The wind blew upon our faces. The waves broke the calmness of the shore. Our shadows danced against the afternoon sun. We left but footprints in the sand.
Most people will advise you to quickly head for Little Corn Island, that Big Corn Island is not as charming as the little one. Don’t rush! Upon our arrival, we quickly made our way to Little Corn thus we only had one night to spent in Big Corn on the way back (because of the ferry schedule, they don’t go very often). We wished we had stayed another night or two.
Big Corn Island
The big roads and the airfield in Big Corn, which are supposed to be signs of advancement, draws some people to think it is “too developed.” It’s not bad at all, the roads actually make it easy to go around this big island, and without that airport, Big Corn is a long way from Managua. Going around the island by taxi is relatively cheap, taxi fare is at about 20 Cordoba per person to pretty much anywhere.
It is not hard to find accommodation and food that are relatively cheap but beachfront options are more expensive than in Little Corn. We found a decent hotel at $20 per night, close to the main pier and food is about $4 to $5 per meal. The atmosphere of the island is a lot different as well, as it is more spread out and more communities reside here.
Beaches in Big Corn Island
In terms of beaches, Big Corn has a lot to offer too. During our stay, we visited two of the best beaches in Big Corn Island – Long Beach and Picnic Beach. “Where are the other tourists?” This was my question after seeing the stunning beaches that awaited in Big Corn. “Why are they rushing us to go to Little Corn, when Big Corn has this (referring to the Picnic Beach)?” I couldn’t quite understand how such a beautiful white sand beach with really clear turquoise blue waters was almost empty. In Asia, these kind of beaches will be packed with tourists. There was one beachfront bar and a few accommodations there but still we almost had the place to ourselves. It was pretty awesome. If Picnic Beach was quiet, Long Beach is nearly deserted. With the best stretch of golden sand and uniquely clear blue Caribbean waters all to yourself, why wouldn’t you go? I’m sure these parts will be developed in the coming years, so if you get the chance, it’s best to see these beaches soon.
A Little More about the Local Caribbean Experience
The Corn Islands, as well as most of the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua almost seemed like a different country. Aside from the difference in features of most people from the rest of Nicaragua, what I remembered most about these local Caribbean islands is the language and the delicious food.
Nicaraguan Creole Language
Just when I thought I’d get the chance to finally brush up on my Spanish, I was completely set off from my lessons when we went to the Corn Islands. Spanish is not the main language in this part of Nicaragua! As Frommer’s describes it, “Nicaraguan Creole is a mutant form of English that is as rapid and incomprehensible as it is endearing and hilarious. “ Here are some phrases taken you may find interesting (lifted from Frommer’s Guide Book):
Alright – Hello
That ain’t nothing – Thank you
Me got one good time – I had a lovely time
No feel, no way – Don’t worry, it’s okay
Check you then – Goodbye
No, it is not the lesser version of Mexican food. Your quest for seafood stops here. The food in the Caribbean side of Nicaragua mostly came from, well you guessed it, from the sea. Lobster is easily found in restaurants and relatively cheap (about $12 for a whole lobster). Make sure to try the one with coconut cream and chili, it’s so rich and flavourful. If you love a fresh catch, ceviche is a must-try dish made from fish soaked in the delicious flavours of lime and chili (In the Philippines, we call this preparation kinilaw). It’s kind of like sushi but don’t worry, it doesn’t have a fishy smell. Another one of our favourites, which fortunately we found in other parts of Nicaragua is the Jalapeno cream sauce, you can have this with chicken, fish or beef. It’s really delicious.
Have you been to the Corn Islands? Do you want to visit the Corn Islands? Which do you like better Little Corn or Big Corn? Let us know.