Nicaragua is a country that has been through a lot. It was the first country to declare independence from Spain in 1821, and it has been through a lot of political turmoil since then. The country has also been through a lot of natural disasters, including earthquakes and hurricanes. But despite all of that, Nicaragua is full of interesting facts.
Here are some of the most interesting facts about Nicaragua:
1. The name Nicaragua comes from the name Nicarao, which was the name of one of the indigenous tribes in the area.
2. Nicaragua is located on the Pacific coast of Central America and borders Costa Rica to the north and Honduras to the east and south.
3. Nicaragua's capital city is Managua, which is also its largest city with more than 1 million people living there.
4. The second largest city in Nicaragua is Leon, which has about 350,000 people living there [source: CIA].
5. About 90 percent of Nicaraguans are Roman Catholic [source: CIA].
6. The official language spoken in Nicaragua is Spanish [source: CIA].
7. The currency used in Nicaragua is called the córdoba [source: CIA].
8. There are three national parks in Nicaragua: Indio Maíz Biological Reserve, Río San Juan National Park and Laguna de Apoyo National Park [source: UNESCO].
9. Lake Apoyo is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Nicaragua because it's known for its natural beauty and for being an important nesting site for sea turtles [source: UNESCO].
10. Lake Apoyo also has a legend about an underwater city called Atlantis that sank into it after a volcanic eruption thousands of years ago [source: UNESCO].
11. Lake Cocibolca (also known as Lake Nicaragua) is the largest lake in Central America and it's one of the deepest lakes on Earth at more than 1,000 feet (305 meters) deep at its deepest point [source: UNESCO].
12. Lake Cocibolca was formed by volcanic activity millions of years ago when two volcanoes erupted simultaneously [source: UNESCO].
13. Lake Cocibolca connects to both oceans via rivers that run through it; one river runs into the Pacific Ocean while another runs into the Caribbean Sea [source: UNESCO].
14. There are two volcanoes near Managua that are still active; they're called Momotombo and Telica volcanoes [source: UNESCO].
15. Momotombo volcano erupted in 1772, destroying much of Managua but leaving some buildings standing today that were built before 1772; you can still see them today if you visit Managua [source: UNESCO].
16. The eruption from Momotombo volcano also destroyed nearby León but left some buildings standing there as well; you can still see them today if you visit León [source: UNESCO].
17. The capital city Managua was named after its founder, Pedro Joaquín Chamorro y Alfaro who was assassinated by conservative forces during political unrest in 1893; he was replaced by conservative president José Santos Zelaya who later became president again after winning elections in 1893 but who was overthrown by conservative forces again during another civil war between liberal and conservative forces just four years later in 1907 [source: CIA].
18. The first president of Nicaragua after the country declared independence from Spain was Francisco Morazán, who was also the president of the Central American Federation [source: CIA].
19. Nicaragua's first constitution was written in 1812 and was modeled after the United States Constitution [source: CIA].
20. Nicaragua's first constitution allowed for universal male suffrage and freedom of religion [source: CIA].
Nicaragua is a very interesting place!