Nicaragua, officially the Republic of Nicaragua (República de Nicaragua), is the largest country in Central America. It is is located at the center of the Central American isthmus that forms a land bridge between North and South America. Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast is part of the Western Caribbean Zone. On the Pacific side of the country are the two largest fresh water lakes in Central America—Lake Managua and Lake Nicaragua. Surrounding these lakes and extending to their northwest along the rift valley of the Gulf of Fonseca are fertile lowland plains, whose soil is highly enriched with ash from nearby volcanoes. Nicaragua’s abundance of biologically significant and unique ecosystems contribute to Mesoamerica’s designation as a biodiversity hotspot. The Central American Volcanic Arc runs through the spine of the country, earning Nicaragua its notably famous nickname: The Land of Lakes and Volcanoes.
Nicaragua is a unitary republic, and for administrative purposes, it is divided into 15 departments (departamentos) and two self-governing regions (autonomous communities) based on the Spanish model.
Región Autónoma del Atlántico Norte
Spanish for “Autonomous Region of the Northern Atlantic”, sometimes shortened to RAAN, is one of two autonomous regions in Nicaragua. The capital is Puerto Cabezas.
Región Autónoma del Atlántico Sur
Spanish for “Autonomous Region of the Southern Atlantic”, sometimes shortened to RAAS, is one of two autonomous regions in Nicaragua. The capital is Bluefields.
It was formed in 1938 out of part of Chontales. The capital is the city of Boaco. Indigenous peoples are the Nuhuas and Sumos.
The capital is Jinotepe.
The capital is the city of Chinandega. Largely agricultural, it produces rum from sugar cane; other products are bananas, peanuts, shrimps and salt.
The capital is Juigalpa.
Its capital is the city of Estelí.
The capital is the city of Granada.
Jinotega is the second largest department in Nicaragua. The capital is the city of Jinotega.
The capital is the city of León.
The capital is Somoto. Madriz was created from Nueva Segovia department in August 1936, and named after José Madriz.
The capital is the city of Managua.
It is the country’s smallest department by area. The capital is the city of Masaya.
The capital is the city of Matagalpa. Matagalpa is the most diversified province, producing coffee, cattle, milk produce, vegetables, wood, gold, flowers. Its extensive forests, rivers and geography are suited for ecotourism.
The capital is Ocotal.
The department’s capital is the city of Rivas. Rivas is known for its fertile soil and beautiful beaches. There are many sugar cane, plantain, tobacco, and other crop plantations. The department borders Lake Nicaragua to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west.
Río San Juan
It was formed in 1957 from parts of Chontales and Zelaya departments. The capital is San Carlos. The Department also includes the Solentiname Islands archipelago and the San Juan River, after which it is named. Trinidad, in Rio San Juan, is the most southerly point in Nicaragua.
Other places and informational links for Nicaragua:
By car, there are two border crossings to Costa Rica, Penas Blancas west of Lake Nicaragua and Los Chiles east of it. You have to take a boat to cross at Los Chiles. It is not possible to cross into Nicaragua via Los Chiles by car. There are three major border crossings to Honduras. Las Manos is on the shortest route to Tegucigalpa, the others ones are on the Panamerican Highway north of Leon.
International buses are available between Managua and San Jose, Costa Rica (also stopping briefly in Rivas and Granada), San Salvador, El Salvador (stopping briefly in Leon) and Honduras.
Groundhog Day falls on February 2 in the United States, coinciding with Candlemas. It is a part of popular culture among many Americans and it centers on the idea of the groundhog coming out of its home to “predict” the weather.
Valentine's Day is celebrated on February 14. It is a festival of romantic love and many people give cards, letters, flowers or presents to their spouse or partner. They may also arrange a romantic meal in a restaurant or night in a hotel. Common symbols of Valentine's Day are hearts, red roses and Cupid.
Many people in the United States, particularly students, parents and teachers, join forces on Read Across America Day. This nationwide observance coincides with the birthday of Dr Seuss, who is known for writing children’s books.
Texas Independence Day is the celebration of the adoption of the Texas Declaration of Independence on March 2, 1836. With this document signed by 59 people, settlers in Mexican Texas officially declared independence from Mexico and created the Republic of Texas.
The Republic of Texas existed from March 2, 1836, to February 19, 1846. The republic's southern- and western-most boundary with Mexico was under dispute throughout the republic's entire existence. Texas claimed the boundary as the Rio Grande (a.k.a. Río Bravo/Río Bravo del Norte), while Mexico claimed the boundary as the Nueces River. This dispute would later become a trigger for the Mexican–American War of 1846–48. The republic's independence ended with Texas's annexation by the U.S. on December 29, 1845.
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