The municipality of El Viejo includes the whole of the Coseguina peninsula, which is a designated National Park. The municipality has a total area of 1,308 sq km. It is the largest municipality in Nicaragua outside the capital Managua. The population is about 95,000 split equally between the City and the rural area.
El Viejo, like Norwich, is an historic city, the second oldest in Nicaragua. The name literally means ‘the old one’. Another similarity is that El Viejo is a regional centre for an agricultural area. Unlike Norwich, large areas of the Coseguina peninsula are very remote and isolated.
Nicaragua is on the edge of the Pacific plate and has a mountain cordillera down the western part of the country with many volcanos, some of them active. San Cristobal, the highest volcano in Nicaragua at 1745 metres, lies only a few miles from El Viejo. It had a minor eruption in November 1999 when it scattered ash over a wide area. Las Casitas, the site of the collapse of a crater lake during Hurricane Mitch in November, 1998, which killed over 2000 people in the municipality of Poseltega, is also nearby.