|• Department||6,481 km2 (2,502 sq mi)|
(2021 estimate) 
|• Density||30/km2 (77/sq mi)|
Chontales (Spanish : Departamento de Chontales) (Spanish pronunciation: [tʃonˈtales] ) is a department in Nicaragua. It covers an area of 6,481 km² and has a population of 191,856. The capital is Juigalpa. Some 90 kilometres (56 mi) of land overlooks Lake Cocibolca (Lake Nicaragua) on the western side. The department is livestock and fishing based, and is also a producer of apples.
The Chontales Department is situated in the central-southwest part of the country. It is bordered by the Boaco Department to the north, the Río San Juan Department to the south, the South Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region to the east and Lake Cocibolca to the west. Chontales geographically primarily consists of the slopes around Lake Cocibolca, the Serranía Chontaleña range and rolling hills that undulate towards the Caribbean plain. The Cuisalá, a tributary of the Mayales flows in the northwestern part of the department. The shoreline of Lake Cocibolca within the department is about 90 kilometres (56 mi), between the mouths of the Tecolostote and Oyate rivers. 
The department is divided administratively into 10 municipalities: 
The regional economy of Chontales is mainly based around livestock. The estates along the shore of the lake and along the road to Rama contain many plains and wet pastures to accommodate for cattle herds. The department is also a major producer of apples, producing over 743,000 apples according to one census, representing 8% of all agricultural land in Nicaragua.  Mining and fishing are also conducted in the department. 
The department contains the Arqueológico Gregorio Aguilar Barea, which has a number of indigenous artifacts attesting to the socio-cultural development of the people of Chontales throughout history. The Museo Comunitario Juigalpan María Ramos in Juigalpa reveals much about the history and identity of the region. The Reserva Natural de Amerrique is a nature reserve within the department, in a volcanic area. 
Lake Nicaragua or Cocibolca or Granada is a freshwater lake in Nicaragua. Of tectonic origin and with an area of 8,264 km2 (3,191 sq mi), it is the largest lake in Central America, the 19th largest lake in the world and the tenth largest in the Americas, slightly smaller than Lake Titicaca. With an elevation of 32.7 metres (107 ft) above sea level, the lake reaches a depth of 26 metres (85 ft). It is intermittently joined by the Tipitapa River to Lake Managua.
Nicaragua is a country in Central America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Costa Rica and Honduras. Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America in square kilometers.
Managua is the capital and largest city of Nicaragua, and the center of an eponymous department. Located on the southwestern shore of Lake Managua and inside the Managua Department, it has an estimated population of 1,055,247 in 2020 within the city's administrative limits and a population of 1,401,687 in the metropolitan area, which additionally includes the municipalities of Ciudad Sandino, El Crucero, Nindirí, Ticuantepe and Tipitapa.
Granada is a city in western Nicaragua and the capital of the Granada Department. With an estimated population of 104,980 (2021), it is Nicaragua's ninth most populous city. Granada is historically one of Nicaragua's most important cities, economically and politically. It has a rich colonial heritage, seen in its architecture and structure.
Jinotega is the capital city of the Department of Jinotega in north-central Nicaragua.
Bajo Nuevo Bank, also known as the Petrel Islands, is a small, uninhabited reef with some small grass-covered islets, located in the western Caribbean Sea at 15°53′N78°38′W, with a lighthouse on Low Cay at 15°51′N78°38′W. The closest neighbouring land feature is Serranilla Bank, located 110 kilometres to the west.
The Solentiname Islands are an archipelago towards the southern end of Lake Nicaragua in the Nicaraguan department of Río San Juan.
Boaco is the capital city and a municipality of the Boaco Department of Nicaragua. The municipality of Boaco has a population of 62,936 and an area of 1,087 km2 while the department (state) is 4,177 km2.
Artigas Department is the northernmost department of Uruguay, located in its northwestern region. Its capital is the city of Artigas, which borders on the Brazilian city of Quaraí. Artigas Department has an area of 11,928 square kilometres (4,605 sq mi), making it the fifth largest in the country. The population is 73,378 inhabitants, according to the 2011 census.
Acoyapa is a town and a municipality in the Chontales Department of Nicaragua. Its name comes from the word "Acoyaph" which means "place from above".
Juigalpa is the municipal seat of Juigalpa Municipality and the capital city of the Chontales Department of Nicaragua. It is located within the municipality of Juigalpa, approximately 140 km east of Managua on Carretera Rama, in the central region of Nicaragua.
San Francisco de Cuapa is a municipality in the Chontales Department of Nicaragua. This municipality was created July 30, 1997 and is located in the northeast section of Chontales. Before that date, the town was part of the municipality of Juigalpa. Its area is about 277 km2 (107 sq mi). The principal business activity is the cattle and agriculture. 99% of the population is Catholic. The first mayor was Manuel Antonio Zelaya Meneses and the vice-mayor was Oscar Velasquez Gonzalez. They were elected in 1997.
Santo Tomás is a town and a municipality in the Chontales Department of Nicaragua. It is located 179 km (111 mi) from Managua and 40 km (25 mi) from Juigalpa on the paved highway to Rama, en route to the Atlantic Coast.
Tipitapa is a city and municipality in the Managua department of western Nicaragua. The area is located between Lake Managua and Lake Nicaragua.
Sébaco is a town and a municipality in the Matagalpa department of Nicaragua.
The following is an alphabetical list of topics related to the Republic of Nicaragua.
The Amerrisque Mountains are the central spine of Nicaragua and part of the Central American Range which extends throughout central Nicaragua for about 700 km (430 mi) from Honduras in the northwest to Costa Rica in the southwest, just a few miles from the Caribbean. The Amerrisques also are known as Cordillera Chontaleña at their central range. Its coordinates are 12°12'0" N and 85°19'0" W in DMS or 12.2 and -85.3167 and is 329 meters above sea level.
The Chicamocha Canyon is a steep sided canyon carved by the Chicamocha River in Colombia. With a maximum depth of 2,000 metres (6,600 ft), an area of 108,000 hectares and a length of 227 kilometres (141 mi), the canyon is the second-largest worldwide. The canyon is situated in the departments of Boyacá and Santander, stretching from Soatá in the southeast to Girón and Betulia in the northwest.
The Spanish conquest of Nicaragua was the campaign undertaken by the Spanish conquistadores against the natives of the territory now incorporated into the modern Central American republic of Nicaragua during the colonisation of the Americas. Before European contact in the early 16th century, Nicaragua was inhabited by a number of indigenous peoples. In the west, these included Mesoamerican groups such as the Chorotega, the Nicarao, and the Subtiaba. Other groups included the Matagalpa and the Tacacho.
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Coordinates: 12°05′N85°24′W / 12.083°N 85.400°W