13 Fun Facts About Nicaragua for Travelers

My absolute favorite thing to do, besides actual traveling, is planning for my trip. This always allows me to learn a lot about the place you are about to visit, so you are ready for what may happen. While planning my family trip to Nicaragua I really had a blast searching and learning all about this incredible country. Below you will find a lot of the interesting and fun facts I learned about Nicaragua.

This is a country that you will find north of Costa Rica and south of Honduras, with coasts on both, the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean. This is a country that offers beautiful beaches and towns like San Juan del Sur, Active Volcanoes, scenic lakes, amazing traditional food, and colorful towns.

sunset on ometepe island in nicaragua

Nicaragua Fun Facts

1. Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America.

2. This country has a reputation for being the safest country in Central America.

3. Is the new retirement hotspot for ex-pats, but Costa Rica is still a strong contender.

4. Nicaragua has the largest lake island in the world, it even has two volcanoes in it.

5. Has the only freshwater sharks in the world.

6. Leon is the home to the largest cathedral in all of Central America.

8. Masaya Volcano is considered to be one of the most accessible volcanoes in the world.

9. The country’s name comes from Nicarao, he was the chief of the indigenous tribe that lived around present-day Lake Nicaragua before the conquest.

10. Nicaragua was colonized by Spain and Britain, so you will find a lot of Mestizo people all over the country.

11. They have always depended on agriculture but are slowly diversifying and tourism is becoming one of the most important ones.

12. The Ruins of León Viejo date back over 500 years, this is one of the oldest cities in the region.

13. They don’t have formal addresses. All you get when you want to get somewhere is directions on what it looks like and what is nearby.

14. This country has so much to offer, some very popular activities are:

  • Surfing the Pacific coasts
  • Hiking the volcanoes and forests
  • Visiting the many lakes and lagoons
  • Wildlife watching
  • Lake kayaking
  • Cruising among the tiny islands
  • Snorkeling in the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean
  • Coffee tours
  • Horseback riding
  • And even mountain biking

15. The Nicaraguan wildlife includes over 700 species of birds, felines such as jaguars, ocelots, jaguarundis, and margays wild cats. In it, you may even find some sea turtles if you get there at the right time of the year.

16. Nicaragua has many popular touristic regions:

  • The colonial city and the islets of Granada
  • Ruins of Leon
  • San Juan del Sur
  • San Juan River
  • Mombacho Volcano
  • Corn Islands
  • Lake Cocibolca

17. This is also a place where Eco-tourism has become quite popular, in it, you will find 78 protected areas that cover 20% of its territory. It is also home to 7% of the total wildlife of the world. Most of it can be found in Bosawas, the largest rain forest of Central America and the second largest in the continent after the Amazon.

18. Here you can find Cocibolca Lake. This is the largest lake in Central America.

19. The official language of Nicaragua is Spanish, but on the Caribbean coast English, Misquito, and other native languages are spoken.

Related Read: Is Managua International Airport, Nicaragua Good?

What surprised me most about Nicaragua

Some of the most expensive hotels in the country are in Leon.
Masaya market is the largest market in Nicaragua. The thing is HUGE!
Practically all the tiny islands (Isletas) around Granada are for sale, and most are in the 7 digits.
Even though Nicaragua is the only place on Earth with freshwater sharks, they actually haven’t been seen in many years. No one really knows if it’s due to extinction or if they really exist.

Not sure why these were such weird facts to me. Regardless, I am actually on the hunt for more.

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13 Fun Facts About Nicaragua for Travelers

Last Updated on June 24, 2023

6 thoughts on “13 Fun Facts About Nicaragua for Travelers

  1. Well, you taught me something. I didn’t even KNOW there were fresh-water sharks. And I would have said that Costa Rica was the safest.

    This blog certainly fuels my burning desire to travel.

    1. Hey Lori,

      I didn’t know either about the sharks, we didn’t see any, not sure if they’ll be doing any daily shows for us people 🙂

  2. Oh I love love LOVE NICARAGUA!!! My favorite country in all of Central America. I am going to have to go back one day and explore it further.

    1. Hey Jaime,

      Everytime I go somewhere new, I come back and say I gotta go back and do this and this and this, there are so many places within each spot to visit!!! If only we could live til 10000 years 🙂

  3. I love posts about countries like this. I love learning quirky things about a country. Had no idea Nicaragua was the biggest country in Central America!

    1. Hey Jeremy!

      What Amazed me was that it has the largest freshwater island with 2 volcanoes. You’d think southeast Asia would be topping the charts there!

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