Why You Should Visit the Corn Islands Now
Located less than 50 miles off the eastern coast of Nicaragua are the Corn Islands, two remote, locals-only hideaways, perfect for a technology-free weekend in the sun. Once only home to locals and an influx of backpackers and hippies brave enough to travel aboard vessels for a multi-hour journey, now both Big Corn and Little Corn are open to travelers everywhere, as a paved runway lends to daily-arriving aircrafts from Nicaragua’s capital of Managua.
Although more accessible now, the remote, barefoot appeal of the Corn Islands is still intact. The local Creole population welcomes travelers into their homes, which are often pastel-hued wooden houses along Big Corn’s main road. Big Corn is known to be slightly busier than its neighboring Little Corn, but both islands offer an unpretentious, eco-friendly break from life elsewhere. But if it’s true tranquility you seek, you may find just what you need on Little Corn, as no cars and a jungle full of wonder awaits. Here, cabanas line the beach and some of the best food in all of Nicaragua is served at beach-side, thatched-roof shacks with as much charm as any five-star establishment.
Regardless of what island you choose to visit, both locales are home to horseshoe bays and a cave and cove system that rivals any Caribbean island. The seas are alive with translucent creatures, the beaches are virtually untouched and empty, and it’s just deserted enough to keep you totally entranced and completely enamored with its charm and solitude. Your days can be filled with wandering a coastline flecked with too-perfect stretches of coconut palms that breeze hazily in the wind. Enjoy siesta time in a hammock, usually strung from palm to palm, allowing for a smooth wind to keep you cool. The food is of a seafaring variety that’s truly local, as fisherman scour the waters for the freshest catch, ensuring that any meal you have on the Corn Islands – like tuna, mahi mahi, or lobster - is memorable.
The best part about hopping between the two islands is their proximity: Big Corn and Little Corn are only a 30-minute boat ride apart, making it easy to split time equally amongst the two islands. In Big Corn, carve out time for a full day of snorkeling - the perfect way to become acquainted with the local aquatic life. During a dip in the waters, you may spot a wonderful mix of sea turtles, barracudas, and even the occasional hammerhead shark, which is virtually harmless to humans. For the more intrepid adventurers, opt to go on a dive of the waters. The island is home to a number of dive shops and aquatic centers, all of which can easily transport you out into the waters surrounding Nicaragua, where you can become intimately attuned with the marine creatures that call the area home. If you’d rather stay close to shore, opt to stand-up paddle board instead.
During your exploration of Little Corn, relax at bungalows where beers rarely cost over $1. The best mode of transportation is walking, as it’s the only way to get around on Little Corn, an island that’s completely and gloriously motor free. If you still wish to be on wheels, rent a bike from a local guest house to ride the rough dirt paths. You can both deep-sea fish and fly fish, book a massage or yoga class, or play at the island’s resident soccer field. Whatever you choose to do on your exploration of the Corn Islands, it’s sure to be a relaxing getaway that will qualm any stress induced by life in a big city.
Soon the Corn Islands will be the perfect day trip from Mukul as direct flights from our local Costa Esmeralda Airport will provide the Caribbean transfer. Enjoy each coast, your way.