• Capital City: Managua (Metro Area Population: 1.7 million)
• Location and Borders: Central America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Costa Rica and Honduras
• Administrative Divisions: 15 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento); Boaco, Carazo, Chinandega, Chontales, Esteli, Granada, Jinotega, Leon, Madriz, Managua, Masaya, Matagalpa, Nueva Segovia, Rio San Juan, Rivas; 2 autonomous regions (regiones autonomistas, singular - region autonoma); Atlantico Norte, Atlantico Sur
• Area: Total: 129,494 sq km
Land: 120,254 sq km
Water: 9,240 sq km
• Climate: tropical in lowlands, cooler in highlands
• Population: 5,675,000
• Demographic Growth Rate: 1.86%
• Industries: beverages, food processing, machinery and metal products, textiles, clothing, chemicals, petroleum refining and distribution, footwear, wood
• Languages: Spanish 97.5% (official), Miskito 1.7%, other 0.8%
• Government System: republic
Regions of Nicaragua
Nicaragua is broken into several regions based on its different climates and varying vegetation. For example, in the northern region of the country, travelers will experience the incredible jungle and cloud forests. Because of the lush forests of pine, mahogany, and cedar, this area is great for the growing industry known as eco-tourism. Visitors can go on any of various treks and hikes through the cloud forest as well as partake in the tours such as the cigar tour.
Another of Guatemala's impressive regions is the location of many of Guatemala's volcanoes, lagoons, and some of the country's most significant towns. This region is known as the central pacific region and is made up of the area south of the border of Honduras. Here you find such historic cities as León, where you can see the impressive colonial architecture, visit the surrounding volcanoes, and even take a trip to the local rum distillery. Granada is yet another historic city in this region and offers visitors the opportunity to take in a great amount of history with various tours of the antique structures and buildings. The popular Montelimar is a beautiful beach resort which makes it another popular destination in this area.
The Caribbean region is also a popular spot for tourists and is home to Bluefields and the Corn Islands. Bluefields is a laid back town that has not yes exploded with tourism. This allows visitors the get more a better taste of the local culture. The Corn Islands also offer visitors a relaxing stop with its beautiful beaches and clear water. Be sure to partake in the snorkeling in the Caribbean regions as there are many different coral formations to be seen.
Finally, the San Juan region includes the area where the San Juan River flows from Lake Nicaragua to the Caribbean Sea. This area is packed full of natural beauty and various protected reserves. This region is completely made up of tropical rainforest and is home to very rich biodiversity.
Nicaragua's total land area is roughly 13 million hectares of which 22% has been declared protected. This percentage is much more than the average of only 9% in other Central American countries. Of its 88 different protected areas, there are 320,000 hectares of national parks as well as nearly 600,000 hectares attributed to natural monuments and seascapes. In addition, Nicaragua is home to 8 unique wetlands of international importance and 1 biosphere reserve.
Nicaragua is also rich with flora and fauna biodiversity. There are nearly 7,600 different higher plants spread throughout the country. As far as fauna are concerned, Nicaragua also houses some 200 species of mammals, as well as 215 different bird species. Finally, Nicaragua has within its borders nearly 500 different species of other animals including reptiles, amphibians, and fish.