Nicaragua Facts



Published: 18 May 2023

Cathedral of Granada

Nicaragua, a Central American country known for its natural beauty and rich history, is full of surprises and captivating facts. Let’s explore 18 fun facts about Nicaragua that will make you want to visit this amazing country.

Table of Contents

It is the largest country in Central America.

Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America, covering an area of approximately 130,373 square kilometers, just slightly bigger than New York State. It shares borders with Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south, with the Caribbean Sea to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west.

It is also known as “The Land of Lakes and Volcanoes”.

Nicaragua goes by another name – “Land of Lakes and Volcanoes” due to its impressive number of freshwater lakes and active volcanoes. The country has 19 volcanoes, of which seven are currently active.

Nicaragua has a dual coastline.

One of the unique features of Nicaragua is its dual coastline. The country has both Pacific and Caribbean coastlines, offering visitors a diverse range of beach experiences and marine wildlife.

It is home to freshwater sharks.

Lake Nicaragua, the largest lake in Central America, is home to a unique species of freshwater shark called the Bull Shark. These sharks are capable of surviving in both fresh and saltwater environments, making Lake Nicaragua their ideal habitat.

Bull shark in caribbean sea
Image from Adobe Stock

The official language of Nicaragua is Spanish.

However, many people also speak English, Creole, and indigenous languages in Nicaragua.

The currency of Nicaragua is the córdoba.

The currency of Nicaragua was named after Francisco Hernández de Córdoba, a Spanish conquistador who played a major role in the conquest of Nicaragua in the 16th century. In 1912, the córdoba replaced the peso to become the official currency of Nicaragua

The country is famous for its coffee.

The majority of the country’s coffee is Arabica and grown in the shade. Additionally, the North Central Region of Nicaragua produces some of the highest-quality coffee in the world.

The country also produces high-quality rum.

Apart from coffee, Nicaragua also produced high-quality rum, with Flor de Caña (sugarcane flower) being the most famous brand. This award-winning rum is made from sugar cane grown in the fertile volcanic soils of Nicaragua.  

The national flower of Nicaragua is the sacuanjoche.

It is a beautiful flower with a sweet fragrance, and it holds special cultural significance in Nicaragua. This fragrant, tropical flower is native to the region and is used in many traditional Nicaraguan celebrations.

Frangipani white
Image from Adobe Stock

The national bird of Nicaragua is the turquoise-browed motmot.

There is a reason for the turquoise-browed motmot. This stunning bird has distinctive blue-green feathers and a long, colorful tail that symbolizes all of Nicaragua’s rich natural beauty. Currently, it can be found in many of the country’s national parks and protected areas.

Baseball is the most popular sport in Nicaragua.

Believe it or not, there is also a national league for this sport. The country has produced several Major League Baseball (MLB) players, including Hall of Famer Dennis Martínez.

Nicaragua is a world-class surfing destination.

The consistent offshore winds and numerous surf breaks make Nicaragua an ideal location for both beginners and experienced surfers.

It is also a melting pot of delicious cuisine.

Nicaraguan cuisine is a delicious blend of indigenous, Spanish, and African influences. If you are there, you must try their gallo pinto (rice and beans) and nacatamales (corn dough filled with meat and vegetables).

A Nicaraguan theatrical tradition to catch: El Güegüense.

El Güegüense, also known as Macho Ratón, is a satirical drama that combines theater, dance, and music. It’s one of the oldest indigenous theatrical works in the Americas, dating back to the 16th century. Additionally, UNESCO has recognized this theatrical tradition as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Nicaragua has UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Nicaragua is also home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Ruins of León Viejo and the Cathedral of León. The Ruins of León Viejo are the remains of the original city of León from a volcanic activity, founded in 1524. The Cathedral of León (Basilica of the Assumption), is an impressive example of Baroque and neoclassical architecture.

The main cathedral of Leon City in northern Nicaragua
Image from Adobe Stock

Visit the “White Towns” of Nicaragua for Instaworthy shots.

If you’re looking for that all-white minimalist backdrop, visit The “White Towns” of Nicaragua. These picturesque towns have uniquely whitewashed colonial architecture and charming cobblestone streets. Furthermore, these towns offer a glimpse into the country’s rich history and provide a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

One of the best tourist attractions is the colorful Masaya Market.

The Masaya Market, located in the city of Masaya, is a vibrant and colorful market where visitors can find traditional Nicaraguan handicrafts, textiles, ceramics, and more. It’s the perfect place to immerse yourself in Nicaraguan culture and pick up unique souvenirs.

Another tourist site to visit is Ometepe Island.

Ometepe Island, situated in Lake Nicaragua, is formed by two volcanoes, Maderas and Concepción. The island is a natural wonder and a popular destination for ecotourism, offering visitors a range of outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking, and wildlife watching.

Island Ometepe with vulcano in Nicaragua
Image from Adobe Stock

And there you have it! 18 fun and interesting facts about Nicaragua that showcase the country’s diverse landscape, rich history, and vibrant culture. This Central American gem is a must-visit destination for travelers seeking unique experiences and unforgettable adventures.