Your guide to being an expatriate in Nicaragua

Caffeinate Your Nicaragua Expat Journey: Find Essential Info and Connect with Expatriates Today!

Nestled between Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south, Nicaragua is a vibrant and resilient nation with a rich cultural heritage, breathtaking natural landscapes, and a deep commitment to progress and development. With a population of over 6 million people, Nicaragua has a rich and diverse demographic landscape, ranging from indigenous communities to Spanish-speaking mestizos, Afro-Caribbean peoples, and expatriates from around the world. A proudly independent nation, Nicaragua has a deep sense of national identity and pride, reflecting a long and storied history that dates back to the pre-Columbian era.


Expat destinations in Nicaragua

Demographics of Nicaragua:

Ethnic groups

Asian: 0.1%

White: 17.2%

Mestizo: 69.2%

Indigenous: 3.0%

Afro-Caribbean: 4.5%


Spanish (official): 99% (but mixed with English, French Creole, and indigenous languages in the Atlantic Coast)

Religion Overview

The majority of Nicaraguans identify as Roman Catholic, with many also practicing Protestantism, evangelical Christianity, or other forms of Christianity that have gained popularity in recent decades.

Major Religions


Nicaragua's climate is predominantly tropical, characterized by hot, humid conditions and abundant rainfall in the summer months (May to October) and drier conditions in the winter months (November to April). The Caribbean coastline, meanwhile, is known for its high rainfall and lush rainforests.

Economy Overview

With a GDP of $11.6 billion and a per capita income of $1,942, Nicaragua is a rapidly developing nation that has made significant strides in economic growth and poverty reduction in recent years. Agriculture and related activities remain a significant economic contributor, with key products including coffee, bananas, sugar, and beef. Tourism, manufacturing, and mining are also important sectors of the economy.

Key Industries

  • Agriculture
  • Manufacturing
  • Tourism
  • Mining

Major Companies

  • Corporación Espíritu Santo
  • Inversiones Palacios
  • Empresa de Comercialización y Servicios Agrícolas S.A.

Culture and Language Overview

Nicaraguan culture is a rich tapestry woven together from a variety of indigenous, European, and African influences. Popular traditions include music and dance, art, crafts, cuisine, and festivals that celebrate everything from saints' days to traditional agricultural cycles.

Cultural Highlights

  • Festivals: The Fiesta de San Juan celebrated on June 24th in Leon, the King and Queen Festival honoring youth and beauty since 1894, La Purisima Concepción celebrated on December 8th.
  • Music: Nicaraguan music is characterized by traditional instruments such as the marimbula, winds, and drums, which combine with the Spanish guitar to create a unique blend of sound.
  • Dance: The country's most famous dance is the Fandango, which originated in the southwestern region of El Salvador.

Geography and Landmarks Overview

Nicaragua's varied terrain includes dense rainforests, active volcanoes, and expansive lake plains, particularly in the north, which has earned it the nickname of 'the Land of Lakes and Volcanoes'.

Notable Landmarks

  • Lake Nicaragua (Cocibolva): One of Central America's largest lakes, home to the endangered freshwater shark
  • Corn Islands: Beautiful Caribbean islands famous for their diving and snorkelling opportunities
  • Leon Viejo: A UNESCO World Heritage Site and former Spanish colonial capital in the north of the country
  • Solentiname Archipelago: This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to indigenous communities living off the land in a traditional manner.
  • Mombacho Volcano: An active volcano rising 1457 meters (4814 feet) above sea level overlooking Lake Nicaragua
  • Rio San Juan: A stunning river bordering the country with Costa Rica.

National Holidays

  • New Year's Day (January 1)
  • Good Friday
  • Easter Sunday
  • Labour Day (May 1)
  • Corpus Christi
  • Father's Day (September 24)
  • Independence Day (September 14)
  • Christ of Esquipulas Day (October 19)
  • All Saints' Day (November 1)
  • Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe (December 12)
  • Christmas Day (December 25)

Political Stability

In recent years, Nicaragua has been impacted by political unrest, protests, and ongoing efforts to consolidate political power. The shift to democracy in the 1980s and 1990s has been complemented by economic and social progress, democratic institutions, and peaceful political transitions. Today, Nicaragua remains an evolving and exciting nation with much to offer in terms of history, culture, economy, and opportunity.

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