Nicaragua Quick Facts
Currency: Córdoba (NIO)
Country Ph Code: +505
Time Zone: UTC−6 (CST)
Population: 6,267,237 by 2019 (Approx)
Language: Spanish, English, Miskito, Miskito Coastal Creole
Airport: Augusto Cesar Sandino International Airport with Code
Airport Code: MGA
President: Daniel Ortega
According to scholars, the word Nicaragua comes from the Nahualt “nic-atl-nahuac”, which would be translated “here by the lake”, or “nic-Anahuac” meaning “Aqui el Anahuac”, as reminiscent of the old “Teotihuacán” where they came from.
The Country, named after the Nicarao tribe and Agua, the Spanish word for water referring to the two major lakes found within Nicaragua. It has many popular places to visit and lots of things to do.
The country has about 6.2 million people today and due to diaspora about one out of every six Nicaraguans in the world lives either in the USA or Costa Rica.
Spanish is the official language however people are known for having their own distinct way of talking and slang. Daniel Ortega is the President of Nicaragua. Know more details below in this Nicaragua Travel Guide about its Culture, People, attractions, hotels, things to do, weather, etc.
National Anthem of Nicaragua
¡Salve a ti, Nicaragua! En tu suelo ya no ruge la voz del cañón ni se tiñe con sangre de hermanos tu glorioso pendón bicolor. Brille hermosa la paz en tu cielo nada empañe tu gloria inmortal que el trabajo es tu digno laurel y el honor es tu enseña triunfal.
The country is located in Central America, a bicoastal nation with coasts on both the Pacific and the Caribbean Sea.
They are located just below Honduras and above Costa Rica and with Costa Rica, they really did not want them to get even the slightest touch of Nicaragua Lake, at its narrowest point, the corridor is less than 2 miles wide from the border.
And not only that but it gets even weirder with Costa Rica along the border with the Caribbean.
They take some strange twists, cut through a peninsula, claimed the entire Portillos Lagoon completely enslaved by Costa Rica.
The country is divided into 15 departments, 2 autonomous regions with the capital and largest city Managua, located right under Lake Managua or Xolotlan and it contains the country’s largest airport, Managua’s Augusto Cesar Sandino International.
The second and third largest cities are León and Masaya. The majority of the country at about 89% lives along the southwestern portion of the country.
Here, most major roads and avenues of transport lie. Otherwise, only one main highway, number 5 connects to the Eastern Caribbean coast and it ends in Puerto Cabezas.
And in the southwest, the Port of Corinto is the largest seaport that handles most shipments. Most of Nicaragua’s west side has an uninterrupted coast, whereas the east side has all the main offshore islands.
The largest ones being the Cayos Miskitos Biological Reserve and the Corn Islands.
This entire island called Isla Calero is disputed and it has a crazy story behind it.
Nicaragua address system is ridiculously confusing. They don’t have street names or postal codes. So in order to find a place or send mail, they go by direction and distance from landmarks. And half of the time the landmarks don’t even exist anymore so they have to write “where the landmark used to be”.
Central America is known for many things. The vibrant traditions, the confusing politics, And of course the landscape.
The country is located on the eastern part of the Ring of Fire right at the convergence of the North American Plate and the Cocos Plate were the middle American trench off the coast lies.
This is essentially what gives Nicaragua its volcanic belt. About 19 of which are active mostly dotting the coast on the southwest side the largest one being San Cristobal.
Just a skip away you find the largest lakes
Lake Managua (Lake Xolotlan) and a big one
Lake Nicaragua (Cocibolca).
It is the largest lake not only in Nicaragua but all of Central America.
Volcanoes dot each one of these lakes. You have ApoYeque and Momotombo, Managua and the most famous landmark almost Omptepe island made of two volcanoes Concepción and Maderas in the middle of Lake Nicaragua all of which are active to some degree.
The weird thing is even though the lake is less than 10 miles from the coast It actually drains into the Caribbean via the San Juan River that creates part of the border with Costa Rica.
Nonetheless, the Cocos River up north on the border with Honduras is the longest river of the country.
Honduras, Rio Grande de Matagalpa is the longest completely within the country.
The country is divided into three physical regions
- The Pacific lowland where the volcanic cool stuff is in
- The north-central highlands where the tallest Peak Mobile tone lies
- The Caribbean lowlands which are made up of primarily dense rainforest.
On the Caribbean coast, You have swampy wetlands that receive the most rainfall out of anywhere else in the country at over 250 inches.
Nicaragua’s land is lush and rich But the sad reality is these resources don’t exactly quite reflect the fragile state of their economic output.
The world Energy Council was recently ranked Nicaragua as the country with the highest geothermal energy potential. As over ten percent of their energy has already generated through heat from the volcanoes with potential for more.
