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Nicaragua Facts: 98 Interesting Facts About Nicaragua

Nicaragua is a country quite rich in history, culture, tradition and nature. And since there is so much wealth to be found in our country, today we share a list of interesting facts or curiosities of Nicaragua.

To make it easier to read, we have selected the top 10 curiosities of Nicaragua, but we have included an extensive list of curious facts to quench your thirst for knowledge about this country.

Enjoy:

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Top 98 Curiosities of Nicaragua

1. Nicaragua is a land of lakes and volcanoes

Nicaragua is a land of volcanoes with more than 54 volcanic structures between active, inactive and extinct; being at least 8 active volcanoes, especially Masaya, Telica, San Cristobal, and Apoyeque (the latter being considered the most dangerous volcano in Nicaragua).

On the other hand, Nicaragua has two fresh water lakes. Did you know that Lake Cocibolca or great Lake Nicaragua is the largest lake in Central America with a length of 148 kilometers and more than 50 kilometers wide, it has in its interior more than 400 islets, three islands and two volcanoes.

2. Nicaraguans are known as Nicas or Pinoleros.

The inhabitants of Nicaragua, in addition to the formal nickname of Nicaraguans, are called nicas and pinoleros. The former is a simple abbreviation, while the latter is due to their high consumption of pinol, a roasted corn powder used for breading.

3. In Nicaragua, the Paslamas turtle nests

Nicaragua is home to 2 of the only 7 beaches in the ocean basin where olive ridley turtles lay their eggs. These are Chacocente and La Flor Beaches

There are also other beaches where other species of turtles lay their eggs, such as Salamina Beach, Tupilapa or even Playgrounds Beach.

4. Nicaragua is home to 1 of the 7 gates to hell.

In Nicaragua there is one of the gates to hell (in the world there are 7) and this is the Masaya Volcano.

This volcano was baptized that way by the Spanish conquerors, who created countless stories about the events in this volcano. In this place many indigenous people made human sacrifices to the gods; it is also said that a very powerful witch lived there during the time of the conquest.

The Spanish priests exorcised this place and placed a cross (which still exists today) to ward off the demon.

5. Nicaragua has a treasure of oral tradition recognized by UNESCO.

The güegüense or Macho Raton is one of the oldest theatrical representations of America; it consists of a street theater that includes texts, dances, jumps and sounds to the rhythm of typical musical instruments. The original language in which it was performed was the Nahuatl language of this region and was declared by UNESCO as oral and intangible heritage of humanity.

6. The origin of Nicaragua's name is directly linked to water.

The origin of Nicaragua's name, although controversial, is linked to water. It is thought to mean the kingdom of those who live next to large water reservoirs, others point out that it is the combination of the name of the cacique Nicarao with the abundant presence of water in the territory.

7. Nicaragua is the lung of Central America.

The largest forest reserve in Central America is the tropical rainforest of the Bosawás Biosphere Reserve. It covers 14,000 square kilometers and together with the biosphere reserve of the banana river and the reserves of Honduras constitute a continuity of 50,000 square kilometers.

This reserve is inhabited by different indigenous people, among them the Misquitos and the Mayagnas. In addition, this reserve has countless species of flora and fauna that may be unknown to the scientific community.

8. There are many famous people from Nicaragua among actors, writers, poets, and more.

Nicaraguan composer, musician and singer Carlos Mejia Godoy is one of the most popular people in the country known internationally for compositions such as "Son tus Perjúmenes Mujer".

The best known Nicaraguan film actress is Bárbara Kingsbury (Bárbara Carrera), with more than 30 films to her credit, including "Nunca Digas Nunca Jamás" "La Isla del doctor Moreau" and 25 episodes of the television series Dallas.

Some of the most outstanding contemporary Nicaraguan writers are Ernesto Cardenal, Gioconda Belli and Sergio Ramírez Mercado. Not to mention the prince of Spanish literature Rubén Darío.

Nicaragua has an important painting tradition, especially in expressionism, figurative muralism and naive painting, some of its most relevant exponents are Armando Mojarles, Alejandro Aróstegui, Manuel García Moya, Rodrigo Peñalba and Leoncio Saints.

9. The capital of Nicaragua is a time bomb

The capital Managua is located on a geological fault that according to experts will probably produce a major earthquake every 50 years.

In addition, there are many road and sewage problems that are detrimental to the welfare of the people. In the event of a natural disaster, Managua will be seriously affected.

The last big earthquake was in 1972 - 50 years ago.

