120 Fun Facts About Nicaragua


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120 Fun Facts About Nicaragua

  • The country of Nicaragua is about the same size as the state of New York.
  • The east of the country also has many traits of Afro-Caribbean cuisine, yum!
  • Nicaraguans refer to themselves as Nicas.
  • Los Angeles and Miami are international sister cities of Managua.
  • Tap water in Managua is considered safe to drink. Outside of the capital, bottled water is advised.
  • The city is served by Managua International Airport. The country has three other airports as well.
  • Taxis are readily available but be sure to get one with red license plates with legible numbers.
  • The official language of Nicaragua is Spanish but the native dialects and English Creole are also spoken.
  • Nicaragua celebrates religious freedom by adopting no national religion; it is a secular state. However, 85 percent of the population is Roman Catholic.
  • The Nicaraguan culture has been influenced from its Spanish, British, African and Caribbean roots.
  • Though it is the largest country in Central American, Nicaragua has the lowest density of population.
  • The Nicaraguan people are fairly young: 36 percent of the population is under 14 years of age. Their median age is twenty one.
  • Corn is a staple part of many Nicaraguans' diets, and meals with corn tortillas or cornmeal dough are common. 
  • Nicaragua is home to over six million people. It's one of the most diverse countries in Central America - many people can trace their heritage back to the indigenous groups of the region, and there are also European, African, and Asian heritages represented among Nicaragua's population.
  • The official language of Nicaragua is Spanish. However, Nicaragua has a large community of native peoples, who speak indigenous languages such as Moskito, Rama, and Sumo. English is also spoken in places like Bluefields, which was part of the former British colony on the Moskito coast and shares many cultural traditions with other former British colonies in the Caribbean.
  • The capital of Nicaragua is Managua, which is also the largest city in the country, with a population of over one million people. Other important cities in Nicaragua include Leon, Masaya, and Granada.
  • The official currency in Nicaragua is the Cordoba.
  • 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’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.
  • The eastern, or “Mosquito coast” of Nicaragua receives the most rainfall in the country.
  • 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.
  • The higher elevations of the country have somewhat cooler weather than the tropical climates.
  • 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.
  • Almost three quarters of the Nicaraguan people live on only $2 per day and nearly half live in poverty.
  • You will pay an entry tax of $10 payable in US dollars or C√≥rdobas (cash only). Be prepared to pay a 15 percent sales tax on all your purchases when you shop.
  • The country has the lowest crime rate of any Central American country and is considered to be its safest country in which to travel.
  • The Nicaraguan economy is based mostly on agriculture, tourism, mining, and manufacturing.
  • You can get 27 Nicaraguan Cordobas, their national currency, for one American dollar.
  • 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.
  • Managua lies on a geological fault line that seismologists predict will cause the city to experience a severe earthquake every 50 years or less.
  • A 1972 earthquake killed more than 19,120 Managuans and destroyed 90 percent of the city’s downtown area.
  • The eleven year long Contra war of the 1980s further wrecked the city. Reconstruction began in earnest after the 1990 presidential election.
  • There are around 430 volcanic islands in vast Lake Nicaragua. Nicaragua uses the intense steam from deep inside its volcanoes for geothermal energy.
  • The country is susceptible to both earthquakes and volcanic activity as well as being extremely susceptible to hurricanes.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Traditional arts include ceramics and earthenware still made in pre-Colombian designs, silver working and gold filigree, wood carving and embroidery.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Nicaraguan flag consists of two blue stripes sandwiching a white stripe. The blue stripes represent the two oceans surrounding Nicaragua; the Pacific and the Caribbean. The white stripe stands for peace. In the middle of the flag is the Nicaraguan coat of arms, which features a rainbow stretching over five volcanoes in a representation of the Nicaraguan landscape.
  • The most popular sport in Nicaragua is baseball, and you can find plenty of baseball pitches all across the country. Football is also popular, although Nicaragua's football team has never qualified for the World Cup. Boxing and swimming are other popular sports in the country.
  • For any foodies out there, Nicaragua has some delicious dishes that are often influenced by indigenous traditions. The national dish of Nicaragua is a dish of fried rice with beans and spices known as gallo pinto.
