Welcome to Bilwi (Puerto Cabezas)
This impoverished Caribbean port town and ethnic melting pot sprawls along the coast and back into the scrubby pines on wide brick streets and red-earth roads, full of people and music, smiles and sideways glances. Old wooden churches, antique craftsman homes and ramshackle slums are knitted together with rusted sheet-metal fencing, coconut palms and mango trees. In a single stroll you’ll eavesdrop on loud jagged Miskito banter, rapid-fire Spanish and lovely, lilting Caribbean English. Sure, this city has systemic problems (poverty, decay, crime), and its ramshackle infrastructure lags years behind the rest of the country. But with tasty seafood, great-value historic lodging options, and seaside indigenous communities a boat ride away, it can be as alluring as a sweet, yet slightly sketchy, new friend.