Pearl Lagoon – or Laguna de Perlas – is the name of Nicaragua’s largest coastal lagoon, located in the Southern Autonomous Atlantic Region (RAAS). The area’s most important town is also called Pearl Lagoon, located about 40 kilometers north of Bluefields.
The region has yet to be discovered by most tourists, but it does offer many great natural as well as cultural attractions. A little offshore, there are pristine, Caribbean islands and superb fishing grounds. Inland, there are beautiful rivers and stunning natural reserves. Furthermore, indigenous groups living in the area can be visited in their interesting, traditional hometowns.
A lot of the transportation in the area is done by boat, but since 2007 Pearl Lagoon can also be reached over land. There is a dirt road that goes from El Rama to Kukra Hill, which then leads to the town of Pearl Lagoon. This road is in fair condition and the easiest way to get to Pearl Lagoon coming from the main land. This way, it takes seven hours to get here from Managua by car. Public transportation options include an air conditioned bus from the Mayoreo Market in Managua which leaves in the evening, followed by taking a bus that leaves every afternoon at 3PM from El Rama. This bus returns in the morning at 6 AM, and does the El Rama-Pearl Lagoon journey in three hours. An alternative is taking a boat from Bluefields, which is a one hour boat ride. Several boats depart every morning (US$10 one-way trip), and it is a fairly tranquil ride. The boats also pass by other settlements like Kukra Hill along the road.