Waspam, Rio Coco, Nicaragua

The Rio Coco is like a giant highway for the Miskitu people (miskitu uplika painkira, my beautiful Miskitu people).  Waspam is one of the busier small ports on the river, deep in the heart of the Miskito Coast.

How do you get to Waspam?  Good question, because it is seriously off the beaten track.  We were in Puerto Cabezas (or Bilwi), which has an airport with connections to Managua.  From Bilwi we went by private vehicle on a fair dirt road to Waspam.  It took about 3-4 hours in a 4wD pickup, and we stopped for snacks once.

Arriving by road to Waspam

Arriving by road to Waspam

Once you get to Waspam it is actually a nice town for tourists.  We stayed at the Hotel Rose, which is owned by the Cunningham family, who also own the Casa Museo hotel where we stayed in Bilwi.  We were just part of the family.

Porch at the Hotel Rose.  We enjoyed it greatly in the evenings.

Porch at the Hotel Rose. We enjoyed it greatly in the evenings.

There are several comedors in Waspam that serve a typical meal at lunch and dinner.  There are also many small shops that serve snack food and water and beer.  Waspam is pretty easy to navigate.  

We are on the Nica side of Rio Coco, across the river is Honduras.

We are on the Nica side of Rio Coco, across the river is Honduras.

This is one comedor where we had a great lunch.  The dining room is right over the river.  If you didn’t drive to Waspam, about the only other way to get there is by river, so this might be the way you came in.  You can travel by river to other communities up and down the border between Honduras and Nicaragua, and eventually you could get boat rides out to the coast, to arrive in one of the coastal towns of Honduras, like Puerto Lempira.

Waspam has internet cafes for your communication needs.  It is such a groovy place to hang out, in the middle of nowhere, but still with plenty of traffic and action and services like food and drink and entertainment.  It is deep in Miskitu country too, so you can drop your Spanish, and say “miskitu bila aisisna” (I speak Miskitu!), or at least “drapkum” (a little).