North America > Central America > Nicaragua > Caribbean Nicaragua
Caribbean Nicaragua is a region in Nicaragua.
The Caribbean coast of Nicaragua is truly one-of-a-kind. Once a haven for pirates and contra rebels, it is on the furthest edge of Nicaragua's Autonomous Regions. There are six distinct ethnicities and five languages that make up this cultural rondon.
The climate of this part of the country is notable insofar as it doesn't have a real "dry" season and Bluefields, for example, averages 225 rainy days a year. Although a day with nothing but rain is uncommon, your best bet for a relatively dry experience would be March and April, which could be labelled the "drier" season.
Hurricanes do affect this region from time to time, so if you are concerned, avoid hurricane season (roughly June to December), which is one of the wetter parts of the year, in any case.
There are some rural places on the Caribbean coast where people might not speak Spanish. Common languages along the Caribbean side of Nicaragua are, in ascending order of speakers: Rama, Garifuna Miskito and Caribbean Creole English. Because Caribbean English can be hard to understand (almost impossible to decipher for most of those for whom English is a secondary language), Spanish might still be your best bet. More developed places (notably the Corn Islands) often have a lot of recent immigrants from Spanish speaking parts of the country, especially in tourism-related jobs.
- plane from Managua to Bluefields, Waspan, Big Corn Island and Bilwi as well as Siuna and Rosita for more see the domestic airline's website
- smooth road from Managua via Juigalpa to El Rama or direct bus Managua to Bluefields
- some of the worst roads in Central America to the northeastern mining triangle (about 24 hours one way from Managua to Bonanza)
Transport is mostly by boat or on awful roads. Most domestic flights go into and out of this part of the country. The road from El Rama to Managua however is one of the best in the country and there's a new (2019) road from Nueva Guinea to Bluefields.
- Reserva de biosfera Bosawas - the biggest contiguous piece of rain forest in the Americas north of the Amazon.
- Indigenous villages that managed to preserve their Rama or Miskito culture and language.
- A working gold-mine in one of the Las Minas towns.
- The Corn Islands are known as a divers' paradise for more see there.
- Hike through the second biggest continuous rainforest in the Americas in the Bosawas wildlife reserve
Depending on where you are food ranges from very basic Nicaraguan fare to truly mouth-watering seafood and coconut-extravaganza. Every meal usually includes Gallopinto, which is rice with red beans. A special treat is ron don (from English run down) a fish and coconut stew that takes time and expertise to prepare so order well in advance. Especially in the RAAN-region but also around Pearl Lagoon there are some indigenous communities who keep their culture, their food and their language very much alive. Although this often requires planning ahead and time and effort to get there, experiencing their cuisine as well as their culture could be well worth it.
- Coconut water right from the fruit is sold in most places
- The potability of running water is more often than not questionable. Stay with bottled water to be on the safe side. If you are planning on heading into the Bosawas area, make sure to take some means of water purification with you. Over-extraction in Bluefields means the water supply is often salty.
This part of the country is not unaffected by drug traffic so crime is more common than on the Pacific side. However, with a basic level of caution you should be safe.
- The Rio San Juan Region via a boat from Bluefields to San Juan del Norte that might or might not leave Bluefields once a week (inquire locally as there doesn't seem to be any kind of reliable schedule, but the boat that does the trip most of the time is the Captain D)