CARNIVAL in Bluefields

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Carnival in Bluefields Nicargua is
a fascinating mix of ethnic groups who unite once a year in May to celebrate their Carnaval.  Every night is party night during May in Bluefields. The Maypole festival includes costumed dancers, steel drums, salsa and reggae music with plenty of loudspeakers. The Maypole tradition is a Spring tradition and its introduction to Bluefields is said to have come from Jamaica and there is considerable Afro-Caribbean influence here including what Bob Marley called "positive vibrations." 

Ballet Costena directed by Lizzy Nelson is the standout Carnival group whose annual creations are discussed by everyone. 

Nicaraguan rum: “Flor de cana” or Flower of the sugar cane. One of the best and a great deal at only US$ 3-4 for a big bottle. 
May Days or Spring Pagan Style by
It is celebrated as a time of love and fertility, with many weddings. It is also a celebration of the reawakening of the world after the cold sleep of winter. Feasts, dancing, drumming and, of course, the maypole

How to Dance the Maypole by

 Make a May PoleMake a Maypole

Mother's day by 
Our guide to a holiday we all hold near and dear especially in Bluefields


Pandemonium in Panama
the King of San Francisco Carnaval 2000 James J. Sowers visits Panama in 1996 on his Trans-American Motorcycle adventure five years before he shares his throne with Queen Elisa from Bluefields

City Guides || TOP ||

The City of Bluefields is the metro center for the Mosquito Coast and is famous for its beautiful lagoon. It was named after Captain Blauenveldt, a 17th-century Dutch pirate who used the bay as his base. The city's 45,000 inhabitants have ambitions dreams to attract international tourism and a greater opportunity since the unemployment rate is high.  The Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua was never colonized: it remained a British Protectorate until 1862, English remains the principal language here and the Protestant religion is still dominant.

The area of Bluefields is located in the state of Zelaya which covers nearly a third of the countries land mass but contains less than 5% of the country's people pf 4,3000,000. Most of the area is undeveloped and was not effected by the political unrest while the Sandinistas were in power. Still the people retained a relaxed slow way of life similar to many islands in the Caribbean. 

Ecological Wonderland || TOP ||
Located 178 miles (315 km) from Managua, the surrounding tropical forests contain a great variety of birds including eagles, turkeys, toucans, parakeets and macaws. Animal life in the area includes several different species of monkeys, ant-eaters, white-tailed deer and tapirs who also enjoy the many wide rivers and small jungle canals.. You can get to Bluefields by air (1 hour) with 2 daily flights operated by Nica and La Consteña (small aircraft) or by land driving 6 hours to El Rama and from there by river boats cruising the Escondido river for 3 more hours. 

Economic Development || TOP ||
More recently, the location has been cited as the best Atlantic port for a "Dry canal" across Nicaragua which could compete with the backed up Panama Canal and longer rail runs across the continent in the USA.

  • Habitat for Humanity in Bluefields 
    "One doesn't see a mixture of working-class and middle-class people -- there isn't much of a middle class in Bluefields. But there is a coming together of Spanish speakers and Creoles, of black, mestizo, and white, of Catholics and Protestants. As at the university where I taught, there was a cementing of the disparate groups of the Mosquito Coast. Doctrine, race, and language may divide; service unites!" 
    Walter Hipple Board Member, HfHCC (since 1988, Habitat has built 500 houses in Bluefields)

From Bluefields you one can get a boat or short flight to the beautiful, coral-fringed Corn Islands (Islas del Maiz), the largest is well developed and popular with Nicaraguans and other Central Americans as a holiday resort.  There is a perfection to the bathing, surfing, fishing and snorkeling. Coral reefs just minutes off shore surrounding the island 10 to 12 feet deep, visibility 80 to 100 meters. Beautiful and unspoiled beaches, some of them totally deserted with white sand and turquoise waters. The Corn Islands offer excellent seafood as well as plentiful lobster and other shell fish. Besides the amazing coral the old pirate's hideout has numerous dive sites including the the wreck of a Spanish galleon in 72 feet of water.

Located in the Caribbean Ocean 53 miles (90 km) from Bluefields there are regular daily flights from Managua with small aircraft operated by Nica and La Costeña. The big Corn Island is 11 square km and the Little Corn Island is 2 square km and has a nice mountain to climb. Pristine Corn Island has been described as "four square miles of paradise." 

Corn Island by ||
"This is not Cancun. It’s better. Nothing artificial here!"

Lonely Planet Reader Advisory 
"The hotel Parismo is pure luxury! It's got 5 "semi-detached" villas with patios with hammocks. Inside they are large with en-suite massive shower and bathroom"


Travel Guides for Nicaragua || TOP ||
Official page of the Consulate General
the Ministry of Tourism (505) 222-2962 or fax:(505) 222-1187

Nicaragua by lonely planet || Reader Advisory

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the information you need to plan your trip to Nicaragua

Transportation in Nicaragua ||
"Roads connect all of the major cities in Nicaragua except for Bluefields, because there’s a dense jungle in the way."

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      Fast Fact: Last century, Nicaragua was well traveled, not as a destination, but rather as a quick route to California.Nearly one hundred thousand Goldrushers traveled the transit Route. This route is now considered Nicaragua’s "golden corridor: for tourism, as the river and Lake where Vanderbuilt’s and Morgan’s steamers once sailed is now a protected area and an ideal destination for ecotourism.