10. The country is a gem for tourism

In Nicaragua it is possible to practice 11 types of tourism. In addition, the country has about 370 tourist destinations and more than 90 beaches ready to be explored.

Nicaragua's tourism and attractions are very important for the population. Therefore, funds are allocated for the protection and care of these places.

11. Nicaragua has the only lake with sharks in the world.

Lake Cocibolca is the only lake in the world where sharks live, specifically the bull shark has been studied in its waters, which migrate from the Caribbean Sea passing through the San Juan River and arriving to the lake. It was thought to be extinct years ago, since the fishermen of the lake fished them indiscriminately, but they have been seen again recently.

In Nicaragua, myths and legends abound, among them is that of the nagua cart, which is said that at night an old cart passes by, dragged by two skinny oxen and driven by death. From this derives the popular expression "se lo llevó la carreta nagua."

Other legends include La Mocuana, La Taconuda, La Cegua, and more.

13. The National Dish is the Gallo Pinto

The national dish of Nicaragua is gallo pinto, a combination of rice and red or black beans with chiltoma, chili, onion and garlic. It is a very popular Nicaraguan food, in the Caribbean coast they call it rice and beans and add coconut milk.

14. In Managua there are traces of people from more than 6 thousand years old.

Near Lake Managua there are fossil footprints of human feet from six thousand years ago, these footprints were left in the volcanic mud on the shore of the lake. They are known as the Acahualinca footprints.

15. There are municipalities whose main language is English

In Nicaragua there are 3 municipalities where the main language is English Creole derived from the time of British colonization these are Corn Island, Laguna de Perlas, and Bluefields.

16. Nicaragua had the youngest mayor in the world.

Another of Nicaragua's curiosities is that the youngest mayor of Nicaragua and perhaps the youngest in the world was Mr. Cleveland Webster, who was elected mayor of Corn Island in 1979 at the age of 19.

17. In many volcanoes there are lagoons

In volcanic craters, there are totally isolated lagoons, and yet they inhabit fish that because of their isolation these species are unique in their kind.

18. In many rivers there are caimans

In various rivers such as the San Juan, the great lake of Nicaragua, and other bodies of water, there are different types of alligators.

19. Caribbean islets for sale

In the Nicaraguan Caribbean Coast islets are sold in transactions whose legality is not very clear. It all started in 1997 with the acquisition of seven islets by a North American magnate.

20. In Nicaragua, you can see almost all the constellations.

Another of Nicaragua's great curiosities is the number of constellations visible from here. Out of 88 constellations that can be observed from Earth, 86 of them can be seen from Nicaragua.

21. Nicaragua is hit by hurricanes.

Nicaragua is a territory subjected to the onslaught of hurricanes, the worst disaster of this nature being Hurricane Mitch. Its passage caused the death of nine thousand people and one million victims.

22. There are multiple natural reserves

Nicaragua has 71 terrestrial and aquatic natural protected areas in its territory.

23. The first settlers

The first inhabitants of Nicaragua's territory were Aztecs and Mayas.

24. The most devastating earthquake in Nicaragua was in 1972.

The most devastating earthquake in Nicaragua was the one that occurred in Managua in 1972 that reached 6.2 on the Richter scale. It happened on Christmas Eve destroying the city and killing more than 19 thousand people.

25. The interoceanic canal that was never started

On December 22, 2014, the construction of a 270-kilometer canal that would link the Atlantic and Pacific oceans began. However, due to various problems the project has not moved forward. Everything points to it being a scam.

26. In Nicaragua there are multiple species of birds and snakes.

Nicaragua has more than 700 species of birds and more than 100 species of snakes, of which at least 10 are venomous.

27. The highest point of Nicaragua

The highest point in Nicaragua is the Mogoton hill. It is located 2,107 meters above sea level near the border with Honduras.

cerro el duende nueva segovia

28. The most populated city in Nicaragua

Another interesting fact about Nicaragua is that Managua is the most populated city in the country. It is home to more than one million people representing 17 percent of the country's population.

29. The real name of Managua

The real name of Managua is Leal Villa de Santiago de Managua.

30. There are no buildings in Nicaragua

In Nicaragua, there are no buildings too big for fear of seismic activity.

31. The tradition of the Gigantona and the Enano Cabezón (Big-headed Dwarf)

In the popular festivities of the city of Leon appear the Gigantona and the Enano Cabezon, characters derived from the colonial era. The gigantona represents a Spanish lady with all her pomp and jewels and the enano accompanies the lady reciting coplas.