Quality of Life
They ranked as the second poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere after Haiti in terms of nominal GDP and GDP per capita around 40% of people in Nicaragua live off less than a dollar a day and about 15% of GDP is Subsisted by remittance money and sent from a family member abroad.
They are currently members of the IMF’s heavily indebted poor countries Initiative that assists an international relief.
They’re also the nation with the lowest percentage of electricity generation in Central America.
Many private homes was a pen on oil for generators Which also led to an energy crisis in? 2006.
Interestingly enough the energy they do produce in the private sector is pretty clean.
Wildlife is abundant here, of course, you have hundreds of different mammals such as primates bats, felines like the Jaguar.
Hundreds of different birds including the national bird of Nicaragua – the turquoise brown motmot.
Popular Food and Dishes of Nicaragua
Some dishes might include things like
- Indio Viejo
- Rondon (Rundown)
- Chancho con Yuca
- Naca Tamal
- Vaho / Baho
- Sopa De Mondongo
- Pinolillo Drink
Culture and People of Nicaragua
Nicaraguans love being Nicaraguan. In fact, they have a saying I am totally penal arrow Nicaraguan by the grace of God.
The country is primarily made up of Mestizos at around 69 percent whereas the white population Mostly with Spanish heritage makes of about 17 percent the black community makes about 9 percent and the remainder are mostly made up of various Indigenous Amerind groups.
Much of it is due to their history of colonization and various powers getting Involved. Everything from Christopher Columbus to French pirates to this crazy American dude.
For one Nicaragua has the largest community of people of African descent in Central America. Most of whom live on the East Caribbean coast especially in the town of blue fields.
As mentioned in the Honduras episode the majority were actually brought over by the British back when they had colonized what back then was called the Mosquito Coast.
Named after the Mosquito tribe that lived there and today the Garifuna community Lives on.
Today the majority of them actually speak English or English Creole as their first language and they have a similar dialect Jamaican
Otherwise, they’re around 20 men indigenous communities found within Nicaragua.
Most of whom are related to the larger Aztec and Maya peoples that historically inhabited the Mesoamerican subcontinent like the Rama Mosquito and sumo tribes.
Religion has played a crucial role in the development of Nicaraguan culture. Did Nicaraguans are known for having a colorful mixture of variables that make them who they are
Like the traditional mesta saw a Costume that fuses Spanish and indigenous textures worn during celebrations.
Nicaragua is loaded with full color and legends. They’re often called the Latin country with the most poets per capita.
Some folklore stories are fun and happy others creepy and scary a lot of them contain ghosts women for some reason
Unique Culture of Nicaragua as Elba win say it’s honored on the UNESCO intangible heritage list
This performance tells legends and folklore done with masks and costumes are usually at the feast of san Sebastian the mask also make great souvenirs
Then you have the Levite area or policeman a celebration similar to Halloween But done to honor the assumption of the Virgin Mary on the 7th of December.
The east coast of Nicaragua Culture within the black community Celebrates a maple festival every May with music and dancing
The prima Vista art style gained popularity in the 70s and today is still prevalent.
Sports in Nicaragua
Nicaragua also sticks out as one of the few Latin countries that prefer to play baseball instead of soccer. Many Nicaraguans have moved on to play for the MLB including national hero Dennis Martinez- the first Nicaraguan to play in the majors.
Cities of Nicaragua
From the arrival of the first Spaniards, Nicaragua has demonstrated its hospital vocation. The story goes that in September 1502, the Admiral’s ships were shaken by a terrible storm whose descent seemed to be the wreck.
However, the storm stopped when turning on a cape, and time was completely transformed. Grateful the Admiral called “Thank God” to that end that still retains that name, and that became the point of reference of the national territory, and unmistakable sign of the cordiality that characterizes the inhabitants of our country.
Many surprises awaited the first conquerors who entered the newly discovered territory: a cultured people who descended from the Nahuas; Dozens of lagoons of volcanic origin, large rivers and the possibility of establishing communication between both oceans via the wild and mighty San Juan River and Lake Cocibolca, called “Mar Dulce” for its 8,000 square kilometers of extension.
Gil González Dávila and Cacique Nicarao, lord of the Itsmo de Rivas, were the protagonists of a transcendental dialogue that demonstrated to Spanish the level of knowledge that men had to whom he would then call Nicaraguan or Niquiranos, name that he would assign by extension to other inhabitants of the country, which began to be called Nicaragua.
