Nicaragua lies on the headland that connects North and South America, between Honduras and Costa Rica. The country has both a Pacific and a Caribbean coast and is migrating visitor mainly because of its unique natural landscapes. While the Caribbean coast lies in the middle of inaccessible rainforests and is only sparsely populated to this day, the majority of the country’s settlements are located on the Pacific coast. In the hinterland there is a chain of volcanoes, the craters of which are popular destinations for hikers. In the west of the country are Lake Managua and Lake Nicaragua, two of the largest lakes in Central America. The capital of Nicaragua, Managua, is located on the south bank of Lake Managua and at the foot of the Momotombo volcano. The city has around one million residents and is particularly worth seeing because of its numerous buildings in the Spanish colonial style.
Life in Nicaragua is not always easy. But the colorful mixed cultures and the most diverse countries of origin make Nicaragua varied and diverse. Almost 6 million people live in Nicaragua. Most of them have settled in the greater Managua region. 69 percent of the country’s residents belong to the group of mestizos, or Nicas, as they call themselves. 17 percent of the population are white, most of them are Spanish immigrants or their descendants.
In 1979, in the course of the revolution in Nicaragua, the smallholders, cooperatives and state-owned companies were given land ownership. The Sandinista distributed the land and failed, perhaps deliberately, to register the new owners in the land registry. In the 1990s, such a big land question arose: who owned the land? The aim was to reverse the land reform of 1979 and declare it invalid. Of course, this met with resistance. One began with dividing state-owned companies to 25 percent each. The former large landowners, agricultural workers, former members of the Sandinista army and former Contras received a quarter each. The Somoza, who were expelled with the 1979 revolution in Nicaragua, also came back and wanted their land back. These had a clear advantage over the farmers and cooperatives because they still owned their property. Some land issues could be clarified with a judge’s verdict, others caused long arguments. In 1997 the order of the Revised land ownership in Nicaragua.
Nicaragua – important dates for your trip
Area: 130,730 km² (land: 119,990 km², water: 10,380 km²)
Population: 5.7 million (July 2011, CIA). Mestics (indigenous and white roots) 69%, whites 17%, blacks 9%, Amerindian 5%.
Population density: 43 people per km²
Population growth: 1.088% per year (2011, CIA)
Capital: Managua (990.420 residents, 2006)
Highest point: Mogoton, 2,438 m
Lowest point: Pacific and Caribbean, 0 m
Form of government: Nicaragua has been a presidential republic since 1987. The constitution dates from the same year, the last change was made in 2000. The unicameral parliament consists of 92 members. Nicaragua has been from since September 15, 1821Spain independent, on April 30, 1838 Nicaragua left the Central American Confederation.
Administrative division: 15 departamentos (Boaco, Carazo, Chinandega, Chontales, Esteli, Granada, Jinotega, Leon, Madriz, Managua, Masaya, Matagalpa, Nueva Segovia, RioSan Juanand Rivas) and 2 regiones autonomistas (Atlantico Norte and Atlantico Sur).
Head of State and Government: Daniel Ortega, since November 5, 2006
Language: The official language in the country is Spanish; Sumo, Chibcha and, in some cases (on the Mosquito Coast), English are also spoken.
Religion: 72.9% Catholics; 15.1% Protestants; 1.5% Moravians (Moravian Brethren); 2.0% other, 8.5% no answer.
Local time: CET – 7 h.
There is no summer or winter time change in Nicaragua.
The time difference to Central Europe is -7 h in winter and -8 h in summer.
International phone code : +505
Mains voltage: 110 V, 60 Hz
Nicaragua geography and map
According to mathgeneral, the northern neighbor of Nicaragua is Honduras, in the south, along the southern shore of Lake Nicaragua, it borders Costa Rica. The Caribbean is to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west.
The Central American Land Bridge is in Nicaragua between 200 and 500 km wide. In north-south direction, the country extends over 450 km from the 15th to the 11th parallel of north latitude. Nicaragua was named after the Nicarao Indian people who ruled the west coast of the country before the Spanish conquest.
Here is an accurate topographic map of Nicaragua.
There are five higher mountain ranges in Nicaragua, their ridges, mostly 700 to 1,800 m high, running from west to east or northeast. They mainly consist of volcanic Tertiary rocks.
The mountains are bordered by wide plains in the east, which do not rise higher than 200 m and which merge on the Caribbean coast into a wide belt with lagoons, dunes and spits.
In the west, the mountain ranges end at an elongated depression that stretches across Nicaragua from the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean Sea. This depression is interpreted as a large geological rift that broke in the later Tertiary at the interface between northern and southern Central America. As the frequent earthquakes prove, the rocks in the trench are still shifting. The capital Managua was devastated by earthquakes twice in the twentieth century (1931 and 1972).
A 240 km long chain of active volcanoes rises along the Pacific coast in southwestern Nicaragua. Nicaragua is therefore also known as the “land of a thousand volcanoes”.
In the northern border region are the Cordilleres Isabella, in the southwest is the Lago de Nicaragua (148 km long, 55 km wide, several islands in the lake). To the north of this lake is the Lago de Managua. The largest rivers in Nicaragua are the San Juan (which partly forms the border with Costa Rica) and the Río Coco (border river with Honduras).
The popular holiday destinations of Islas del Maíz are east of the Caribbean coast.
The Caribbean coast is covered by rainforest and is also called the mosquito coast.
The highest point in the country at 2,438 m is the Mogoton on the border with Honduras.
The brick-red laterite soils of Nicaragua have only a low nutrient content. The dark, humus and clay-rich soils in the eastern lowlands and the weakly weathered young volcanic ashes have more favorable properties.
Presumably Nicaragua used to be covered by forests, with the exception of the dry areas. Today the proportion of forest has decreased significantly. In the eastern lowlands there are large closed areas with rainforests, on the coast there are also mangrove and swamp forests. Pine forests are characteristic of the mountains in the center of the country. In the densely populated areas in the southwest, only small remnants of the earlier savannah and rainforest vegetation remained.
Larger animals such as pumas, tapirs, mountain cats and alligators were almost wiped out there. The forests in the eastern lowlands are still inhabited by a species-rich tropical fauna, which (as the name “mosquito coast” suggests) can become a nuisance for the local population.