Exploring Little Corn Island and Why You Should Visit Now
If you can overcome the effort it takes to get there, Little Corn Island really is a little paradise tucked away off the coast of Nicaragua.
Little Corn Island - Tranquility at its' best
There are no cars or roads on Little Corn, which make it a really peaceful, restfulB place. There is a cute footpath path that meanders along the beach and around the more populated side of the island and after that it gets a bit more "off road". You can wander further afoot but the boyB reports back that you won't find much of note and the terrain gets tricky. I would corroborate his story, but I was busy sipping rum-cocos and reading on the beach. Sorry about that... Although truth be told, if you know where you're going (say to check out one of the other beaches), you might be delighted to meander through paths like this:
what to do
I highly recommend making the rather long (30-40 minute walk) jaunt out to the semi-secluded Yemaya Resort for an afternoon (or more). The beach there is lovely and quiet and though situated right in front of the resort, public. There are less people and practically no boats, which make it extremely relaxing. Plus, if you decide you're up for a bit of a splurge, they have a restaurant right there. Offering AMAZING (but pricey) smoothies and other eats.
Our five days on Corn Island were absolutely the most relaxing of our entire trip. Each day was much the same: go for breakfast, track down some coconuts and cold drinks, head to a beach, swim and read and drink delicious (often boozy) cocos, then when it started to get dark head to enjoy the sunset from a patio and eat dinner.
And that's really what a vacation is all about, isn't it? I love exploring as much as the next person, but sometimes it's so nice to do practically nothing for a few days. Especially in a place as beautiful and calm as Little Corn.
And frankly, there's not much else to do on Little Corn unless you dive and snorkel (and subsequently want to pay for those privileges). Come here to swim, sunsoak, read, drink, eat, and relax.
Why you should visit now
Nicaragua and its' Corn Islands are starting to gain a ton of popularity amongst travellers of all ages and ilks. As with anything, the more people visit, the more a place changes.
I fear that as more people head to Nicaragua and the Corn Islands, the waters will get more polluted, prices will rise, and the overall tranquil feeling will be greatly reduced. In my opinion, you might only have five years before it's an overrun party island. Don't miss your chance to see it now.
Where to eat
There are some really great food options right on the main strip, but a little tip from me to you...walk a ways down the path, away from the village, to find really reasonably priced (and delicious) comedores! Including the best pizza on the island, super cheap breakfasts, and way more reasonably priced smoothies.
With your back to the ocean, go right down the path and keep going past the Dolphin Dive. You'll see a couple of places there. If you go a touch further and hang a left, you'll find a couple more local spots that are cheaper yet. Just this extra three minute walk could end up saving you HALF what you pay in food on the island. Save your money
for more booze, I say!
Where to stay
We stayed at the Lobster Inn and it was good for the price, though I will warn you the rooms are uncomfortably small (however without air con, you're not gonna spend a lot of time in them anyways).
If you can afford it, the Yemaya Resort I mentioned above is beautiful, tucked away, and right on a pristine beach, making it a killer option.
Tips from me to you
I learned a few fun facts while on this pretty little island. First off, did you guysB know that "unripe" coconuts are the ones with the coconut water and generally large and green, and it is as the coconuts mature that the water hardens into coconut meat and the coconut shrinks and gets more brown and fuzzy? I DID NOT KNOW. I might be the only one (please tell me I'm not).
Fortunately, the first day as we were wandering the perimeter of the island, we came across two men shaking coconuts down from the trees. And they so kindly offered to shake a few down for us (for free!). They even loaned us ("us") their machete so we could chop away the hard skins and later access the sweet, flowing, juices.
One of the best parts of our time on the island, just for the sheer "Caribbean-ness" of it all! If you've got a bit of Spanish, try your hand at chatting with the locals and getting your very own fresh cocos!
Also! Almonds come packed into adorable pods like these ones! And you just pull the pod apart to reveal one (or two if you're lucky) almond. I totally see now why almonds are pricey...not so simple as just plucking them off a tree! There are almond trees scattered all around the island - be on the lookout! But be careful - the milk inside the pods can stain your clothing.
I actually love how much I'm learning about natural food here in Nicaragua. There is such an abundance of everything nature offers and it often looks and smells so completely different to the way it looks and smells when it reaches a supermarket. Blog post idea? ;-)
Up next I'll compare Big Corn Island and Little Corn Island and tell you where your time is better spent!
Getting to Little Corn Island
FLY to the Corn Islands (from Managua). Do not attempt the bus and boat route, my friends. Just take me at my word (or read this post andB this postB to understand what I'm talking about). Once you reach Big Corn Island you must take another small panga across the ocean to Little Corn Island. Is it terrifying? Yes. Do the boats occasionally capsize? Yes. But if you can manage to be okay with that (and you really should try), then it's worth the effort. That and the crossing only takes about thirty minutes, so just close your eyes and grit your teeth and get there :)