A 30-minute boat ('panga') ride away from Big Corn Island, is Little Corn Island. With a resident population of just 2,000 people, there is a much larger population of tourists in the peak season. Little Corn Island has developed a rustic-meets-trendy reputation for being hip, cool, even more laid-back than Big Corn Island, and has NO CARS. Not even any scooters. None. Nada.
All the "roads" on Little Corn Island are just walking paths, some not even wide enough for a cart (which, when you do see them, are often being pulled by people rather than horses!).
The upside: this is even more remote than Big Corn Island. You don't find this place by accident. The only way to get here is by boat from Big Corn Island. Most of the "action" happening here is along the front beach where the panga boats dock, although there are some definite "must-experience" restaurants and cabins further along the pathways. So once you're here, you don't have to go looking too hard for where to have dinner or where to make new friends.
The downside: this is even more remote than Big Corn Island. You won't find an ATM machine here. There is no hospital, dentist, or veterinarian. It's very difficult to get supplies to the island and certain foods can be hard to come by if they aren't grown on the island. Builders building their dream homes are finding it very hard to cope with the lack of supplies, and the time it takes to get them from either Big Corn Island (which now finally has a couple of lumber/hardware stores but they are not very big) or the mainland (Bluefields, El Rama, and Managua). Any supplies needing to go to places other than the front beach are carried by hand (or cart).
That being said, it's quaint, it's cool, it's little, and it's AWESOME.
Corn Island Vacations
Have you dreamed of visiting paradise and having one of the best Caribbean vacations ever? Big Corn Island, 72 kms off the coast of Bluefields, Nicaragua, is the perfect location. With three 1.5-hour flights a day to/from Managua international airport, or a 5-hour ferry ride from Bluefields, it offers uninterrupted relaxation on white-sand beaches, unbeatable scenery, authentic Caribbean cuisine, and a rich, inviting culture.
To put size into perspective, the airport runway strip (see map on the left) is approximately two-thirds the length of the island. It's small. Big Corn Island's population is approximately 8,800 residents, consisting of Nicaraguan locals (Creole, Miskito), decendents of slaves and pirates, and ex-pats from around the world. There is a newly constructed hospital but technology here is still lacking. There is one dentist, and no veterinarian (there are a couple of volunteer vet teams who come here once a year each, for one week each, to do the basics for the island animals). There are 10 schools, numerous churches, lots of small grocery stores, one (yes, one) ATM machine, and cobblestone roads with speed bumps every few hundred feet. There are taxis continually circling the island to pick up & drop off at a cost of just under $1 US per destination ($20 cordobas per person). You can also rent scooters & bicycles by the day/week (bicycles: $10 per day/$50 per week, scooters $25-$30/day, $150-$200/week). Corn Island Vacations can recommend motorbike rentals as well as taxi drivers who offer private tours around the island. There is also a place on Picnic Beach (beside Arenas Beach Resort) that rents golf carts to cruise the island in as well.
The restaurants and hotels are more spread out than on Little Corn, which can make it tricky finding where the main hang-outs are on any given day/night. But it's not a big place and is easy to get around, day or night. Click here for more information about Big Corn Island!
The white-sand beaches on both islands are all open to the public.