Tuapí is a small indigenous miskito community that has several natural attractions and a rich local culture, evident in the infrastructure of houses, local crafts and organized lifestyles lead by its inhabitants. In this area it is common to appreciate the respect other people have of their native languages and traditions.
Like many of the indigenous communities in the North Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAN, North Caribbean), Tuapi is surrounded by water. Just before reaching the community, you can see the river that carries the same name and is used by the villagers for fishing in traditional boats known as "cayucos". The best place to appreciate the river is a wooden bridge that is a few kilometers away from the community. It has to be said that this aquifer has a rich mangrove area where you can find shrimps and lobsters.
In Tuapi, existing customs and traditions are a mix of lifestyles between British colonial influence and ancient indigenous customs along with some African contributions. Currently, the ancient British influence dominates the region. Most of the Miskito population professes Moravian religion because it was the first one to settle there. On the other hand, the indigenous influence excels in organizational structure or ancestral form of government that is still practiced in the communities. This organization is constituted by an elderly council, a community union, a communal judge, ecclesial authorities, health authorities and education authorities.
The elderly council dictates regulations that the whole community must abide by. One of the most important rules is not to work on Sundays because it is a fundamental obligation of each villager to attend mass. If a person cannot fulfill this rule, a sanction is applied.
Tuapí community is a small place that has big stories to tell, it possesses an enormous culture and has a lot of interesting tourist sites like the Brakira Balneario (which means ‘strip’ in miskito) and a community kitchen where the ethic foods of the area are served. In order for the visitor to have the best experience and approach to the local culture, the people from the community have organized the community tourism in order to develop and offer lodging and food. The Price ranges from US$100 dollars per night. The visitor can also perform different activities like swimming in the river, learn fishing, local cuisine tasting and spend some time with locals. An interesting detail: there is no electric service in the area.
It is important to contact the local tourist guide, tour operator or the INTUR representative that has a relationship with the villagers of the community because it is a rule to notify the elderly of the visits that will take place before visiting the area. It is also necessary to point out that the tourist has to abide by the rules established by the elderly to avoid inconveniences.
The easiest way to reach the community is by land. If you find yourself in the city of Bilwi, you can go to La Libertad and ask for the INSS main street. There, you will find a corner called Burnel Hall. This is where you can catch the bus to Tuapi.
Traveling by public transportation to the community of Tuapi is priced at C$30. On the way to the community you can talk to the bus driver to drop you at the entrance to the resort. You can not return the same day if you travel by bus, you must spend the night in the community and expect take the bus towards Bilwi leaving at 6:30 am the next morning. This trip Tuapi-Bilwi is priced at C$60.
The ride on the bus takes about an hour and has an established Schedule every day. The Check Out from Tuapi community to Burnel Hall is at 6:30 am and the return to Bilwi is between noon and 2:00 pm.
If you prefer a more comfortable way of transportation you may pay for the Bilwi Taxi service. The prices for this trip to Tuapi oscillate between C$250 and C$300. If you need that the taxi waits for you for your remaining time in the resort or the community, you must pay C$100 or C$150 per hour (It is recommended to always bargain this detail beforehand with the taxi driver).
Another option for traveling to the area is using your own vehicle. We recommend that you inform your tour operator of this at least 48 hours prior to your trip or call the INTUR representative that has a direct contact with the community chiefs and have knowledge of the area, due to the fact that once on your journey there, you won’t find any road signals that indicate if you are on the right track.