Language(s): Spanish & English (Official)
Total Area: 129,494 km2
GDP (PPP): 2012 estimate
Total: $19.827 billion
Per capita: $3,325
Currency: Gold Cordoba (NIO)
Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America. Lake Nicaragua, home of Ometepe Island, is the home of the only freshwater sharks in the world. According to a guide I had on the lake the sharks are Bull Sharks that swam upstream chasing food and then eventually stayed in the lake, and evolved to live in freshwater.
Nicaragua is expected to grow 5.8% over the next five years, ahead of the 4.9% GDP average for Latin America according to a recent report from Pyramid Research.
With this positive economic forecast in mind and Nicaraguan exports in 2012 predicted to grow 10-15% according to the Inter-American Development Bank, investor confidence in the nation is on the up with the Nicaraguan government recently revealing that Nicaragua received US$967.9 million in foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2011, a 91% increase over 2010, as well as a new record for the Latin American country.
A wave of foreign real estate buying is coming into Nicaragua. Due to the effects of civil war, natural calamities and probably bad luck, it is still one of the poorest countries in Latin America.
Foreigners can freely buy properties in Nicaragua, except for certain beach front properties. Under the Maritime Zone Law, the first 200 meters of land from high tide zone belongs to the state (but this land can usually be leaded on a 99-year lease, which is likely to be renewed). The first 50 meters are considered public terrain and cannot be developed. The next 150 meters can be developed privately through concessions from the municipal authorities.