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Nicaragua Waterways Assessment


For information on contact details, please see the following link: 

4.4 Nicaragua Port and Waterways Company Contact List

Nicaragua has 2,220 kilometers of navigable waterways not including two large lakes (Xolotlán or Managua and Nicaragua or Cocibolca). The rivers of the Pacific slope, are generally short haul. Instead, draining into the Caribbean Sea, are longer and extensive drainage basin. Among the basins of great importance for the country, we Coco River Grande de Matagalpa and Rio San Juan.

The fluvial or lacustrine navigation is poorly developed internally the country. There are six ports, three in the Pacific and three in the Atlantic, but the marine cargo in and out mostly by ports of neighboring republics of Honduras and Costa Rica.

As for river transportation, all major rivers in the country have public transport vessels.

In the San Juan River, the city of San Carlos has a port where boats or pangas to go to the historic site of El Castillo are taken Bartola Refuge life, the vast Natural Reserve Indio-Maiz, and the port in the Caribbean San Juan del Norte (or Greytown).

In the area of the Caribbean coast is also the port of El Rama, from where boats are taken to cross the river interesting Escondido and reach Bluefields.

The Rio Escondido with a length of 88 kilometers, the Escondido River is formed by the confluence of Sikia, Mico and Rama rivers, and is navigable to its mouth in the Bay of Bluefields.

The Río Grande de Matagalpa born in North Mill and has a length of 465 kilometers; It is the second longest river in Nicaragua, is tributary to the Tuma River with a length of 180 kilometers. The Wawashan and Kurinwas are tributaries of Laguna de Perlas and its course is with few rapids.

The Prinzapolka River rises in the mountains Isabelia mainstream and has a length of 245 kilometers, of which half are navigable by small boats.

The Kukalaya river has a length of 140 km and flows into the coastal lagoon Whounta; Wawa, with a length of 160 kilometers, flows into the lagoon Karatá and its main tributary is the River Likus.

El Coco, Wangki or Segovia River, with a length of 680 kilometers, is the longest in Central and originates at the confluence of the river Comali (Honduras) and Tapacali (Nicaragua) near El Espino; downstream, the Coco is navigable by shallow-draft vessels, receives Bocay main tributaries, with a length of 115 kilometers and 138 kilometers Waspuk.

 At present all waterways are navigable in winter and summer. Even in summer (November-April) these pathways lower their level and transport is limited and has to travel in small boats (boats or Cayucos) in most cases.