The Corn Islands: Big Corn & Little Corn Island
The Corn Islands are located about 50 miles east of the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua. Little Corn Island is only about 1.5 sq miles in size, but bursting in character. You won’t believe you’re in Nicaragua when you come here, this is truly an oasis of tranquility and a refreshing break from the hustle and bustle of the mainland.
Home to around 800 people speaking Creole-English and Spanish, Little Corn Island is one the most friendly places you’re likely to find, with a real sense of community and people willing to talk with you and share their experiences, as well as help you out.
Both the Corn Islands were under British rule from the 17th to the 19th Century and were often visited by pirates and privateers passing though these waters.
Fishing, in particular for lobster has been a mainstay of the island for many years, but starting in the late 1990’s, tourism has also been a growing and evolving part in the island economy, with foreign and local investment offering more ammenities for tourists and thus additional employment opportunities.
What to do Little Corn Island
Chill, relax, dive, snorkel, kitesurf, kayak, fish (deep sea and fly), yoga, paddleboarding, massage, horseback riding… and generally get away from it all… perfect really… discover paradise! There’s a tab in the menu at the top of this page that gives you a fairly comprehensive listing.
Corn Islands Weather
In general, the weather here in the Corn Islands is warm, sunny, and breezy. There is a “rainy season” (like in all of the Caribbean), but even during those months, most of the time it’s usually sunny.
The following weather forecasts seem to be the most reliable for local weather conditions.
Windfinder – This site is great to know what’s happening with local winds. The pangas run twice a day unless the wind is very strong.. but it’s rare that a panga won’t run. While you’re on the island, feel free to check on weather and panga schedules at Tranquilo Cafe, they’re usually on top of these things.
Foreca – A good general weather app with good coverage for this area.
Again, like the rest of the Caribbean, during lots of the year, we can get a passing shower or two each day and as a result, the forecast may show some kind of rain icon on your weather app many days between May and January. That doesn’t mean it will rain all or even a substantial part of any day, just that chances are some brief rain will pass.. usually in early morning, or in the evening, just like the rest of the tropics, and including US cities like Miami (although we never get super-hot like Miami, and hurricanes are much more rare down here). Overall, the Corn Islands are sunny about 90% of the year.
As with most of mainland Nicaragua, you can use either the national Cordoba currency, but US$ are also happily accepted everywhere (provided they are in good condition with no rips, tears or defacing, otherwise the local banks and businesses will likely not accept them).
When you hear there is no ‘local’ bank, it means the nearest bank and ATM are on Big Corn Island, so come prepared with cash. An increasing number of businesses here now do accept credit cards, but check in advance to avoid having to make a trip back to the Big Island to top up your funds! (Tranquilo Café and Desideri Café also offer cash back on most credit and debit cards, subject to a 10% fee to cover bank charges, but this has saved many a guest from having to spend half the day traveling over to Big Corn just to get cash funds).
Security is generally not an issue on the island, and the last couple of years the island built has the best law enforcement presence it’s ever had, and Little Corn has probably the lowest crime rate of any area in Nicaragua. But normal precautions should be taken as with traveling anywhere, such as keeping your room locked, keeping valuables locked away, and not leaving things on the beach when going snorkeling for an hour or two.