Nicaragua

Driving Directions Nicaragua

NICARAGUA is the largest of the Central American countries. It lies between the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east, on the isthmus of Central America, and is sandwiched between Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south.

The dense forests and sandy beaches of the Mosquito Coast in the eastern part of the country are the wettest part of the island and home to a variety of wildlife, including jaguar, monkey, puma, and crocodile.

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The land rises inland to become mountainous, with peaks rising to nearly 2,134 meters or 7,000 feet – the mountains interspersed with fertile valleys. In the southwest, there is a large basin that contains two vast lakes, Nicaragua in the south, and Managua in the north. These are bordered in the north by volcanoes, many of which are still active.

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Nicaragua is subject to earthquakes, and the capital, Managua, was severely damaged by tremors in 1931 and 1972.

Most of Nicaragua’s people live in the region of the lakes or towards the Pacific coast in the west. Nicaragua is primarily an agricultural country, and 65 percent of the labor force work on the land.

Coffee, cotton, bananas, and sugar cane are grown, with cattle ranching in some of the upland areas. There are mineral deposits of gold, copper, and silver, with gold being of prime importance, but the country’s economy is mostly dependent on foreign aid.

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