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Nicaragua: the land of lakes and volcanoes

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Nicaragua (República de Nicaragua) is a presidential republic of Central America. This is by extension the largest state in Central America. It borders Honduras in the north, Costa Rica in the south, is bathed in the east by the Antilles Sea, in the west by the Pacific Ocean. The capital is the city of Managua. The Islas del Maíz (Corn Islands, 12 sq km) located in the Caribbean Sea are also part of the state of Nicaragua. These are the two islands of Isla del Maíz (Corn Island) and Isla Pequeña del Maíz (Little Corn Island).

The territory of Nicaragua is largely formed by a coastal plain, covered by rain forests, which from the coast of the Caribbean Sea goes inland for a depth of 50-100 km. The central area of the country is made up of a series of highlands, on average around 600 meters high. These highlands are crossed by some mountain ranges that rise north-west into the Cordillera Isabelia, where on the border with Honduras is the highest peak of Nicaragua, the Pico Mogoton (2,438 meters).


In the south-western area of the country there is the large isthmic depression, a large tectonic groove, where there are two large lakes. Lake Managua (1,042 sq km) and Lake Nicaragua (the largest lake in Central America, 8,264 sq km). These lakes occupy the bottom of the depression and are connected to each other via the Tipitapa river. Around the lakes there are numerous volcanic cones including the twin cones of the Concepción (1,610 meters) and Maderas (1,394 meters) volcanoes which form, within Lake Nicaragua, the Island of Ometepe and the Zapatera volcano (626 meters), which forms the homonymous island. Finally, on the northwestern shore of Lake Nicaragua there is the Mombacho volcano (1,344 meters).

North of Lake Managua is the Momotombo volcano (1,297 meters). While north-west of the lakes rises the Cordillera Los Maribios formed by some volcanoes including Cerro Negro (728 meters), Las Pilas (1,088 meters), Telica (1,061 meters) and San Cristóbal (1,745 meters ).

The economy is mainly linked to agriculture. There are products such as coffee, cotton, sugar cane, cocoa, bananas, corn, rice, potatoes, beans, cassava, fruit and vegetables. Breeding (cattle) and forestry (mahogany, cedar, rosewood) are important activities. The resources of the subsoil are limited to the extraction of gold, the industry is aimed at the transformation of agricultural products.

The climate of Nicaragua.

  • Area: 129,494 sqkm. (Arable 10%, Pastures 42%, Forests and Woodlands 25%, Uncultivated and Unproductive 23%)
  • Population: 6,500,000 (2019 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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