Terrain shapes and bedrock
According to COUNTRYAAH, the Central American part of the Cordillarians meets the interior, most of Nicaragua, and on both sides of this highland coastal plains are spreading. The inner, mountainous part between 600-100 m above sea level, tierra templada, consists of older bedrock, covered by Mesozoic rocks. It is highest in the north, where the Entre Ríos Cordillera reaches 2 103 m above sea level. at the top Mogotón and Isabelia Cordillera 1 750 m above sea level. In the middle of the country, the slightly lower Dariense Cordillera and Huapí Mountains extend, to the south the Chontaleña Cordillera and Yolaina Mountains. Between the chains are the streams and fertile valleys.
The eastern coastal region is particularly wide, about 80 km, low and swampy. The coast, the Mosquito Coast, is here heavily broken with lagoons, delta, sandbanks and coral reefs. The western coastal region has a belt with some 40 volcanoes, some active as the Masaya Caldera. Volcanic eruptions and earthquakes are a constant threat to cultivation and settlement, while the volcanic ash provides a fertile soil.
In southwestern Nicaragua is a sink with the big lakes Managua and Nicaragua. The Tipitapa River dewateres the former to the latter, from which the San Juan River flows into the Caribbean Sea. The largest river in Nicaragua, the Río Grande de Matagalpa, flows east as does Coco, which borders on Honduras.
Eastern Nicaragua has a tropical rainforest climate, where the annual average temperature is 26 °C and the average annual rainfall is 3,800 mm, as a result of damp pass winds from the northeast. The rainy season lasts about nine months. Western Nicaragua lies in the rain shadow and receives a maximum of 1,900 mm per year, which falls during May – November, and is almost steep in nature with 27 °C in annual average temperature. In the mountain area, the annual average temperature is slightly lower, about 18 °C.
The flora houses about 7,000 species but is still poorly explored. The land area is covered by about 30% of tropical rainforest, but the number of endemic species is considered to be rather low. Along the Atlantic coast there is a large lowland forest area that is crossed by rivers and which is closest to the coast consisting of swamp forests. In the interior of the country there are areas of mountain rainforest, but mostly the land there is cultivated. Especially in the northeast, there are coniferous forests, and pine trees in Nicaragua have their geographical southern border in Central America.
Several economically important forest trees are threatened with extinction due to forestry, e.g. madroño (degami, Calycophyʹllum candidiʹssimum), Indigoʹfera argeʹntea, Caribbean cedar, cocoa and the newly discovered genus Macrohasseʹltia.
The mammalian fauna is rich with both nectic and neotropical features. Five species of cat animals occur, including: jaguar, cougar and ozelot. Other predators include tayra, gray fox, mule bear, common nasal bear (Naʹsua naʹsua) and five species of skunk. In the forests there are three species of monkeys: actual capucin (Ceʹbus capuciʹnus), mantle monkey (Alouaʹtta palliaʹta) and red spider monkey (Aʹteles geoffroyi [-ro i ʹi]). Of ungulates can be mentioned Central American tapir (Tapiʹrus baiʹrdi).
In the forests many neotropical bird groups are represented, i.e. hummingbirds, toucans, trogons, slow-moving birds, counter-moons and cuttlefish. Spring and autumn pass large numbers of migratory birds. Among the reptiles are the green iguana, the lizard crocodile (Crocodyʹlus acuʹtus) and several species of turtles. In Nicaragua, there are many species of cichlids as well as the normally marine species of bull shark, tarpon and sawfish.
In 2010, there were two national parks in Nicaragua. In addition, there were 46 larger nature reserves and individual areas with other forms of protection, a total of 11% of the country’s area.