  • During Nicaragua's revolutionary period of 1979-1990, the arts flourished as a way of celebrating Nicaraguan culture and people. Nicaraguan folk music is very popular, and a number of talented painters made artwork that reflected the positive mood of the period. The Nicaraguan poet, Ruben Dario, is seen as one of the fathers of Central American literature and is a national hero in Nicaragua.
  • Like many countries in Central and South America, the history of Nicaragua is influenced by Spanish colonists. It won its independence from Spain in 1821, when it became part of the Federal Republic of Central America.
  • Nicaragua has had some political turmoil in the past, but in the twenty-first century, it has become stable politically. It's also one of the safest countries in Central America, and the people are kind and friendly. With its incredible landscapes and beautiful rainforests, Nicaragua is quickly rising as one of the top tourist destinations in Central America.
  • Nicaragua is home to some incredible geographic features. Lining the country's Pacific coast are over 40 volcanoes,  some of which are still active today.
  • You can find some of the world's most interesting animals in the rainforests of Nicaragua. There are many different species of monkey, including spider monkeys. One of the largest animals found roaming around the Nicaraguan jungles is the majestic jaguar, and there are also species of puma, ocelot, and cougar found hidden in the forests.
  • The country of Nicaragua can also lay claim to the largest lake in Central America. Lake Nicaragua stretches for  8,264 sq km (3,191 m) and has a depth of 26 metres in its' deepest parts. It separates the volcanoes of the southwest from the more central mountain ranges of Nicaragua. Water flows out from Lake Nicaragua to the Caribbean Sea through the San Juan river. Other large lakes in Nicaragua include Lake Managua and Lake Apanas.
  • Nicaragua is a country in Central America. It has borders with two other countries and two bodies of water; Honduras in the northwest, Costa Rica in the south, the Caribbean coast in the east, and the Pacific Ocean in the southwest.
  • Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America by landmass; it stretches for over 130,000 km (50,000 m). That's still pretty small though - it's about the same size as the US state of New York.
  • Nicaragua is pretty far away from the UK -  8,310 km (5,164 m) away to be exact. That means it takes over eleven hours to get there by plane!
  • The name Nicaragua is a combination of two words. A group of indigenous people called the Nicarao were living in the region when the Spanish arrived, and the colonists combined this word with the Spanish word for water, agua, to form the name of the country.
  • Nicaraguan weather is hot and tropical, with average temperatures being 27 degrees Celsius year-round. There are two types of weather in Nicaragua; from May to November is the rainy season, while the rest of the year is the dry season. Many Nicaraguans rely on the rainy season because farming is the largest section of the economy.
  • Some of the biggest tourist attractions in Nicaragua include its miles of beaches, found on both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts. The volcanic islands of Lake Nicaragua are also a major tourist spot, such as Ometepe and Zapatera, which has archaeological remains of pre-colonial civilisations. There's also some beautiful architecture to be found in the cities of Leon and Granada, both of which were influenced by colonial Spanish buildings.
  • One quirky fact about Nicaragua is that it's pretty easy to get lost! There are no street names in Nicaraguan towns and cities; instead, people give directions based on local landmarks. Pretty easy for a local, but if you're a tourist you might need to get some help to find where you need to go. Make sure to bring an English-Spanish dictionary!
  • In the waters in and around Nicaragua, you can find a range of sea turtle species and over 600 different species of fish.
  • Around half of the Nicaraguan people practice the Roman Catholic religion, but there are also many Protestants and other religious groups.
  • The San Cristobal volcano is the largest volcano in Nicaragua, standing at an impressive 1,745 m (5,725 ft). It's still active and regularly has small explosions!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 guerrillas against the Sandinista through much of the 1980s.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The national dish of Nicaragua is “Gallo pinto” (spotted rooster): a combination of white rice and small cooked red beans, often eaten for breakfast.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Bosawas Biosphere Reserves protects 12 different kinds of venomous snakes in its cloud forest.
  • Baseball is the national sport and many professional baseball leagues exist. They enjoy both playing and watching baseball. Soccer (football) comes in second.
  • 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.
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