Architecture / Museum / University
The architectural complex composed of the ruins of the old cathedral, the National Palace, the Central Park, the Ruben Darío National Bard Monument, the Rubén Darío National Theater, along with the nearby Palacio de Comunicaciones, the new boardwalk – which stands a short distance from where the previous one was,
Its very new Park-Monument to the victims of earthquakes in 1931 and 1972 as well as the square that commemorates Doctor Pedro Joaquin Chamorro “Martyr of Public Liberties” and the National Stadium, is what is known as the old center of the capital destroyed by the earthquake of 1931 and rebuilt and destroyed again by the last earthquake in 1972. Due to its high seismicity, and the political and economic center of the city was never completely rebuilt.
A little south of the Old Center and a short distance from the gigantic Recreational Children’s Park “Luis Alfonso Velásquez Flores”, is the seat of political power.
In fact, in a few radio blocks, the buildings that house the Presidency of the Republic, the National Assembly (Parliament), the Ministry of Finance, the portentous building of the former Bank of America, the tallest building in the country, stand.
Managua also has two modern and comfortable convention centers: the “Olof Palme” and the “Cesar Augusto Silva” that have already served as venues for meetings, seminars, meetings and workshops of regional, Latin American, Latin American and global scope.
Several universities and numerous libraries that complement each other in the National Museum founded in 1897, next to the School of Music and Fine Arts.
A little further on is the Museum of Modern Art and the one that contains the Acahualinca Footprints, which shows the presence of human beings in this part of the country in age as old as 8,000 years ago. Next, to its lake, the capital has six other lagoons, five of them of volcanic origin.
Nicaragua Tourism and Attractions
Nicaragua is the Central American country with the greatest extent of protected areas and biological reserves, making clear the concern of Nicaraguans to preserve their natural environment, so rich in flora and fauna.
The imposing forests and centuries-old trees of Bosawás – a forest reserve located in the north-eastern part of the country – complement the coveted pine trees that grow in the northern part of the country, whose seeds are exported.
The country used to have a rail network, but it was kind of suspended in 2001. If you decide to visit some places of interest then following are the main attractions of Nicaragua:
- National Museum,
- The lay owned ruins and Lyon cathedral
- The beautiful historic city of Granada.
- The Masaya crafts market
- the cliff carvings of El Tisey
- The revolution museum
- Cigar factories & tours
- Zapatera Petroglyphs and Monoliths
- Apoyo Lagoon
- Matagalpa chocolat factory & tour
- A cool chocolate spa where you can get a chocolate massage.
- A Casita volcano Memorial
- San Jacinto mud pools
- Cayos Mistkitos Stilt houses
- The beautiful city of Esteli and its waterfalls
- Cerro negro
Cerro Negreo is the youngest volcano in Central America and that The thing if there’s one iconic symbol that summarizes the power of Nicaragua it would be the volcano.
How to Reach Nicaragua / Managua
The capital of the country can be reached by air, water, and land. Of course, the airway is still the most comfortable and fastest way to get to Managua, “La Novia del Xolotlá”.
New airlines for Nicaragua (Nica, Aeroflot, American, Aviateca, Continental, Copa, Iberia, Lacsa and Sahsa) land at the Managua International Airport (Augusto Cesar Sandino International Airport with Code MGA), located 11 km from the city center.
Another 8 Airlines (Aerolineas Argentinas, Aeroperu, Air France, British Airways, KLM, Lufthansa, Ladeco, SAM and Varig) have representations in Nicaragua.
Car rental companies can assist you in the facilities of the air terminal and tourism personnel can guide you.
Attractions of Nicaragua and Things to do
Hotels and Resorts in Nicaragua
Flights to Nicaragua
Airlines to Nicaragua:- The famous Airlines (Aerolineas Argentinas, Aeroperu, Air France, British Airways, KLM, Lufthansa, Ladeco, SAM and Varig) have representations in Nicaragua.
Nicaragua Weather Forecast
Nicaragua’s climate is fundamentally tropical, with an average temperature of 27 degrees Celsius, although in the main cities of the Pacific it remains above 30 degrees during most of the Summer.
In the country there are only two well-defined seasons, they are commonly called Summer (dry season that begins in November and runs until the end of April) and Winter (rainy season that occurs at the beginning of May and until the end of October), in the Pacific region and the North of the Country.
In the center and Atlantic, the rainy season extends for 9 months and even more, so that the largest reserves of natural wealth and the most abundant rivers are found in that region.
From July to January of each year in Nicaragua, turtles emerge from the sea with their life burden that they rush to deposit in the warm sands of Chococente and La Flor Wildlife refuges, in the South Pacific of the country.
The simultaneous arrival of thousands of turtles occurs on certain nights of the year when the conditions of the moon and tide are combined and that is the best time to visit Nicaragua.
Dozens of volunteers guard the nests on the beach against human and animal predators to ensure the future of their young.