Country Listing

Nicaragua Table of Contents



Size: Largest country in Central America with 129,494 square kilometers. Land area 120,254 square kilometers.

Topography: Three major geographic regions. Pacific lowlands or western region characterized by flat terrain broken by line of active volcanoes between the Golfo de Fonseca and Lago de Nicaragua paralleling Pacific coast. East of volcanoes lies large structural rift forming long narrow depression from Golfo de Fonseca southeastward. Two largest freshwater lakes in Central America (Lago de Managua and Lago de Nicaragua) also located in rift. Caribbean lowlands (or eastern) region covers about half of national territory; this region consists of tropical rain forest and pine savannas crossed by numerous rivers flowing to Caribbean. Between Pacific lowlands and Caribbean lowlands are central highlands, most extensive in north. Western Nicaragua situated at juncture between colliding tectonic plates, resulting in high incidence of earthquakes and volcanic activity.

Climate: Warm and relatively humid with some regional variation; temperature variation mainly function of altitude. Pacific lowlands generally more salubrious than Caribbean lowlands. East receives high average annual rainfall; west drier. Rainfall seasonal; May through October wettest months. Caribbean coast subject to destructive tropical storms and hurricanes from July to October.

Data as of December 1993