Republic of Nicaragua

In God We Trust!

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.

Presidencia Nicaragua portal
Presidency press portal, Nicaragua
Instituto Nicaragüense de Turismo
INTUR is the website of Government of the Nicaraguan Institute of Tourism, the governing body of tourism in Nicaragua.
Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
of Nicaragua.

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.

Regions are:

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.

Departments are:

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.
Nueva Segovia
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:

Academia de Geografia e Historia Bienvenidos
A nonprofit organization whose main objective is to promote the study of Geography and History of Central America in general and of Nicaragua in particular.
News Centro Humboldt
For the promotion of territorial development and environmental management


Augusto C. Sandino International Airport,in Managua, is the main entry to Nicaragua by air. Dependent on where you are from, you may need a Visa. You can also fly into the tiny Granada airstrip from San Jose.

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.

Directions by City or Zip (Postcode)

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