32. The legend of the snake of the Cathedral of León

The city of León has withstood many earthquakes in its history. According to a legend under the Insigne y Real Basílica Catedral de la Asunción de la Bienaventurada Virgen María (Cathedral of León), there dwells a giant snake so big that its tail reaches the Church of Sutiaba.

The serpent is attached to a miraculous hair of the Virgin of Mercy, patron saint of Leon. The day the serpent breaks loose, its agitation will shake the earth and destroy the city.

33. Nicaragua is the largest country in Nicaragua.

Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America reaching an area of 130,373 square kilometers in the shape of an isosceles triangle.

34. The concentration of pirates in Pearl Lagoon and Bluefields

It is said that since 1589, the members of the pirate brotherhood of the brothers of the coast occupied the Nicaraguan Caribbean Coast. In Pearl Lagoon and Bluefields, 1500 pirates and 20 ships were concentrated.

35. The pirate François in Nicaragua

The pirate François l'Olonnais was the most bloodthirsty pirate of the Caribbean during the 17th century. His last confrontation with the Spaniards was in the Great Lake of Nicaragua where he was defeated, fled and then was captured and executed by the indigenous people.

36. The exchange between the Misquitos and the buccaneers

Cape Gracias a Dios, inhabited by the Miskitos, was a supply site for the buccaneers, so called because they used smoked beef called bucay as food. The Miskitos supplied them with manatee turtle meat and other products in exchange for machetes and knives.

36. John Davis was the first pirate to navigate the San Juan River.

The first pirate who sailed up the San Juan River to reach Granada by the Great Lake of Nicaragua was the Englishman John Davis in 1665. He managed to overcome the defenses and sack the city while marveling at the beauty of the region.

38. The origin of Bluefields

On the Caribbean coast is Bluefields, capital of the autonomous region of the South Caribbean Coast. This city was originated by the presence in the 17th century of Dutch and English pirates who used the Escondido River as a refuge, among them the Dutchman Abraham Blauverd Bluefield, from whom the city derives its name.

39. The first Africans in Nicaragua

The first Africans arrived to the Nicaraguan coasts by accident in 1641 due to the shipwreck of a Portuguese slave ship. As part of the curiosities of Nicaragua, the Africans integrated with the indigenous people of the place giving origin to the so-called Mosquitoes or Miskitos.

40. The name of the Mosquito Coast

The Mosquito Coast does not owe its name to the presence of mosquitoes or mosquitoes, its name derives from being the territory of the Miskito indigenous people; a combination of American indigenous people and Africans.

41. The Miskito king who allied with England

A Miskito king signed a treaty with England where the Miskito king became a British protectorate between 1749 and 1783.

42. The Venezuelan who created a fictitious country for swindling

In 1820 the Scotsman Gregor McGregor, a prominent general in the Venezuelan war of independence, called himself Prince of Podréis, a fictitious country on the Mosquito coast with which McGregor sought to swindle investors.

43. The sweet sea

The Spaniards called Lake Cocibolca the sweet sea because when the conquistador Gil González Dávila saw it, he thought it was a sea; however, his horse drank water and realized that it was fresh water.

44. The volcanic island of the great lake of Nicaragua

Ometepe Island is the largest volcanic island in a lake in the world, with an area of 276 square kilometers and located in Lake Cocibolca. The name in Nahuatl means two mountains because it houses the summit of two volcanoes Concepción and Maderas.

45. Nicaragua also has the second-largest lake in CA.

The second largest lake in Central America is in the Nicaraguan lowlands and is called Xolotlán or Lake Managua.

46. The twin lakes

Lakes Cocibolca and Xolotlán are called twin lakes, as they are connected by the Tipitapa River.

47. The Cathedral of Light

The cathedral of Leon whose construction began in 1747 is the largest in Central America, and is known as the cathedral of light.

48. The tankette of peace

In the Plaza de La Paz in Managua there is a military tank covered in cement symbolizing the wish that there will never again be a military conflict.

49. Ruben Dario

In Nicaragua was born the poet Rubén Darío, considered the father of literary modernism in the Spanish language. Rubén Darío, called the prince of Spanish literature, is buried at the foot of the statue of St. Paul in the cathedral of Leon.

50. La Purisima in Nicaragua

la purisima en nicaragua

Nicaragua's major national religious holiday is La Purisima, dedicated to Mary Immaculate, patron saint of Nicaragua. It is celebrated between November 28 and December 8.

