I’m going to put it to you like this: the Corn Islands are a lot like siblings. They share a good deal of genes and as such it’s entirely possible to like them both.
But you’re probably not going to like them equally. So which is better?
Big Corn Island vs. Little Corn Island
Let’s go ahead and use my brother and I as the said siblings, just for fun.
My brother is Little Corn Island…
He’s a bit smaller than his big sis (sorry bro!), but he’s definitely cuter, he’s more charming, and he likes a touch of the luxury. All the while he is totally unaffected and has the ability to make you feel cozy and special at the same time.
He is aware of his charms and might charge extra for them (ok that part is JUST Little Corn and doesn’t apply to my little brother 😉 ) but you never find the time to complain too much because it feels good to bask in his light (it’s the sun – get it?).
Read more on Why You Should Visit Little Corn Island Now
Then you have his big sister, me…err…Big Corn Island
Big Corn is not completely without it’s charms but they are a little harder to find. She is somewhat more rough around the edges, doesn’t particularly aim to please, and though she can offer you beautiful things you really need to dig to find them. In short, she’s more work and not for everyone.
In other words?
If you are looking for a relaxing time and relatively unconcerned with the amount of culture you soak in, I suggest skipping Big Corn and heading straight to Little Corn for a few days to a week.
If you like adventure and rambling around a bit (which is not to set your expectations too high because there really is very little to do on either island and that’s a good thing, I promise), check out Big Corn for a couple of days.
So, what’s up with Big Corn Island?
That wasn’t a rave review, right? But honestly Big Corn is a beautiful place, it’s just not cohesive. The island is a bit bigger and everything is sporadically located all along the coast line.
You have to take taxis most places, which adds up finanially and is kind of a bummer. Want to check out that restaurant you saw on Trip Advisor? Great, it’s a 20 cordoba taxi ride and there will be nothing else there. You’ll likely have to walk a ways and catch another taxi to head to the beachfront pub you read about afterward for a nightcap. Then it will be another taxi back to the hotel.
You get my drift. It’s not a dealbreaker but it’s certainly a little less tranquil then puttering around everywhere barefoot.
What to do on Big Corn Island
One of my favourite things we did on the island was to rent bicycles ($2/hr) late one afternoon.
It gave us a chance to circle nearly the entire island at our leisure, stopping wherever we wanted to take photos, and trailing off the beaten path (and getting just a little lost, of course). If you do decide to spend a few days here, I’d highly recommend it.
If it really is full-on luxury you’re after, or if you can’t imagine living without WiFi or reliable electricity, then Big Corn is still your gal (both were extremely inconsistent and sometimes rare for days on Little Corn).
The two nicer resorts, Casa Canada and Club Paraiso are the kinds of places you can go and stay a week to relax and have all your needs met. If you’re a budget traveller I recommend the G & G hotel and restaurant. Cheap and decent rooms, if not noteworthy, for $15. Cheap and decent food, if not noteworthy, for $3-7.
And that’s really all I can recommend to you. There’s Long Beach…it’s a long and very pretty beach but it was totally deserted when we were there (maybe that’s a good thing?) with one little shack-style restaurant down towards one end.
There are no other beaches of particular note, though there are plenty scattered all around the island. It just depends where you want to stop. Long Beach is the pretty white sand one, but you can find smaller patches of the same elsewhere.
The boy and I actually ended up spending three full days there and we were pretty bored by the end (talk about spoiled!).
How to get there
GO BY PLANE. I repeat, go by plane to and from Corn Island. It really is not worth the experience of the cargo ship/boat/panga/bus route. I promise you. From one person who loves adventure to the next, don’t bother.
In the end I am pretty sure we spent more money on finding our way in and out of Corn Islands than we would have spent on the flights if booked in advance.
But hey, at least I can say I slept in a swinging hammock at the back of a cargo ship stuffed with fresh fish, right? It’s all about the experiences!
I wanna hear from you! Have you been? Did you love the islands equally or, like me, do you have a favourite?