Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America with an area of 130,373 km2. The population in Nicaragua hovers at approximately 6 million. The capital city of Managua is the most populous with over 1.5 million inhabitants.
The country limits with Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. The Pacific Ocean lies to the west and the Caribbean to the east. It sits in the tropics between 11 degrees and 14 degrees north of the Equator in the Northern Hemisphere.
The population includes varied ethnicities including indigenous native tribes from the Mosquito Coast, Europeans, Africans, Asians and people of Middle Eastern origin. The main language is Spanish. Of the Spanish-speaking countries in Central America, Nicaragua is where the use of the voseo form of address is most widespread.
The mixture of cultural traditions has generated substantial diversity in art, cuisine, literature, and music.
Nicaragua is endowed with abundance of biologically significant and unique ecosystems, and as such it is designated as a biodiversity hotspot. In fact, Nicaragua’s biological diversity, warm tropical climate, and active volcanoes make it an increasingly popular destination for tourists, surfers, biologists, and volcanologists.
Nicaragua’s agricultural and cattle farming have been a fundamental part of the country’s exports for more than 150 years. Historically known as the “breadbasket of Central America”, Nicaragua is known for its fertile soils.
Nicaragua is primarily an agricultural country; agriculture constitutes 60% of its total exports which annually yield approximately US $300 million. Nicaragua’s agrarian economy has historically been based on the export of cash crops such as coffee, sugar and beef. Light industry (maquila), tourism, banking, mining, fisheries, and general commerce are expanding. On the Pacific side, coffee and cotton are by far the most important commercial crops. Since 1992, more land has been devoted to coffee than to any other crop, and it is the nation’s leading export in terms of value.
In the last few years, the country has seen positive growth in the tourism sector. The country has seen a growth of about 70% nationwide with rates of 10%–16%. The growth in tourism has positively affected the agricultural, commercial, and finance industries, as well as the construction industry.