Nicaragua // The Atlantic coast //


There are no fields, blue or otherwise, near steamy BLUEFIELDS, the only town of any size on the country’s southern Atlantic Coast. It acquired its name from a Dutch pirate, Abraham Blauvelt, who holed up here regularly in the seventeenth century, and it still has something of the fugitive charm of a pirate town, perched on the side of a lagoon at the mouth of the Río Escondido, though this is about the only allure it holds. Indeed, listen to some travellers’ tales of constant rainfall, murderous mozzies and menacing streets, and you might never come here at all.

But despite being undoubtedly poor, frequently wet and utterly beachless, Bluefields can be an intriguing place to stop over on your travels around the area. Fine river views and a hospitable, partly Creole-speaking population reward those who do visit. Avoid the portside “hotels” and hustlers and get a taxi if you head out of the small central area, and you should be just fine – indeed, Bluefields’ karaoke-country- and reggae-based nightlife can be pretty engaging if you keep half an eye out.

The few streets in Bluefields are named, though locals resort to the usual method of directing from landmarks: the Moravian church, the mercado at the end of Avenida Aberdeen and the parque to the west of town are the most popular ones.

Take a panga from behind the market to El Bluff. There are few amenities here, but there is a beach on the far side and a comedor. Bluefields Museum on Calle Central has an interesting collection around the history of the indigenous communities on the Atlantic coast, as well as a library and bookshop.

More about Nicaragua

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