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Bluefields is a city on the Carribean coast of Nicaragua.


Bluefields is the capital of the Southern Autonomous Region on the Atlantic coast of Nicaragua.

Nicaragua is unusual in being one of the few countries in Latin America simultaneously colonized by two European powers. The west was colonized by Spain, and their usual policies implemented resulting in the complete extinction of indigenous cultures and peoples. In their place, a Mestizo, Spanish-speaking, Catholic culture evolved.

The east, or Caribbean coast, however, fared differently. It was colonized by Great Britain and the result was the survival of three indigenous groups, including the Miskitu, Sumu, and Rama, and three multi-ethnic communities, including the Creole and Garifunu.

Differences between the two regions were only exacerbated when, in 1894, the Spanish speaking Nicaraguan military - with the help of the US - invaded the Caribbean coast, forcing territorial integration, to which the Costeños were implacably opposed. Successive Nicaraguan administrations began implementing policies that sought to impose the primacy and dominance of Mestizo culture. Indigenous cultures and languages of the Caribbean coast were forbidden by governmental decree and licences and concessions granted to US and other foreign interests to exploit the natural resources of the region without much tangible benefit to the locals.

The Autonomy Law, first implemented under the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) government in 1987 (bitterly opposed by Nixon and others), sought to redress the injustices created by centuries of foreign and internal colonialism.

The people are still well aware of their combined heritage of being escaped/freed slaves, part of indigenous groups, descendants of Spanish settlers, and/or a mix of any of these groups. This creates a very diverse and vibrant community. The language most spoken is a Creole of English. Most people speak Spanish as a second or third language after Creole and/or an indigenous language. All in all, there are 6 different ethnicities that can be found throughout the region; Black/Creole, Mestizo, Miskito, Rama, Sumu, Garifuna.

Get in

By plane

Domestic flights arrive from Managua. The flight is about USD80 each way.

By bus

From Managua to Rama - about 6 hours. From Rama, take a speedboat called a "panga" to Bluefields. The boatride is about 2 hours.

There is now a dirt road from Rama to Bluefields, but there are no bus services. Bus service runs from Rama to Pearl Lagoon through Kukra River. From there you can take a panga to Bluefields

By Boat

There is a boat leaving San Juan Del Norte every Wednesday at 8 am to Bluefields. It s the same Boat which goes to the Big Corn Island and Little Corn Island. There are pangas from Bluefields to and from: Rama, San Juan de Nicaragua (del Norte), Pearl Laggon, Haulover, Kukra River, Tasbapouni, La Cruz de Rio Grande, Karawala, Sandy Bay and El Bluff

Get around

By taxi

Ten cordobas (NIO10, about USD0.50) per person anywhere you go. However coming from the airport with a lot of luggage they will charge you NIO20.


  • The Moravian Church, one block north of the docks.
  • El Bluff, village on an island 9km from Bluefields. Walk through the village and you end up on a very long sand beach facing the Caribean Sea. Pangas leave from the docks as soon as there are 12 people. Last return at 17:30.
  • Laguna de Perlas, beach up north, pangas leave in the morning for NIO150,000.


  • Ask Roy at the Lobster Pot Hotel to take you to his farm.
  • Enjoy a Tona Cervesa at the balcony of the Cima club while you watch the rain slam the street in July.
  • Bluefields has a great local sports culture. Ask if there is anything going on in the Stadium and you may get a chance to see an electricly charged event of local athletic talent.
  • Palo de Mayo, a month long festival culminating during the 3rd week of May that showcases the mix of English and creole cultures.


Learn to speak "Miskito". Learn how to eat turtle. Learn to walk slow and smile.




  • Rondon - a coconut stew made with coconut milk yuca, platains and lobster, fish, beef, or chicken.
  • Vigorón - a mid-morning snack made with yuca, chicharones (fried pork skin) or flores (fried pork meat with chicharón) and cabbage salad (cabbage, carrots, tomatoes, vinegar, salt & pepper).
  • Frito - an evening meal made with tajada (fried green plantain), stewed chicken or pork, and cabbage salad.
  • Order the Camarones cocktail at the Bella Vista restaurant on the water.





  • Four brothers. Th-Su.
  • Bacchus, (On the main square).
  • Restaurante y club Flotante, (3 blocks south of the docks).


  • Lobster Pot Hotel. If you are there for more than a couple of nights tell Roy that you want a room for 100 cordobas a night, he will give it to you (instead of 150).
  • Hotel El Dorado, (Next to Lobster Pot). Very dodgy from the beds to the showers. Funky smell in the room. One night there is probably the maximum one can stand. Single without bath: NIO140 / Single with bath NIO200.
  • Mini hotel y Cafetin Central, (By the Cima Club). Great rooms with cable TV and your own bathroom. Various breakfeast in the restaurant downstairs.
  • Hotel Campel, (Near Mangito Lane). Clean and friendly conditions (own Bathroom and Cable TV), all the taxis know where it is. A little more than Lobster Pot.


Stay safe

When travelling at night always take a taxi, especially around "Four Brothers". After 20:00 always take a taxi. Do not carry more money than necessary. Do not flash expensive items (such as cameras) around. Use common sense. Don't go into small alleys.


Get out

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