NicAmigo Revisits Corn Island, Nicaragua

Corn Island

Corn Island Corn Island Corn Island

Since visiting Corn Island over 10 years ago (click here for archived report), we were anxious to go back again to see if the islands had changed and to relive old memories. While we thoroughly enjoyed our original visit, those memories were not all positive since we can vividly recall being covered from head to foot with dust and dirt during our first visit and finding that we could only stay at a "hotel" that was, shall we say, REALLY primative ... this was all within the first hour of our arrival!

Nautilus Dive Shop Nautilus Dive Shop Nautilus Dive Shop

Imagine our surprise to find the dust was gone as the road around the island is now paved and there are some wonderful accomodations available to please almost anyone who would visit this remote island located about 50 miles off the Eastern shore of Nicaragua. A rental golf cart is all you need to explore the entire island and nearby Little Corn Island is easily assessable using the readily available water taxis (about a half hour ride ... CAUTION: you might get wet). Land taxis are plentiful (recommended after sundown) and the natives are, for the most part, very friendly. The local children do, however, enjoy shooting spitballs at golf cart riders ... consider yourself cautioned!

Casa Canada Casa Canada Casa Canada Casa Canada Casa Canada Casa Canada

Other than several hostels on both islands that offer adequate accomodations at very reasonable rates (including Derek's Place and Casa Iguana on Little Corn and Nautilus Dive Shop on Big Corn), there are some hotels on Big Corn Island that you may wish to consider for your visit.

The six photos above show the Casa Canada which is the newest and most luxurious on the main island. The restaurant is, in our opinion, one of the best available on the island offering some delicious and memorable meals for your enjoyment. There is not much of a beach on this section of the island but the sounds of the waves beating against the rocky shoreline is most pleasant. The infinity pool located on the edge of the ocean front wall should suffice for all your swimming and sunbathing needs although a magnificant beach with beautiful white sand and crystal clear water is just a short distance away.

Paraiso Club Resort Paraiso Club Resort Paraiso Club Resort

The Paraiso Club is probably the oldest resort type hotel on the island and is, in our opinion, the most charming ... the rooms have been recently updated (still pleasently "basic") and are air conditioned. The adjoining beach (a short walk from the main compound) is adequate although you may be sharing the beach facilities with several friendly local natives. The food is very good and the management is friendly, accomodating and an excellent source of local information. The road leading to the entrance gate is the old style dirt/dust type and you might find the surroundings somewhat questionable although we do not know of any reported problems in this area. We found the Paraiso Club to be a very nice hotel fitting appropriately in the tropical island setting.

Arenas Beach Hotel Arenas Beach Hotel Arenas Beach Hotel

Located on the lee side of Corn Island, the Arenas Beach Hotel has, possibly, the most potential as an upscale tourist destination on the island. The beach is magnificant with it's beautiful white sand, crystal clear water and calm ambiance. Beach facilities are excellent and even includes a "pirate bar" for beachfront libations! Each individual cabin features wall-to-wall beds with accomodations for up to 11 people. More comfortable rooms for singles and couples are located in the main hotel building (NicAmigo would arrange the accomodations differently; but, who knows ... I might be wrong). The kitchen and restaurant facilities were very clean although the whole hotel appeared to be empty and the restaurant was closed at the time of our visit. We were told that future plans include a swimming pool and a casino. Hopefully, the future will include more customers, too! This is really a nice place ... we wish the owners the best.

APRIL UPDATE: A recent post in the Yahoo! Group "CornIsland" indicates that "...continuous upgrades have been made to Arenas Beach Hotel. There is now a scuba shack and they are excited about installing a swimming pool at the resort. The waitstaff were wearing uniforms and standing at attention. First class operation!".

Although unconfirmed, NicAmigo is happy to hear the good news.

Corn Island Corn Island Corn Island Corn Island Corn Island Corn Island

For more details about Corn Island including photos, a complete accomodations listing and suggested attractions, please visit the very informative Corn Islands Nicaragua website. Also, an article written by Diane Wedner about both Big and Little Corn Islands recently appeared in the LA Times (includes an excellent video). Another source of information is available at ViaNica where you can look at a map and several photos.

Another collection of outstanding photos of both islands by AdamJason can be found here...

Remember to observe normal safety and security procedures while visiting Corn Islands. Travel at least in pairs and you should avoid night-time wandering. Problems are rare but "common-sense" caution is adviseable.

There are several flights to/from Corn Island on La Costeņa Airline every day using the Managua airport. Flight reservations and hotel bookings may be prearranged using any of the several local travel agencies on the mainland or directly with the airline and/or hotels.

The normal flight schedule is subject to variations caused by weather and other unforseen circumstances... plan accordingly. Also, BE SURE to register your name for your flight back to Managua while still at the airport upon arrival. Your having a ticket is NOT a guarantee that you have a seat on your returning flight unless your name is on "THAT" list!

A trip to Corn Island is a most interesting adventure either as a side trip or even as a comfortable and relaxing destination. ENJOY ... we certainly did and we think you will, too!

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