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Nicaragua: the land of lakes and volcanoes

Nicaragua (República de Nicaragua) is a presidential republic in Central America, by extension is the largest of Central America countries, bordered to the north by Honduras, to the south by Costa Rica, to the east is washed from the Caribbean Sea, and to the west from the Pacific Ocean, the capital is the city of Managua.

A few islands are also part of the state of Nicaragua: the Islas del Maíz (Corn Islands, 12 sq km) situated in the Caribbean Sea, they are two islands: Isla del Maíz (Corn Island) and Isla del Maíz Pequeña (Little Corn Island).

The territory of Nicaragua is largely made up of a coastal plain, covered by rainforests, that from the coast of the Caribbean Sea goes inward to a depth of 50-100 km, the central area of the country is made up of a series of plateaus, high in average around 600 metres, they are crossed by some mountain ranges towards north-west rise the Cordillera Isabelia, where at the border with Honduras is the highest peak of Nicaragua, Pico Mogoton (2,438 metres).

In the south-west of the country lies the great isthmic depression, a large tectonic furrow, where lies two large lakes, Lake Managua (1,042 sq km) and Lake Nicaragua (the largest lake of Central America, 8,264 sq km), which occupies the bottom of the depression and are communicating with each other through the river Tipitapa.

Around the lakes are numerous volcanic cones including the twin cones of volcanoes Concepción (1,610 meters) and Maderas (1,394 metres) which form the Ometepe Island, inside of Lake Nicaragua, and volcano Zapatera (626 meters), which form the homonymous island; on the north-western shore of the Lake Nicaragua is the Mombacho Volcano (1,344 metres). To the north of Lake Managua is the Momotombo Volcano (1,297 metres), while to the north-west of the lakes rises the Cordillera Los Maribios formed by some volcanoes including the Cerro Negro (728 metres), Las Pilas (1,088 metres), Telica (1,061 meters) and San Cristóbal (1,745 metres).

The economy of Nicaragua is mainly linked to agriculture (coffee, cotton, sugar cane, cocoa, bananas, corn, rice, potatoes, beans, cassava, fruits and vegetables), are important breeding (cattle) and forest exploitation (mahogany, cedar, rosewood). The subsoil resources are limited in mining of gold, the industry is facing the processing of agricultural products.

  • Area: 129,494 sqkm. (Arable 10%, Pastures 42%, Forests and Woodlands 25%, Uncultivated and Unproductive 23%)
  • Population: 5,600,000 (2006 data) (Mestizos (descendants of European and Amerindians) 70%, Europeans 17%, Africans 9%, Amerindians 5%.
  • State Capital: Managua.
  • Language: Official language is Spanish. Along the Caribbean coast English is also spoken.
  • Religion: Roman Catholic 60%; Protestant 25% (Evangelic 22%, Moravian 2%).
  • Currency: Córdoba (NIO)
  • Time: UTC-6 hours

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