Here are top 30 fun & interesting facts about Nicaragua:
#1 Christopher Columbus, an Italian navigator, was the 1st European to explore Nicaraguan land during his 4th and last journeys to America.
#2 The Spanish Empire conquered these lands in the 16th century. For a period of time, the British also occupied a portion of this area, however, they slowly gave control to the indigenous peoples.
#3 This country then won its independence from Spain as well as on September 15, 1821.
#4 In 1909, the US was militarily involved in the country after hostilities grew between Liberals and Conservatives because of the plans to build a trans-isthmian canal through the Isthmus of Rivas.
#5 In 1856 William Walker, an American lawyer, physician, journalist, and mercenary declared himself President of this country and tried to turn it into a slave state for the U.S.
#6 Violeta Chamorro was the 1st elected woman president of any Central America country. Violeta Chamorro served from 1991 – 1997. She had become a prominent leader after the 1978 assassination of Pedro Chamorro, her husband, a respected publisher of the La Prensa, a daily newspaper, who investigated the corruption of the Somoza family (a family dictatorship who ruled from 1936 to 1979). She is known for bringing peace to the country.
#7 This country is bordered by Costa Rica to the south, Honduras to the north, the Caribbean Sea to the east, and the Pacific Ocean to the west.
#8 The name of this country is a combination of 2 words, “Nicarao” who was the renowned chief of the native Indian tribe and ”agua” – a Spanish word that literally translates as ”water.”
Managua – The Capital City
#9 Managua is the capital of this country and is located in the southwestern part. It is the 3rd largest city in this country. Managua is the capital city from 1852.
Previously, the capital alternated between the cities of Granada and León. Managua has a population of 2.206 million (2015) and covers an area of 210 square miles (544 square kilometers).
#10 While the original city was founded in 1819 as a rural fishing village, the present Managua was built in the 1850’s.
In 1978–79, Managua suffered severe damage in the fighting between Sandinistas and government troops, plus, in 1998 was hit by a hurricane. The capital boats numerous unique museums and a Natural Reserve right in the city.
#11 Each city in this country has an official Saint, also referred to as the ”Santo Patrono,” that has been designated since colonial times.
#12 Much of Nicaraguan food is based on cassava, rice, corn, chili pepper, and beans. The national dish is “gallo pinto,” a combination of cooked white rice and red beans.
#13 The national flag was 1st adopted on September 4, 1908, but not made official until August 27, 1971. It has 1 horizontal bands with a volcano that is featured in the country’s coat of arms centered on the flag.
#14 It has the highest percentage of forest coverage of any of the Central America countries, combined with the lowest population density. For example, as of 2015, the population of this country was estimated to be 6.082 million people.
#15 The official language is Spanish. Nevertheless, the Nicas speak a local version of the language, better known as Nicaño. English is also spoken among the expats from Canada and the United States, locals, and widely spoken by the tourism sector.
#16 The majority of the Nicas (72 percent) are Roman Catholic, 16 percent are Evangelical Christians, and the remainder is a combination of atheists and other religions. Religious tolerance and freedom are promoted both by the constitution and the government.
#17 Even though it isn’t a law to make school mandatory, up to 70 percent of children are enrolled and education is very valuable in this country.
#18 The industry consists of textiles, food processing, machinery, chemicals, and metal products.
#19 The infrastructure was severely damaged in 1998 by Hurricane Mitch, that destroyed several villages and killed more than 10,000 people. After the Great Hurricane of 1780, Hurricane Mitch was recognized as the 2nd deadliest Atlantic hurricane on record.
#20 More than 1 million people visit this country every year.
#21 Lake Nicaragua is the 2nd largest lake in Latin America behind Lake Titicaca (located between the border of Bolivia and Peru). This lake was originally named the “Freshwater Sea” as the explorers who 1st set eyes on the lake thought that they were looking at the ocean.
#22 The lake is so large in size that there are actually small islands on the body of water itself. It is known for having a number of unique fish species, like bull sharks (Charcharinus leucas) which have adapted to freshwater life.
#22 In 1972, an earthquake hit Managua which had a depth of about 5 kilometers, a magnitude of 6.2, with the epicenter 28 kilometers northeast of the city center. The earthquake destroyed about 75% of the capital.
#23 Ruban Dario, also known as ”The Father of Modernism,” was a Nicaraguan poet who initiated the modernismo (modernism), a Spanish-American literary movement which flourished at the end of the 19th century.
#24 Lake Managua, also known as Lake Xolotlán, is the only freshwater lake where sharks live. The lake is 25 km (16 miles) from north to south and 58 km (36 miles) from east to west, and has 20 m (65 feet) in depth.
#25 The city of Managua lies on its southwestern shore. It has been described by some scientists as “the most contaminated lake in Central America.”
#26 “Zapatera” is the 2nd largest volcanic island (after Ometepe) on the northwestern side of Lake Nicaragua. With a total surface of 52 square kilometers. Zapatera is situated in Charco Muerto, a relatively shallow and calm area of the lake known.
#27 The youngest active volcano in Central America, Cerro Negro, is located in the northwest part of the country. Cerro Negro (meaning – Black Hill) consists of a gravelly basaltic cinder cone, that contrasts considerably with the surrounding verdant hillsides.
#28 Wildlife includes the deer, puma, armadillo, monkey, parrot, alligator, peccary, macaw, and a few species of snakes.
#29 Baseball is the national game and is one of the most popular sports (even more popular than soccer). The largest baseball stadium is found in Managua.
#30 In 2009, this nation achieved its first qualification to a major international soccer competition, when it qualified for the 2009 Gold Cup.