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Sports in Nicaragua

Unlike most Latin American countries, fútbol is not Nicaragua’s most prominent national sport; you do not need to spend much time in this country to realize that baseball holds the honor. As you travel around the country it is impossible not to notice how important and popular baseball is to Nicaraguans; every town has a baseball diamond or stadium, the largest of which is the 30,000-seater Dennis Martinez National Stadium in Managua. Named after the first Nicaraguan to play in Major League baseball, the stadium is a great place to catch a baseball game and hosts around five per week.

Although fútbol (soccer to North Americans) has stayed in baseball’s shadow, the sport is gaining popularity in Nicaragua and is widely played. Nicaragua has one of Central America’s weakest national teams; they have never qualified for a major tournament. Although the government is making an effort to improve the quality of the national league, FIFA currently ranks the Nicaraguan team 182nd (2008). FC Diriamba is the most popular and successful club team, having won the Primera División de Nicaragua 26 times. In recent years though, they have developed a fierce rivalry with Real Esteli, and over the last eight years the two teams have shared the title.

It is worth noting that boxing is also a popular sport in Nicaragua; the country has produced several world champions. Most prominent them is Alexis Arüello who was world champion on three occasions. Due in part to his fame as a boxer, Aruello was elected mayor of Managua in November 2008 for a four year term.

Nicaragua has an extremely varied geography and thus is the perfect setting for a wide-variety of outdoor sports. The mountains and volcanoes are great  for hiking and biking, while the coastal areas are perfect for swimming, sailing and surfing. Nicaragua is also becoming popular with golf enthusiasts, and the country has several courses that meet international standards. One of the top spots for golf is the Nejapa Golf and Country Club, located in Managua.

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Nicaragua : Baseball,

By Tom Ravenscroft
Initially intending to just pass through Ecuador on his year-long sojourn across the world, Tom Raven Scroft decided to set up camp in Quito as an...
28 Jan 2009

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