Despite its romantic name, there are no fields, blue or otherwise, near steamy BLUEFIELDS, the only town of any size on the country's southern Atlantic Coast. In fact, it acquired its name from a Dutch pirate, Abraham Blaauwveld, who holed up here regularly in the seventeenth century. 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. Most travellers only spend a night or two here, on the way to or from the Corn Islands.
Except in May, when there's a short dry season, it rains torrentially. During these downpours the town can look somewhat forlorn, an impression compounded by the unlikely and unceasing soundtrack of mournful American country music blaring from the bars, restaurants and houses. The foul climate only adds to a definite sense of small-town suffocation and on weekends and at nights especially, the streets never feel like an especially safe place to be. Tourists are occasionally targeted for petty theft so watch your back and (at night) don't stray from the centre of town. This shouldn't be too difficult, as most of the hotels are centrally located.
The few streets in Bluefields are named. Calle Central is the main drag and runs north– south alongside the bay. The three streets running east– west are Avenida Reyes, Avenida Cabezas and Avenida Aberdeen. However, no one uses these names at all, resorting 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.
The town is occasionally plagued by electricity and water shortages – a good reason to bring a torch and batteries, as well as a few candles, and to stock up on bottled water when you can.