South Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region

The South Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region is one of two autonomous regions in Nicaragua. It covers an area of 27,260 km2 (10,530 sq mi) and has a population of 414,543 (2020 estimate). The capital is Bluefields. Bordering the Caribbean Sea, it contains part of the region known as the Mosquito Coast.

South Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region
Flag of the South Caribbean Autonomous Region
Seal of the South Caribbean Autonomous Region
Coat of arms
Country Nicaragua
Largest cityBluefields
Capital CityBluefields
SeatRegional Council
 • TypeUnicameral
 • BodyRegional Council
 • Regional Coordinator (Governor)Rubén López Espinoza (FSLN)
 • Total27,260.02 km2 (10,525.15 sq mi)
Area rank2nd (20.9% of Nicaragua)
 (2020 estimate)[1]
 • Total414,543
 • Density15/km2 (39/sq mi)
ISO 3166 codeNI-AS
Autonomy Statute30 October 1987
Official languagesEnglish
Creole (Miskito Coast Creole and Rama Cay Creole)
Sumo (Mayangna and Ulwa)
Regional Councils45 councilors
National Assembly2 deputies (of 92)

It is the motherland of 12 municipalities- Bluefields, Paiwas, The Corn Islands, Karawala, El Ayote, Rama, Tortuguero, Kukra Hill, La Cruz de Río Grande, Pearl Lagoon, Muelle de Bueyes and Nueva Guinea. They are 8 different languages spoken in this region, with English Creole and Spanish being the main two.

The Pearl Cays archipelago of islands is also a part of the South Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region but mainly belonging to the municipality of Pearl Lagoon.[2]



Approximately 30 percent of the Caribbean Coast’s labor force forms part of the agriculture industry.

According to the IV National Agricultural Census prepared by the National Development Information Institute (INIDE) and, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAGFOR), products with greater production potential in the Caribbean Coast are: oil palm, coconut, pineapple, sesame seeds, irrigated rice, rainfed rice, onion cultivation, chia, chilli pepper, red bean of apante, premium red bean, premium black bean, corn, malanga, quequisque, cassava, dry land banana, sugar cane, higuerilla, cacao and robusta coffee.[3]


The fishery sector represents the third activity in terms of importance of incomes generation to the country. Historically the fishery has been concentrated in shrimp, lobster and some species of fishes. In 2016, the Caribbean Coast contributed to the national production of fishery and aquiculture with 24 million of pounds, and exported 76 percent with a value of US$126 million.[4][5]


Mining has a tradition of more than one hundred years in the Northern and Southern Caribbean Coast Autonomous Regions. Although its participation in the international market has been modest due to historical factors, the mining sector has been growing since 2010, exporting 357 million dollars in 2016. Around 380 hectares in the North Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region have been awarded under metallic and non-metallic mining concessions, most of which are located in the municipalities of Rosita, Bonanza and Siuna. 220 hectares are currently being exploited.

Livestock, dairy and meat productionEdit

The Caribbean Coast represents 35 percent of the Nicaragua cattle industry. With an annual compound growth rate of 9 percent in meat exports and 11 percent per year in milk production over the past 8 years, Nicaragua maintains its position as the main livestock, dairy products and meat producer of the Central American region.


The region represents an estimate of 37,394 km² of land with potential for timber production of high commercial value such as mahogany, laurel, and teak. Since 2003, there has been an increase of commercially valuable timber plantations such as teak and mahogany. In 2014-2020, investments in the forestry sector in the region has been over US$100 million.[6][7]


Currently, around 300 km of roads are maintained. Rural roads measure approx. 2,415 kilometers of rural roads. There are 157 vehicular and pedestrian bridges.

Ports and airportsEdit

The South Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region has one ports for commercial use: The Bluff. The Bluff is located on the Bluefields Bay, 6 nautical miles offshore and about 98 miles north of Costa Rica. This port is only accessible by water. The navigation route that connects The Bluff with Rama is approximately 100 kilometers along Escondido River, which has been marked with navigation buoys. The port offers services to guide ships through the Escondido River and all the way to the Rama port.

Electric energy

As of 2016, 52 percent of the South Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region had direct access to the national electricity power grid and enjoyed an uninterrupted power supply. This represents approximately 313 communities in both regions, where about US$30 million have been invested to continue improving the quality and coverage of the energy service.



The local airline La Costeña, subsidiary of Avianca, currently provides aerial transportation between Managua and the Caribbean Coast. It currently offers daily flights to Bilwi, Bluefields, Corn Island, Siuna, Bonanza, Río San Juan and Waspam. Likewise, the Caribbean Coast has three main cargo terminals located in Bilwi, Bluefields and Corn Island.

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

  • Minority Rights Group International (April 2007). "From Conflict to Autonomy in Nicaragua: Lessons Learnt".
  • "Discover the Caribbean".


  1. ^ Population of departments in Nicaragua
  2. ^ "Revista Envío - Caribbean Coast: Multiethnic, Multilingual ...and Finally Autonomous?". Retrieved 2021-06-13.
  3. ^ "In Nicaragua, coffee and cocoa make life sweeter". IFAD (in Chinese). Retrieved 2021-06-13.
  4. ^ González, Miguel (2018-11-01). "Governance and governability: indigenous small-scale fisheries and autonomy in coastal Nicaragua". Maritime Studies. 17 (3): 263–273. doi:10.1007/s40152-018-0115-7. ISSN 2212-9790. S2CID 158626276.
  5. ^ "LEY DE PESCA Y ACUICULTURA". Retrieved 2021-06-13.
  6. ^ "Socio-economic benefits of community forestry in the North Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region, Nicaragua". Retrieved 2021-06-13.
  7. ^ "Google Scholar". Retrieved 2021-06-13.