Little Corn Island – FILIPOKIE
Little Corn Island

Little Corn Island

I’m sure not many of you think about going to Nicaragua as the ideal tropical vacation, but let me convince you otherwise. It’s doable for a 3-day weekend from the USA, untouched reefs perfect for diving and teeming with sea life, white sandy beaches all to yourself, and dirt cheap.

Caleb and I left Los Angeles on a Friday night and arrived in the capital of Nicaragua, Managua, on Saturday morning via Avianca Airlines. We then had to take a small bush plane booked separately through La Costena airlines to Big Corn Island. There are taxi drivers lined up at the door of the airport exit all pushing their way through for your business – and it cost $0.70 for them to take you to the dock. That’s right, seventy US cents, people. Unfortunately the boats (called pangas) to take you to Little Corn Island only depart Big Corn Island at 10 AM and 4 PM, so if you got there at noon like we did you’re stuck all day. Not to mention they’re on island time. Two things you can do in the meantime that I can recommend: either wait at the restaurant next door to the dock for a taste of cheap Nicaraguan food, or take a taxi back near the airport to Arenas Beach. We didn’t know about Arenas Beach when we got there so I’ll explain that more towards the end.

It’s a 30 minute panga ride to Little Corn Island, and this place is nothing short of remote. I’m a huge fan of pristine places untouched by tourism so this was absolutely amazing if you don’t mind “off the beaten path” living. The island is pretty small, so a 15 minute walk took us to the other side of the island where it’s totally quiet, and we stayed at Grace’s Cool Spot for $15 USD per night. If you’re down for a shack on the beach experience, by all means, go for it. There’s no plumbing, running water, or electricity during the day time, so be warned! Inside our shack was a simple mattress with a mosquito net – that’s it. You get a key and padlock to lock up but there’s really no point.

Along the dock where you get off there are a couple of restaurants that have excellent Nicaraguan food with a great happy hour to keep you going all night. Each beer was $2 and it was buy 1, get 1 free – how could you beat that? A full course meal of lobster and sides cost about $12. Like I said, amazingly cheap and delicious authentic food.

On Sunday we spent the day scuba diving, and there are 2 dive shops to choose from where you can rent gear and do 2 tank dives all for $50 USD. Not to mention we had a boat ride and private guide all included. The dive locations were all so close it maybe took 5 minutes out from the island and our surface interval we spent back onshore. I highly recommend doing the “Blowing Rock” dive for the most sea life and the most pristine coral reefs. It’s a little more expensive and a longer boat ride but so worth it. The rest of the day we spent in the ocean, of course, and it was so warm it almost felt like bath water. And we had these beautiful beaches all to ourselves, just lined with palm trees and no sight of civilization.

When you head back to Big Corn Island, the pangas only depart at 6 AM and 1 PM so plan accordingly for your flight! Unfortunately when we got there, our flight was delayed 3 hours due to the weather, so we did what we could do. We went back outside to all those taxi drivers and I said, “Vamos a la playa!” And surprisingly, he took us to this amazing beach, Arenas Beach Club. We paid $20 USD for a “guest pass” and it was all you can eat and drink to be at this beach club. We waded in the warm water and the servers brought us pina coladas while we were swimming around. I definitely recommend going for 4+ days if you can, but Little Corn Island is definitely doable in a 3 day weekend.

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2 Replies to “Little Corn Island”

    1. Hi Bill,
      I’ve added an email subscription list to my blog for you to follow along on all my travels and latest tips! Check out my right sidebar to subscribe 🙂

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