The Corn Islands

The Corn Islands of Nicaragua

Nicaragua’s foot on the Caribbean can be found in the tiny Corn Islands. These two small islands are about 50 miles off the Caribbean Coast. They are roughly east of Bluefields.

The islands have a strong British heritage. Spanish is the official language of Nicaragua. But yet the Corn Islanders prefer to speak in English. Both the Corn Islands are rather flat and have a reef surrounding them, making them ideal for diving. There are PADI dive shops and resorts on both islands.

Corn Islands
Travelers Waiting for the Panga to Corn Island.

These islands have traditionally had an economy based on fishing. Recently  tourism has become an important economic activity. Most tourists visiting the islands are foreigners. This is because getting to the Corn Islands can be expensive, and few Nica citizens can afford it.  Most travelers fly to Corn Island using the services of La Costena Airlines. This is  a small Nica Airline that offers two daily flights from Managua to Corn Island using a 50 passenger ATR. The Flight usually makes a brief stop in Bluefields.

The alternative is to travel by land to El Rama. From there, take a 2 ½ hour boat trip to Bluefields. Once there take the ferry that runs a couple of times a week between Bluefields and Corn Island. The disadvantage with this route is that it will take you all day to travel from Managua to El Rama. If you have the time it is a great trip!

Corn Island is the larger of two islands, and certainly the most developed. In addition to the airport facilities, it has a small port where all the cargo from the mainland arrives. A paved road goes around the island and gives you quick access to the different resorts and beaches.

Little Corn Island is different, in the sense that it is much less populated. It does not have any cars of motorcycles on the island either. Getting around is strictly a walking business! To get to Little Corn Island you musts first travel to Corn Island. From there, you can take the “panga” a open boat with a capacity for about 35 persons. Travel is subject to good weather, so be prepared to have flexible schedules. Rough seas might delay your departure from Little Corn Island as planned!

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