There is a Place in the Corn Islands, Nicaragua: Trips Highlights!

This week my pal Jackie from over at Jackie Travels takes us to the Corn Islands located off of Nicaragua’s coast in the Caribbean. So why exactly did she find this part of the world so enchanting?

Where did you go?

I visited both of the Corn Islands but spent most of my time on Little Corn. A lot of people skip Big Corn altogether because Little C is much more quaint, quiet, and relaxing. I spent a week there and only a night on Big Corn.

There is a Place in the Corn Islands, Nicaragua: Trips Highlights!
There is a Place in the Corn Islands, Nicaragua: Trips Highlights!

How did you learn about this place, and why did you want to visit?

When I was planning this trip and mentioned I was headed towards Nicaragua, everyone told me that I would be insane to skip the Corn Islands. I didn’t do any research beforehand and so only knew what people had told me – that the beaches were perfect, that the little island didn’t allow cars, and that everyone spent the majority of their time diving, fishing, or snorkeling.

Can you tell us about your experiences there?

I stayed in a hostel owned by Randy, a large man with gold teeth and a heavy accent. We only had electricity for a few hours each evening, and water was provided from a well in the courtyard. I didn’t wear shoes around the island the entire time I stayed there. There are no banks or ATMs, no hospitals, no stores bigger than a single room. It would rain in ten-minute intervals a few times each afternoon and early in the morning.

Little Corn Island colorful houses in Nicaragua
Little Corn Island colorful houses in Nicaragua

We usually had one meal a day at the same café in town – the only place to get wifi – and would stay there until my laptop ran out of battery. We bought fresh coconut bread from some guy who lived in the pink house next to our hostel. Every house is like that – either pink or purple or yellow.

On the day we ventured across to the other side of the island, we spent about two hours trekking through muddy paths until it got dark, not another person in sight, trying to hold each other up and avoid stepping on rocks as we used my iPhone for light. All of the locals are very friendly and will, without fail, say hello as you pass by, with a quiet “baby” added at the end if you happen to be female and walking alone.

A boat ride while visiting the Little Corn Island, Nicaragua
A boat ride while visiting the Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

Apparently there are about five families who run the entire island – and it seems like there are only one or two hundred people that live here full time (although according to a guy we met on a cargo ship on our way back from the island, there are about 1000).

What are some things we can try there?

I am not personally a diver, as I fear the ocean, but apparently the island is great for it and you can get your certification pretty cheap. I did venture out of my comfort zone enough to go snorkeling (I lead an extreme life.) and I will admit it was pretty cool, probably because the instructor held my hand the whole time and gave me a sand dollar as a reward for not crying (too much). Fresh fish is available at any time of day from any restaurant and it is amazing, so eat it. The coconut bread is famous and rightly so – I want to eat it and only it for the rest of my life.

Big Corn Island rural views in Nicaragua
Big Corn Island rural views in Nicaragua

What makes it stand out from other places you’ve been to?

The no-cars thing is pretty different. Honestly, this island probably stood out for me a lot more than it would have for other travelers who’ve covered more ground. I’ve only ever traveled throughout Europe (and once to Israel), so this entire region of the world has been completely different from any other place I’ve seen. Every single thing here – the way the people talk, the fruit and fish, the tropical weather – is new and exciting for me. I can’t imagine what it would be like for someone who’s already covered tropical ground, but I also can’t imagine that there are too many places in the world like this little island. It feels so far away from everything else.

You can also keep up with Jackie’s travels through Facebook and Twitter.

Join the Conversation


  1. I love places where I can go and just walk around in my bare feet. Sounds like heaven. The Corn Islands have also been popping up on my radar a lot more recently, so they must be visited apparently!
    Thanks for sharing your experience Jackie!

  2. says: Jackie D

    Thanks for having me, love! And thank you everyone for your comments! I hope you all get to visit the Islands sometime soon and that you’re better at snorkeling than I was.

  3. says: Stephanie - The Travel Chica

    I missed the Corn Islands when I was traveling through Nicaragua. I have felt drawn to go back to Nicaragua this year and spend a relaxing week or so on Little Corn.

  4. Thanks for sharing. I don’t plan to go there in the nearest future, but Nicaragua is, definitely, on my To-Do-Go List. It was interesting to read about your experience on the Corn Islands.

  5. says: Jules

    We loved the Corn Islands! Especially Little Corn, where we spent 2 weeks staying with Randy at Three Brothers. Randy is awesome and it’s a great spot to stay because it’s cheap and has a kitchen. We cooked up fresh fish most nights and drank coconut rum cocktails! We’re missing those beautiful beaches at the moment! If you’re on a tight budget, like we were, than there are plenty of ways to keep the costs down, you just need to be creative.
    Glad you enjoyed your time there 🙂

  6. says: Stuart Murray

    Kinda wished I’d checked out the ‘Corns’ when I was in Nicaragua, you paint a very nice picture. I’m at a similar stage where everything is exciting, I hope it never ends! No-cars rule is great and who wouldn’t want to wander in bare feet! Thanks for the post, heading back to Central America next year so may well have to pop to the islands!

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