Nicaragua is the largest country in the Central American American isthmus
An isthmus is a narrow strip of land connecting two larger land areas usually with waterforms on either side.Canals are often built through isthmuses where they may be particularly advantageous to create a shortcut for marine transportation...

, bordered by Honduras
Honduras is a republic in Central America. It was previously known as Spanish Honduras to differentiate it from British Honduras, which became the modern-day state of Belize...

 to the north and Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Costa Rica , officially the Republic of Costa Rica is a multilingual, multiethnic and multicultural country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east....

 to the south. The country is situated between 11
11th parallel north
The 11th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 11 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Africa, the Indian Ocean, South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Ocean, Central America, South America and the Atlantic Ocean....

 and 14
14th parallel north
The 14th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 14 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Africa, Asia, the Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, Central America, the Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean....

 degrees north of the Equator
An equator is the intersection of a sphere's surface with the plane perpendicular to the sphere's axis of rotation and containing the sphere's center of mass....

 in the Northern Hemisphere, which places it entirely within the tropics. The Pacific Ocean lies to the west, and the Caribbean Sea
Caribbean Sea
The Caribbean Sea is a sea of the Atlantic Ocean located in the tropics of the Western hemisphere. It is bounded by Mexico and Central America to the west and southwest, to the north by the Greater Antilles, and to the east by the Lesser Antilles....

 to the east. The country's physical geography divides it into three major zones: Pacific lowlands, wet, cooler central highlands, and the Caribbean lowlands
Caribbean Lowlands
The Caribbean Lowlands are a common region in Central American nations. It is the area usually on the Eastern side of a country, bordering the Caribbean Sea....


1821    Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica jointly declare independence from Spain.

1824    Costa Rica annexes Guanacaste from Nicaragua.

1838    Nicaragua declares independence from the Central American Federation.

1838    The Federal Republic of Central America begins to disintegrate when Nicaragua separates from the federation.

1855    American adventurer William Walker departs from San Francisco with about 60 men to conquer Nicaragua.

1855    American adventurer William Walker conquers Nicaragua.

1893    A revolution led by the liberal general and politician, José Santos Zelaya, takes over state power in Nicaragua.

1895    El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua form the Greater Republic of Central America.

1909    Two United States warships are sent to Nicaragua after 500 revolutionaries (including two Americans) are executed by order of José Santos Zelaya.

1912    United States Marines invade Nicaragua to support the U.S.-backed government installed there after José Santos Zelaya had resigned three years earlier.