51. La Gritería

The night before December 8 is the shouting, when children go out into the streets asking for candy and shouting "Who causes so much joy?" and they are answered "Mary's Conception." Because of this feast, December 8 is one of Nicaragua's holidays.

52. The National Tree

The national tree of Nicaragua is the strawberry tree and was established as such only in 1971. Pieces are cut from its branches and used to decorate the altars on the feast of the Purisima.

53. The largest market in Central America

Nicaragua has the largest market in Central America. The Mercado Oriental measures 88 hectares and receives about 100 thousand visitors daily.

54. The national flower of Nicaragua

The national flower is the Sacuanjoche flower, which grows on a small tree that contains a milky juice. The flowers are a mixture of pinkish-white and yellowish tones.

55. The national bird of Nicaragua

The national bird of Nicaragua is the Guardabarranco which is also the national bird of El Salvador.

56. The flag of Nicaragua

The flag of Nicaragua has two flanking blue bands and a white band representing a nation with a coastline facing two oceans. Its coat of arms is a triangle of equilateral equal sides to signify equality, a rainbow denoting peace, a Phrygian cap for freedom and five volcanoes representing the unity of the five Central American nations.

57. The favorite dish in Nicaragua

A typical holiday dish in Nicaragua, especially at Christmas time is the nacatamal. It consists of a corn flour bun stuffed with a meat stew, onion, chili, garlic, rice and potatoes wrapped in banana leaves and tied with a string.

58. Nicaragua is home to a considerable percentage of the world's biological diversity.

Nicaraguan territory has 7% of the planet's biological diversity.

59. The location of Nicaragua

Nicaragua is located in the center of Central America and has coasts on both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean.

60. Use of geothermal energy

In Nicaragua they use geothermal energy from the Momotombo volcano to produce electricity.

61. Nicaragua was part of the Mexican empire

After the defeat of the Spanish empire in the continent, Nicaragua became part of the Mexican empire, then it was constituted with the rest of the Central American countries in the Federation of Central American States in an independent republic since April 30, 1838.

62. Nicaragua was a bridge during the Gold Rush

During the California Gold Rush in the 19th century, Nicaragua was the transit point for travelers from the Atlantic to the Pacific. This route of traveling by sea and then by land to the Pacific to embark again was more economical and saved 960 kilometers.

63. Nicaragua had an American president

Nicaragua had an American president named William Walker, a mercenary known as one of the filibusters or pirates of the 19th century. He fought in the country's civil war and through a rigged election he became president between 1856 and 1857.

64. The first woman president of Central America

The president of Nicaragua, Violeta Barrios de Chamorro was the first woman elected president in Central America.

65. The vertices of the soul of the world

In the corn islands, in the playground of the Queens Hill neighborhood, there is a small pyramid. It is one of the vertices of the soul of the world, a global work of art created by the Spanish artist Raphael Trénor, who has placed the other vertices in different parts of the planet.

66. The volcanic mountain range of Nicaragua

The volcanic mountain range of Nicaragua extends in a line from northeast to southeast, it was originated by the collision of the Cocos tectonic plate to the west with the Caribbean plate to the east.

67. The eruption of the Cosigüina Volcano

the second most violent volcanic eruption in history after Krakatoa in Indonesia was that of the Cosigüina volcano in 1835.

68. Nicaragua's birth rate

Nicaragua has 6 million 351 thousand 956 inhabitants with one of the highest birth rates in the hemisphere of 24 births per thousand inhabitants; however, it also has a high emigration rate due to the country's poverty.

69. The youngest population

The Nicaraguan population is one of the youngest in the world with an average age of 23.8 years.

70. Coffee and Cocoa

Coffee and cocoa are among Nicaragua's main agricultural export products.

71. Streets without names

Most streets in Nicaragua do not have names, so directions are given by landmarks.

72. The first colonial cities

The first two cities founded in Nicaragua were Granada and Leon and occurred in the same year of 1524. Their founder was the conqueror Francisco Hernandez de Cordoba, since then there has been a permanent rivalry between these cities, one the cradle of conservatism in Granada and the other of liberalism in Leon.

73. Why is Managua the capital of Nicaragua?

Managua became the capital as a way to resolve the eternal conflicts between the older cities of Granada and Leon, each of these cities considered that it should be the capital.

74. The best surfing beaches in the world

In Nicaragua there are five of the best surfing beaches in the world such as Playa Hermosa, Playa Colorado, Playa El Boom, Popoyo and Playa San Diego.

