Capital city Managua
Surface 130,373 km²
Population 6,071,000
Road network length 2.126 km
Length of highway network 0 km
First highway N/A
Motorway name N/A
Traffic drives Right
License plate code NIC

Nicaragua (Spanish: República de Nicaragua) is a country in Central America, located on the continent of North America. The country has 6 million inhabitants and is more than 3 times the size of the Netherlands. The capital is Managua.


According to ABBREVIATIONFINDER, Nicaragua is located between the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east. It borders Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. Just east of the Caribbean coast are some islands belonging to Colombiabelong. Nicaragua measures a maximum of 450 kilometers from north to south and 450 kilometers from west to east. A fairly large part of Nicaragua is flat to rolling, but the west has higher hills and a few volcanoes that rise far above the landscape. Most mountains are no more than 1,000 meters high, but isolated volcanoes rise to more than 1,500 meters. On the border with Honduras is the 2,107 meter high Mogotón, the highest point in Nicaragua. The country is further dominated by two large lakes, Lake Managua and the greater Lake Nicaragua, which is the largest lake in Central America. The east coast of Nicaragua is known as the Mosquito Coast, an inaccessible area of ​​swamps and jungle. The interior of Nicaragua is more cultivated.


Nicaragua has more than 6 million inhabitants. See Nicaragua population density. The capital Managua is the only really big city, with more than 1 million inhabitants. In addition, there are 9 cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants, which means that Nicaragua has more larger cities than most other Central American countries. All the larger cities are in the western half of Nicaragua, but inland from the coast. It is striking that Nicaragua has no large coastal towns, most coastal towns are located on the Pacific Ocean and are relatively small. There are only two places on the Caribbean coast.

More than two thirds of the inhabitants of Nicaragua are Mestizo: a mix of Indo-American and European. Another 17% are of European descent only and 9% are of African descent, living mainly in eastern Nicaragua. The rest are made up of indigenous peoples. In Nicaragua, Spanish is spoken by almost the entire population. Indigenous languages ​​and creole are also spoken, especially in the east of the country.


The economy of Nicaragua is underdeveloped, it is one of the poorest countries in Latin America. Nicaragua has the highest agricultural share of Central America’s economy. Nicaragua’s exports consist mainly of agricultural products. About half of the inhabitants of Nicaragua live below the poverty line. Conflicts in the 20th century prevented Nicaragua from developing properly. The infrastructure is underdeveloped. The country relies heavily on money sent back to Nicaragua by migrants abroad. Much of the economy is informal. Tourism in Nicaragua is on the rise.


Columbus was the first European to reach the east coast of what is now Nicaragua in 1502. However, it took another 20 years for Spaniards to attempt to colonize the area, the first permanent settlement being established in 1524. The Spaniards developed some infrastructure in Nicaragua and founded the most important modern cities there. In 1821 the area became independent from Spain, but from then on it belonged to Mexico for a short time. It was then part of the United States of Central America, but became an independent republic in 1838. There was then rivalry and conflict between Nicaragua’s two main cities: León and Granada. In 1852 Managua became the capital of the country as a compromise. Eastern Nicaragua, the Mosquito Coast, was a British protectorate that joined Nicaragua in 1860 and then governed as an autonomous region until 1894.

The United States planned to build a canal through Nicaragua in 1899, but the Panama Canal was eventually built. The US military had a strong presence in Nicaragua between 1912 and 1933, after which Nicaragua was a dictatorship. A revolution by Marxists followed in 1979, after which the counter-revolutionists received support from the United States. Democratic elections were held in 1990. Daniel Ortega held power in Nicaragua for a long time, between 1979 and 1990 as well as from 2007, which is increasingly judged to be an authoritarian regime.

Road numbering

There are three road number tiers in Nicaragua, the Central American Highway, prefixed with CA, the state roads, and the departmental roads. The CA-1 is the transit route, and runs alongside the NIC-1 and NIC-2. The national roads are abbreviated with the prefix “NIC”.

The national roads are numbered from 1 to 74, only a small number of numbers have been skipped. The numbering is much more extensive than the road network requires. Most road numbers above 25 are secondary roads, often unpaved. Much higher road numbers are short spurs connecting a village to a main road. However, some higher numbers are longer roads.


The signage in Nicaragua is very similar to that of other Latin American countries, with green signs, capital letters and plump arrows. The road number shield is displayed with the abbreviation “NIC”.

Nicaragua Location Map