20+ Interesting Facts About Nicaragua

  1. Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America. It is the 3rd most populous country among seven countries in the region.
  2. Christopher Columbus was the first European to reach Nicaragua in 1502. Spanish colonization of Nicaragua began in 1524.
  3. Granada in Nicaragua is the oldest continuously inhabited city in Central America. It was founded by a Spanish explorer in 1524. (Source)
  4. Nicaragua gained independence from Spain and became part of the Mexican Empire in 1821. It joined the United Provinces of Central America in 1923 and achieved full independence in 1838.
  5. Nicaragua is the only country in Latin America colonized by the British and Spanish empires. The Mosquito Coast, named after the Miskito indigenous ethnic group, remained a British dependency from 1740 to 1786.
  6. The Mosquito Coast became an autonomous part of Nicaragua in 1860 after a treaty with Britain. A small northern portion of the Mosquito Coast was transferred to Honduras by ICJ in 1960.
  7. Nicaragua remained under the rule of the Somoza family from 1927 to 1979. The family used this position to collect a large amount of wealth by illegal means.
  8. The Nicaraguan Revolution (1978 to 1979) resulted in the overthrow of the Somoza family rule by the left-wing Sandinista (FSLN) rebels.
  9. The right-wing Contra rebels started counterrevolutionary militant activities in 1979. They received support primarily from the USA during their fight against the communist Sandinista regime, which ended after a peace deal in 1990.
  10. The Bosawas Biosphere Reserve in northeastern Nicaragua is one of the largest rainforests in the world, spanning an area of 2.1 million hectares. Six types of forests in this biosphere reserve contain 13% of known species on earth. (Source)
  11. The USA occupied Nicaragua from 1912 to 1933. It happened during Banana Wars when the USA intervened in several Central American countries for political and economic reasons.
  12. Violeta Chamorro was the first female president in Central America. She remained an elected president of Nicaragua from 1990 to 1997. (Source)
  13. Lake Nicaragua is the largest lake in Central America, having an area of 8,157 sq km (3,149 sq miles). This freshwater lake is present in southwestern Nicaragua. It is the only freshwater lake that contains oceanic animals like tarpons, swordfish, and sharks. There are more than 400 islands in the lake, including a few inhabited ones. (Source)
  14. Rio Coco, located in northern Nicaragua along the border with Honduras, is the longest river in Central America. It flows through the Rio Coco Park in Nicaragua, the first UNESCO Geopark in Central America.
    Emptying of Coco River into the Caribbean Sea
    Central America's longest river is in Nicaragua

  15. Nicaragua has one of the lowest minimum wages in the world. It has the world’s 14th lowest minimum wage and the 2nd lowest in Central America after Guatemala.
  16. About two-thirds of the population in Nicaragua is mestizo. White Nicaraguans constitute around 14% of the population.
  17. Nicaragua is the poorest country in Central America and the 2nd poorest in the Western Hemisphere. 50% of the country’s exports are comprised of agriculture and textiles. (Source)
  18. In Nicaragua, more stars are visible at night than in any other country. Observers can see 86 of the total 88 constellations in Nicaragua. (Source)
  19. An American adventurer, William Walker, became president of Nicaragua in July 1856. His controversial presidency continued till May 1857 before his defeat by combined Central American states. He was later executed in Honduras in 1860 while attempting another adventure. (Source)
  20. Panama Canal, opened in 1914, is the only shipping route between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. However, the idea of the Nicaragua Canal was also part of the plan before constructing the Panama Canal. But this could not materialize due to risks of volcanic eruptions and seismic activity in Nicaragua. (Source)
  21. There are two volcanoes on Ometepe, an island in Lake Nicaragua. An isthmus connects both these volcanoes.


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