Region along the coast of eastern Nicaragua and Honduras. It comprises a lowland about 40 mi (65 km) wide that skirts the Caribbean Sea for about 225 mi (360 km). It was visited by Christopher Columbus in 1502, but Europeans had little contact with the area until the rise of the buccaneers in the 17th century, after which England established a protectorate there. It is named for the Miskito Indians. Spain, Nicaragua, and the U.S. disputed England's protectorate until the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty (1850). In 1894 the region was incorporated into Nicaragua, but the northern part was granted to Honduras in 1960 by the International Court of Justice. The chief town is Bluefields, at the mouth of the Escondido River in Nicaragua.