75. The oldest city

The city of Granada is the oldest city in Central America and one of the oldest in the Americas. It was founded in 1524 and is called "The Paris of Central America" for its international poetry festival.

76. Religion in Nicaragua

Nicaragua does not have an official religion, although the majority of its population is Catholic.

77. Drinking water in Managua

Tap water in Managua is said to be safe to drink, but outside the city it is recommended to drink bottled water.

78. Traditional arts in Nicaragua

In Nicaragua the traditional arts are ceramics, wood carving, goldsmithing and embroidery.

79. The place where it never stops raining

The Mosquito Coast is the region with the highest rainfall in the country, in this eastern coastal area there is practically no month without rain.

80. Pine forests

The north of Nicaragua is the southernmost region of pine and oak forests in the Americas.

81. The Palo de Mayo

Another of Nicaragua's curiosities is found in its festivities. One of the most colorful traditional festivities of Nicaragua is the Palo de Mayo and is typical of the communities of the Caribbean Coast being a dance around a tall pole adorned with colorful ribbons that celebrates the arrival of rains, flowering and new life.

82. The month with the most festivities in Nicaragua

August is the month with the most festivities and festivals in Nicaragua, including the international gastronomic festival.

83. The Garifuna culture

The Garifuna culture originated from the mixture of indigenous people and escaped African slaves, is a national heritage in Nicaragua, they are also called the Black Caribs and inhabit the Caribbean coasts.

84. Nicaragua's income

Nicaragua's main sources of income are agriculture and remittances from Nicaraguans abroad, as well as tourism which has been growing.

85. The Ruben Dario Theater

The most important cultural and artistic building in Nicaragua is the Rubén Darío National Theater. It is located in Managua and was built in 1969, has a capacity for 1,199 people and is considered one of the best theaters in America for its acoustic quality.

84. The Cathedral of Managua

The Metropolitan Cathedral of Santiago Apostol of Managua or old cathedral of Managua, was built between 1928 and 1938, however, after suffering serious damage in the 1972 earthquake, it has been abandoned until today.

85. The style of the cathedral of Managua

The current cathedral of Managua is of an eclectic style, a mixture of Arabic and Romanesque, it is the cathedral with more domes in the world, since it has 63 of them representing the number of parishes.

86. The signing of the Act of Independence

In the Nicaraguan city of Leon, the act of independence was signed, not only of Nicaragua but also of Costa Rica.

87. The neighborhood of Sutiaba

In the indigenous people of Sutiaba every Good Friday takes place one of the most beautiful expressions of religious ephemeral art, it is the "alfombras pasionarias" which are colorful images made with sawdust representing religious scenes of the holy week.

88. Granada and its colonial architecture

In the city of Granada you can appreciate the typical colonial houses with their Andalusian influenced architecture, at the end of the entrance hall or hallway you reach the inner courtyard decorated with plants and flowers, often with a central fountain.

89. The islets are private

Many of the small islands that exist in Lake Cocibolca or the great lake of Nicaragua are private.

90. Monkey Island in Granada

The island of the monkeys located in Lake Cocibolca is so called because there are four spider monkeys, these were brought to the island after being confiscated from animal traffickers, daily they bring them food, as the island is very small.

91. The center of the Revolution

The city of Leon in Nicaragua was the center of the Sandinista revolution between the 70's and 80's of the 20th century, it is also known as the university city.

92. The fish of the Great Lake

The great lake of Nicaragua is home to large fish such as the royal tarpon of up to 2.5 meters and the sawfish that can exceed 3 meters.

93. Endangered species living in Nicaragua

In Nicaragua there are at least 42 animal species in danger of extinction, among them 17 mammals, as well as 3 reptiles, 8 birds and 4 fish.

94. The cradle of folklore

The city of Masaya is called the cradle of the national folklore.

95. The marimba in Nicaragua

The typical musical instrument of the region is the Nicaraguan bow marimba derived from the African marimba.

96. The longest river

The coconut river is the largest river in Central America.

97. The trees of the Caribbean Coast

In the jungles of the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua, trees grow up to 60 meters high.

98. Nicaraguans are hospitable

The Nicaraguan is internationally recognized for being a very hospitable person.

And you, did you already know all these curiosities of Nicaragua?

Nicaragua is a country that offers countless tourist sites and unforgettable experiences.

Undoubtedly this list is very short, since there are important facts, records, stories, legends, food, products and many more details that call the attention of every person who wants to venture into this wonderful country.

Comment if you know other interesting facts about Nicaragua.

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