earliest people are assumed to have been related to Mexico’s Aztec and Mayan people of Mexico. The Nicarao was one of the largest groups of early natives.

Fact 12. When the colonial Spanish came to the country under de Cordoba in the 1500s, they named it after these Nicarao Indians plus all the vast amounts of water the country had (agua is the Spanish word for water).

Fact 13. The Ruins of Leon Viejo in Nicaragua is the oldest city in all of Central America. It is over 1500 years old and is still occupied today. It was founded by the early Spanish settlers.

Fact 14. Britain came to the Caribbean coast from Jamaica and some other islands in the early 1800s and settled on the eastern coast but gradually ceded control back to Nicaragua during the following decades.

Fact 15. After the successful Mexican Revolution from Spain on September 15, 1821, Nicaragua then won its independence from Spain as well. September 15 is their national Independence Day holiday in Nicaragua.

Fact 16. Did you know Nicaragua had an American president? In 1856 William Walker from Tennessee seized control and declared himself to be Nicaragua’s President. He wanted to turn it into a slave state for the United States. The following year the Nicaraguan people kicked him out, aided by Cornelius Vanderbilt.

Fact 17. When the U. S. Marines occupied the country in the 1920s and 30s, August Cesar Sandino led their Nicaraguan resistance. Today he is one of their national heroes and the Sandinista political party is named for him.

Fact 18. Violent opposition to government corruption lead to civil war in the late 1970s and the Sandinista guerrillas rose to power. Their support of rebels in El Salvador lead the U. S. to sponsor contra guerillas against the Sandinista through much of the 1980s.

Fact 19. Nicaragua elected–Violeta Chamorro–the first democratic woman president of any democracy in the world in 1990. She was the first female president of any Central American country and served until 1997.

Fact 20. Former Sandinista President Daniel Ortega lost three consecutive elections before finally being elected President in 2006 and reelected four years later. He is Nicaragua’s current President.

 Related: 40 Interesting facts about Uruguay

Nicaragua’s Economy

Fact 21. Almost three quarters of the Nicaraguan people live on only $2 per day and nearly half live in poverty.

Fact 22. You will pay an entry tax of $10 payable in US dollars or Córdobas (cash only). Be prepared to pay a 15 percent sales tax on all your purchases when you shop.

Fact 23. The country has the lowest crime rate of any Central American country and is considered to be its safest country in which to travel.

Fact 24. The Nicaraguan economy is based mostly on agriculture, tourism, mining and manufacturing.

Fact 25. You can get 27 Nicaraguan Cordobas, their national currency, for one American dollar.

Nicaragua’s Capital City, Managua

Fact 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.

Fact 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.

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

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

Fact 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.

Fact 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.

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

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

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

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

Also read: Interesting facts about Paraguay

Facts about Nicaragua’s Culture and Cuisine

Fact 36. Nicaraguans refer to themselves as Nicas.

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

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

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

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

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

Fact 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.

Fact 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.

Fact 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.

Fact 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.

Fact 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.

Fact 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.

Fact 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.

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

Fact 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

Flag of Nicaragua
Flag of Nicaragua: three equal horizontal bands of blue (top), white, and blue with the national coat of arms centered in the white band; the coat of arms features a triangle encircled by the words REPUBLICA DE NICARAGUA on the top and AMERICA CENTRAL on the bottom; the banner is based on the former blue-white-blue flag of the Federal Republic of Central America; the blue bands symbolize the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, while the white band represents the land between the two bodies of water (Note: similar to the flag of El Salvador, which features a round emblem encircled by the words REPUBLICA DE EL SALVADOR EN LA AMERICA CENTRAL centered in the white band; also similar to the flag of Honduras, which has five blue stars arranged in an X pattern centered in the white band.) Source – CIA

Fact 51. Lake Nicaragua is home to the only fresh water 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.

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

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

Fact 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.

Fact 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 facts

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.)
Official LanguageSpanish
Government typePresidential Republic
BordersCosta Rica and Honduras
CurrencyCórdoba (NIO)
ReligionRoman Catholicism
Life expectancy
73.2 Years (2012)
(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)$5,000 (2015 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.)
Independence15 September 1821 (from Spain)
National symbolturquoise-browed motmot (bird)
National colorsblue, white
National anthem"Salve a ti, Nicaragua" (Hail to Thee, Nicaragua)
Time ZoneCST (UTC−6)
Internet country
Calling Code+505
Drives on theRight



  1. Whoever wrote this, please have a little decency to actually NAME the first female President in the WORLD amongst the sea of men that you specifically call out by name. Seriously, a shout out to Cornelius Vanderbilt who “assisted” in getting William Walker out? but you can’t even put a name to the woman who made history by being the first democratically elected female President. Disgusting. Please fix it.

  2. I enjoyed reading about these facts, but there are a couple of omissions/updates. For one, certainly there are more than three airport in Nicaragua. There are two international airports, one in the Tola, Rivas area that is brand-new called the Costa Esmeralda airport and of course the Managua airport, aka Augusto C. Sandino International airport. There are also airports in Ometepe Island, Bluefields, Corn Island, Siuna, Greytown, and probably a couple of others that are served by La Costeña airline on domestic routes.
    If you’re planning a visit to Nicaragua, let me know and I can come pick you up!

    Cheers, Mike @ El Portón Verde, Managua