WELCOME! How about that panga ride, eh?
If you are lucky enough to be staying at Little Corn Beach and Bungalow (LCBB) then someone will meet you at the dock to collect you and your bag and escort you to your breezy beachside paradise. Enjoy a piña colada for me! This magical little place was exactly what we were looking for in a tropical island paradise – part Robinson Crusoe part eco-minded luxury with a friendly laid back vibe. And it fit our budget perfectly.
LCBB is one of the finest examples of eco-tourism I have ever experienced. Don’t misunderstand, “eco” doesn’t mean sacrificing quality, chewing on tree bark or sleeping under a tarp. There are some very expensive eco-resorts out there! What it DOES mean is that everything about LCBB from the way its built (local and recycled materials) to the way it runs on a daily basis (employing locals and paying fair wages) benefits the environment (proper trash disposal and growing its own produce) and the community (Reading Room library, Adopt-a-Beach program, sponsor local baseball team). And so much more – it’s amazing!
When you book I recommend you get what they call the RADDeal which offers a big savings on your Room, Activities, Dining & Drinks. The resorts restaurant, the Turned Turtle, is one of the best on the island so you won’t be sorry to take most of your meals here. And every morning someone will deliver hot coffee to your room!
[HOT TIP: LCBB is located on the eastern side of the island. Important – this is where the breeze blows and you’ll be a short 10-15 minute walk to town and the panga dock. If you want to enjoy Mother Nature’s air-conditioning, you’ll want to stay here!]
Here’s the rundown of how we spent five days on Little Corn.
Little Corn is only about 1.5 square miles in size compared to Big Corn which is about 4 square miles. There are no cars on Little Corn. You’ll see a few bicycles, but mostly pedestrians. On morning we ventured out to find the lighthouse in the center of the island. Although we never found an actual lighthouse, we did enjoy an ice-cold bottle of water and the view from the Lighthouse Hotel.
The Southern Circuit
In between our delicious breakfast and happy hour at LCBB one day we walked the southern edge of the island. Heading west from LCBB on the path towards town we continued due south hugging coastline until we made a complete circle and ended up back at Cocal Beach and LCBB. Parts of the walk felt a little more like Naked and Afraid than Survivor, but let’s just say a cold Toña tasted mighty nice at the end of odyssey.
From LCBB head north to visit Otto Beach. It’s a longer walk but well worth the journey through the jungle on a mostly well-trodden path. You’ll be rewarded with easy entry into the ocean from a beautiful a sandy shore where you can plop down on a beach towel or chair. Water, drinks and food available at a couple of places including Driftwood Beach Bar at the swanky Yemaya Boutique Hotel (complete with ‘swanky’ prices).
There are a few shops, a yoga studio and some bars and restaurants dotting the beach on the western side of the island in town. For a fun, hip scene try the centrally located Tranquilo Cafe. Happy hour is a popular time to enjoy sunset and drink specials. One night we walked over to attend the bonfire. There wasn’t much of a fire by the time we got there around 9pm, but there was an awesome live band and dancers and the bar was buzzing.
Through LCBB we arranged a morning snorkel tour for only $20/per person. No fuss here. The boat pulled up onto our beach, we boarded then headed out into the deep blue yonder. The ocean was really rolling that morning so being a good swimmer helped, but so did taking a break on the boat. The corals were beautiful and we saw several nurse sharks, but my favorite moment was seeing five or six eagle rays gliding along the ocean floor. Such gorgeous and graceful creatures.
[HOT TIP: In the cool water you don’t realize the amount of strong sun beating down on your backside while you swim across the top of the water. I recommend wearing a rash guard and good sunscreen and to reapply.]
Nap in a Hammock
I dare you to try to read instead.
More HOT TIPS for maximum enjoyment:
#1 Bring cash, either Nicaraguan Cordobas or US Dollars. There are no ATMs on Little Corn and there is as much as 12% added to credit card charges, if they are accepted at all.
#2 There are some paved paths and for the most part you can explore the entire island safely. It’s hot during the day so bring sunscreen and water. At night stay on well trodden paths and walk in a group with a flashlight.
#3 In Nicaragua in general never flush anything but waste down the toilet. Yes, this includes toilet paper. Everywhere we went, especially the Corn Islands, we were expected to use the trash can for paper, not the loo.
#4 Electricity can stop during the day to conserve, so charge your electronics at night. This goes for hot showers too, which may be taken during certain hours of the day.
#5 English is widely spoken on the islands as well as Spanish and Creole.
[Additional photo credits to April Orie.]