Overland Journeys: Central America Explorer

GranadaOmetepe IslandLeónRuins of León Viejo

Nicaragua boasts many of the attractions characteristic of Central America but with fewer visitors than its more popular neighbours like Costa Rica and Guatemala. The Spanish colonial influence is still strongly felt in the atmospheric and charismatic cities of Granada and León. These towns are located amidst Nicaragua's dominant natural features - the active and spectacular volcanoes that dot the country and the vast Lake Nicaragua. Getting up close and personal with a bubbling volcano crater is a must-do in Nicaragua, whilst Ometepe Island on the lake has some fascinating scenery and wildlife. The east of the country is less visited but a journey to the Caribbean coast is rewarded with some downtime on the laid back and unspoilt paradise of the Corn Islands. Explore in depth highlights of Nicaragua.

Travel Information for Nicaragua
Time zone:GMT -6 (Central America time) Daylight savings:    None
Main languages:Spanish
Other languages:Garifuna, English, Creole, Miskito, Sumo, Rama
Currency: cordobas (NIO)

1 = C$33.00, $1 = C$29.58, £1 = C$39.34

(rates as of Sep 2016)

Internet Domain:.niInternational Dialling Code:    505

For help planning your trip to Nicaragua including visas, vaccinations, currency exchange, flights, accomodation and insurance, see our Nicaragua trip planning page.

Further information on Nicaragua

Discover more about Nicaragua - the country's geogrpahy and natural features, an assessment of its status on freedom and rights and data on the country's population and economy.

Geography & Natural Features

Map of nicaragua

Total area: 129,494 sq km (9,240 sq km under water)

Coastline: 910 km (Caribbean Sea, Pacific Ocean)

Neighbours (border lengths): Costa Rica (309km), Honduras (922km)

Climate: Tropical climate in lowlands and cooler in the highlands with a rainy season between May and October. Very susceptible to hurricanes with occasional earthquake and volcano damage.

Highest mountain: Mogoton (2,438m)

Freedom & Rights

Summary status and rankings for Nicaragua from classifications of different organisations measuring political and economic freedom, democracy and civil rights. See more details of these rankings.

Freedom in the WorldPartly Free -
Democracy IndexHybrid regime 94/167
Economic FreedomMostly Unfree 108/179
Press FreedomNoticeable problems 73/179
ILGA LGBT rightsSome rights -
Corruption PerceptionsHigh corruption 133/174
Overall Ranking:    94/195

Other Data & Links

Full name: Republic of Nicaragua     Status: Independent Country

Population: 5,848,641 (rank: 109/196)     Density: 45.1 people/sq km (rank: 137/196)

Ethnic groups: mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 69%, white 17%, black 9%, Amerindian 5%

Religions: Roman Catholic 58.5%, Evangelical 21.6%, Moravian 1.6%, Jehovah's Witness 0.9%, other 1.7%, none 15.7% (2005 census)

GDP (PPP): $27.86 billion       GDP per capita: $4,500 (rank: 137/195)

Information derived from the CIA World Factbook. Other country profiles: BBC News.