Achuapa Bridge

This bridge is located about 10 km east of Ocotal. The Achuapa River flows directly off Mogoton, the highest mountain peak in Nicaragua, at 2107 meters. Its sands are gold bearing and worthwhile panning. The river changed its course slightly during Hurricane Mitch in 1998, so best gold panning is up stream.

The bridge has a history. On December 31, 1930, an ambush set up by Sandinista General Miguel Angel Ortez attacked a mounted Marine patrol of 10 soldiers at this bridge. Eight of the 10 Marines were killed and two returned to Ocotal, wounded. Ortez captured two Browning automatic rifles, one Thompson sub machine gun, three Springfields, and eight fully equipped mules. Ortez then turned west, bottle up the National Guardsmen at Somoto, and looted the town.

The killing of the eight Marines at Achuapa made a major change in American foreign policy, and probably was the deciding factor in President Hoover deciding to scale back American forces, and finally leave Nicaragua and the end of his Presidency in 1933. Sobralia and Stanhopea orchids are common along the upper reaches of the Achuapa River. Land mines might also be present.

Achuapa Bridge Gallery

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