(Pronounced: Nee-ka-Ra-Gwa, Meaning: Water of Nicarao)
Nicaragua is the largest and least densely populated country in Central America At 130,370 square kilometers, Nicaragua is the 97th largest country (out of 251) according to the CIA Factbook. It ranks between Greece (#96) and North Korea (#98) Nicaragua has a population of approx 5.5 Million people.
The country is divided into 15 sections call Departamentos (provinces) and 2 indigenous regions. (RAAS and RAAN)
The national coat of arms: The five volcanoes stand for the five Central American countries, the rainbow for peace and the Phrygia n cap for freedom.
The country is bordered by Honduras to the north, the Caribbean to the east, Costa Rica to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Geophysically, Nicaragua is surrounded by the Caribbean Plate, an oceanic tectonic plate underlying Central America and the Cocos Plate.
Nicaragua gained independence from Spain after the Mexican revolution ended in September 15, 1821. Nicaragua formally became the Republic of Nicaragua in 1838.
Lake Nicaragua and the River San Juan are home to the only known Freshwater Sharks in the world!
If you speak Spanish, you will immediately note that in Nicaragua they use “vos” instead of “tu”.
Nicaraguans believe you shouldn’t bathe while you’re sweating (like after being outside when it’s hot or exercising) because it will make you sick.
Nicaragua is home to almost 700 different species of birds.
Nicaragua borders Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south.
This country is one of the safest travel destinations in Central America, recording the lowest homicides in the region year after year.
The majority of Nicaraguans (72%) are Roman Catholic, 16% are Evengelical Christians, and the remainder are a mixture of other religions and atheists.
The 2010/2011 Season Of the Television series SURVIVOR was filmed in Nicaragua and averaged 14 million viewers weekly.
Pinolillo – is a national and popular drink made of ground toasted corn and cacao.
Nicaragua is the only country in the world where you can do “Volcano Boarding” Climb up a 400 meter active volcano,and slide down it’s 45 degrees slope. (Volcano Ciero Negro)
There are very few street names in the Nicaraguan address system.
Nicaragua is home to over a 100 species of Orchids.
The current ruling political party called the Sandinistas, derived their name from Augusto Nicolás Calderón Sandino who was
Augusto Nicolás Calderón Sandino, (May 18, 1895 – February 21, 1934) was a Nicaraguan revolutionary and was unanimously named a “national hero” in 2010 by the nation’s congress.
Nicaragua has the most extensive cuisine in Central America. The cuisine, is a Latin creole mix of indigenous and Spanish dishes and ingredients. Corn, beans, plantains, yuca and beef are popular ingredients. Seafood is common along the Pacific and Caribbean coast.
León, named after the same city in Spain, is the nation’s second largest city and has more colonial churches and cathedrals per capita than any other city in Nicaragua. It is also the second largest city and considered the political and intellectual center of the nation.
Nicaragua has the highest percentage of forest coverage of any of the Central American countries, combined with the lowest population density.
There are 16 justices in the Supreme Court of Nicaragua and are elected to 5 year terms by the national assembly.
Nicaragua is among the top ten countries for the best waves and beaches for surfing in the world!Its also ranked in the top five surf destinations in the world and in July 2012 & 2013 hosted surfing world championships.
The myth exists throughout Nicaragua of The white Cadejo, a big, white dog that accompanies drunk men and people that walk late at night to their homes. The myth says that it is a good spirit because the white Cadejo accompanies the person to his or her home and then leaves. With the first rays of the sunrise the Cadejo walks to the horizon and disappears until the next night to help someone else.
The New York Times rated Nicaragua third out of 46 places to visit (2013)
Current president Daniel Ortega was imprisoned in 1967 for taking part in robbing a branch of the Bank Of America while brandishing a machine gun. He was Released in 1974 along with other Sandinista prisoners
Nicaragua has 19 Volcanos. 8 Are active
Nicaragua has 47 lagoons and 61 mountains higher than 1,000 meters (300 feet).
The Sacuanjoche is the national Flower of Nicaragua.
Levi’s Jeans and BMW are a few of the Global names of companies with manufacturing facilities in Nicaragua.
Gallopinto is Nicaragua’s national rice dish.
The Mercado Oriental located in Managua, is the largest Flea market in Central America.
Luis Enrique, world famous Salsa singer is Nicaraguan.
Lake Nicaragua is the largest freshwater lake in Central America.
Cheslor Cuthbert is from Corn Islands and is a Nicaraguan third baseman for the Kansas City Royals of Major League Baseball (MLB). He is one of only five active players from Nicaragua who reached the major leagues, according to baseball-almanac.com.
*Nicaragua is larger then Ireland and Portugal put together.
The Guardabarranco is the national bird.
Nicaragua has 215 miles of Pacific coast and 330 miles of Atlantic coast.
Nicaragua had the first elected woman president of any central American country. Violeta Chamorro served from 1991 – 1997. She was also the first democratic female president of any democratic country in the world.
Blessed with a tropical climate, there is a huge variety of fruits and vegetables available throughout the year. The vegetables are normally very fresh and can be found in all of the markets and supermarkets throughout the country.
The name Nicaragua comes from a combination of two words, “nicarao” and “agua“. The Nicarao are the Indian tribes that occupied the shores of Lake Nicaragua when the Spaniards arrived in the 1500’s. “Agua” is the Spanish word for water.
Some of the finest handmade cigars in the world are made in Central America. Many cigar makers fled Cuba during the revolution, with tobacco leaf seeds and re-started their businesses here. The northern little town of Esteli Nicaragua is now home to many of them.
*Most Nicaraguan coffee is used for blends. There are a few notable coffees and they come from the Matagalpa, Jinotega and Nuevo Segovia regions. The best Nicaraguan coffees are classified as “Central Estrictamente Altura“. These coffees are known for their fragrance and acidity.
*The Augusto César Sandino Airport terminal in Managua, was recognized as one of the safest in Latin America by the Organization of International Civil Aviation (OACI, for its acronym in Spanish).
Nicaraguan paper currency come in different sizes according to their denomination. The official currency is called the Cordoba , named after the Spanish conquistador Francisco Hernandez de Cordoba
Ruben Dario is a Nicaraguan poet and national hero who helped initiate the modernismo (Spanish modernism) movement in literature.
Carlos Fonseca Amador (June 23, 1936 – November 8, 1976) was a Nicaraguan teacher and librarian who founded the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN). Fonseca was later killed in the mountains of Nicaragua, three years before the FSLN took power.
*According to U.S. News and World Report Nicaragua has the lowest crime rate in Central America.
On Ometepe Island students and scientists from all over the world come to study the unique flora and fauna of the area.
Nicaragua is the largest producer of Pitahaya (Dragon Fruit) in Central America, growing more than 6,160 tons of the fruit each year, according to government statistics.
“Pitaya cross section ed2” by SMasters – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –
*In 1983, Pope John Paul II visited Nicaragua.
*86 of the 88 constellations in the sky can be seen in Nicaragua.
Managua, is the capital and is its largest city, with a population of around 1 million people.
*In 1856 William Walker, an American explorer declared himself President of Nicaragua and tried to turn Nicaragua into a slave state for the United States. Walker was kicked out of the country in 1857 by Nicaraguans and fellow American Cornelius Vanderbilt.
*Philanthropist Bianca Jagger, married to Mick Jagger from 1971-79, is Nicaraguan.