|Photo by Jagal|
The history of the Corn Islands sounds like something from of a pirate’s tale. Due to their isolated location, they were once a frequent stopping point for both British and French pirates and buccaneers in search of their next conquest, whether it is a merchant ship loaded with supplies or gold. In fact, several known shipwrecks are still scattered throughout the region, which have become popular diving areas. Unfortunately, some areas still serve as a haven for drug traffickers and it is not unusual to see the United States Coast Guard flying over the area.
Little Corn Island is special in its own way. It has the same characteristics as it larger counterpart, but as hard as it is to believe, it is much quieter. In fact, before my first visit, a friend kindly told me "Bring mosquito repellent and an extra roll of toilet paper, and expect the electricity to be off each morning." But despite the rustic qualities, you will be guaranteed peace and quiet. There are no cars, and traffic consists mostly of bicycles and dogs.
Traveling to Little Corn Island
Transportation to Little Corn Island is by smaller boats known as pangas and the one-way fare is C$120. The boats depart daily at 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. from the northern end of Brig Bay on Big Corn Island and arrive at Pelican Beach on the western side of Little Corn Island. The 18-mile journey takes approximately 30 minutes. As I always say, double check schedules because they can change at any moment or be cancelled due to weather. One piece of advice is that if you are prone to seasickness, make sure to check ahead and ask about the water conditions. The boats are small and they feel every wave. Since the trip can take about an hour, it can leave you feeling either exhilarated or horrible.
Little Corn Island consists of a thick jungle in its center surrounded by white-sand beaches as well as rocky coves on its eastern coast. The majority of visitors come to the island to truly get away from it all and either snorkel, dive and just enjoy some great food. Here are some activities:
Hiking to Lighthouse Hill
Lighthouse Hill – Also known as the Mirador, the highest point of the island at 125 feet includes a lookout point that offers a 360-degree view of the surroundings. It is approximately a 30-minute walk from the waterfront.
Diving and Snorkeling
Since the island has about 10-square-miles of reefs to explore, it has become a haven for snorkelers and divers. Some of the best snorkeling is off the northern end, which happens to be the more remote area of the island. The two recommended diving companies are: Dive Little Corn on Pelican Beach (www.divelittlecorn.com) that includes PADI-certification courses with day and night dives, and Dolphin Dive (www.dolphindivelittlecorn.com), which is conveniently based at the Hotel Delfines (north of Jokeman Bank). The hotel (www.hotellosdelfines.com.ni) also includes Caribbean-style bungalows that are some of the better accommodations on the island.
|(photo by Dane Brian)|
|(photo by Dane Brian)|