Corn Island is one of Nicaragua’s little known treasures off the Caribbean coast. Corn Island actually consists of two islands, Big Corn Island and Little Corn Island. It is indeed a tropical paradise with its clear, baby blue water, white sand beaches and all the tropical fruit trees on the island.
The islands were a haven for English pirates in the 17th century. Many of the inhabitants on the island are descendents of freed British slaves. Today many have moved to the islands including Miskito Indians and Nicaraguans from the pacific side of Nicaragua.
The island is only accessible by taking an hour-long flight ($100 roundtrip) from Managua. Because it is further away than most of the tourism destinations in the country, tourism on the island is still in the early stages of development. However, if you are okay with not having a big resort with all a large number of amenities then you will still have a great time in Corn Island. There are hotels that offer rooms with air conditioning and satellite television. Accommodations are very affordable. Depending on where you stay you can find rooms available for as little as $15. Remember that you get what you pay for, though, so you may want to spend a little more and get a few more amenities.
The biggest perk is being able to swim in some of the most beautiful waters in the world. Make sure to bring some snorkeling gear to take advantage of the water. Scuba diving may be available if you wish do something a little more serious than snorkeling. The islands are surround by a barrier reef system. It makes for a beautiful eco-system where you will be able to see corals, sponges, dolphins, turtles and many other fish and wildlife under the sea. Lastly, close to the shore you can find the remains of shipwrecked boats from centuries ago.
The locals on the island are friendly and welcoming to outsiders. Most of the locals make a living from fishing or catering to travelers passing through. While you are on the island you will be able to try some delicious, fresh seafood. Also, be sure to try some of the famous coconut bread that originates from the Caribbean side of Nicaragua. Be warned, though, once you start eating that bread you will not want to stop!
Among other activities you will be able to enjoy there is horseback riding along the shore of the island. You can pamper yourself with a massage, hike up Mt. Pleasant Tower to get a view of the entire island, or lastly get the true local experience by watching a baseball game at the local stadium. The games are usually on Sundays during the baseball season.
All in all it is a great adventure to go on while you are in Nicaragua. I would definitely recommend taking a few days or a week to spend on Corn Island doing all the fishing, diving, and snorkeling you can possibly fit in during your stay on the island.
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