Bluefields, town (1995 pop. 30,208), capital of the South Atlantic Coast Autonomous Region and Zelaya dept., SE Nicaragua, on Bluefields Bay at the mouth of the Escondido River. It is Nicaragua's chief Caribbean port. Hardwoods and fish are exported. Bluefields was a rendezvous for English and Dutch buccaneers in the 16th and 17th cent. and became (1678) capital of the British protectorate over the Mosquito Coast. During U.S. interventions (1912–15, 1926–33) in Nicaragua, marines were stationed there. In 1984, the United States mined the harbor (along with those of Corinto and Puerto Sandino). Bluefields was destroyed in a hurricane in 1988 but was rebuilt.