Corn Island Transportation Tips by mircaskirca Top 5 Page for this destination
Corn Island Transportation: 11 reviews and 24 photos
On Big Corn Island you can take taxi colectivo or a bus, while Little Corn Island, with an area of 2,9 square kilometres, is very small and thus easily walkable. Little Corn is quite long and narrow. It means a short walk across the island, and you can walk the length of the island in less than an hour. Actually, you have no other choice than walking. There are no cars on the island and no roads on which to drive. The only wheels on the island are wheelbarrows. There is a paved sidewalk that runs the length of the village (along the west coast near the pier). This is the centre of most social activity. And you can walk most of the east side of the island along the beach, with a couple of rocks in the southern part. You'll have to do some rock climbing so you better wear comfy walking shoes than flip-flops.
There are many narrow paths through the jungle-like interior. They quickly get muddy and slippery during the rainy season. Turn right at the school (west side of the island) for the walk up to the lighthouse and the north side of the island, or follow the red muddy path from Miss Bridget's place through forests and swamps to the north beach and Derek's place. There's another muddy path just south of the dive shop, which leads across to the breezy east side of the island, the one I usually took to get from the village to Carlito's place.
upon arrival on Little Corn Island
We arrived on Big Corn Island around 8am. To get to Little Corn Island you have to take a panga boat. There are two departures daily from Big Corn, at 10am and 4pm. The times coincide well with La Costeña flights from Managua. The trip to Little Corn is often choppy and rough, especially when the sea is up. I heard several frightening stories so I was prepared to the worst. During the windiest months (December to April), if it gets too rough, they stop the service. And this was exactly what happened in my case. At the airport I was told that due to very strong winds there were no panga boat that day (as were not the previous day). That meant I would have to stay at least one night on Big Corn Island. So at the airport I took a taxi and the driver brought me to a hotel near the wharf. The ride was 1 US $ (December 2010).
Next morning I woke up with the good news: after two days panga was finally going to Little Corn again. It left at 10am. I had breakfast at my hotel and then went to the pier. To enter I had to pay a tax of 3 cordobas. The boat ride was 120 cordobas and I paid it on board. It was quite a small speedboat that seats about 15 people. I sat on the back which seemed to be less bumpy, but you certainly get more wet. Sit around the middle of the boat to stay dry. We wrapped our luggage in plastic bags which was essential to keep it dry, and we got life jackets. The journey began pretty smoothly. But as soon as we were on the open sea the waves were huge and a ride over choppy water at 16 knots was very bumpy. I was quite scared, and so were most of the passengers. They put out a huge sheet made of plastic to cover the passengers but it wasn't enough to keep us dry. By the time we arrived in Little Corn about 45 minutes later all the passengers were soaked to the skin. We were all relieved that we safely arrived.
On the dock there was a guy (working for Carlito) with a sign with my name waiting for me. He helped me with a luggage and led me along the path that leads to the east side of the island where I was staying.
On the return to Big Corn I took a 6:30am panga to catch the morning flight to Managua (the other leaves at 2pm). It was nice to have a company as the girl working for Carlito was taking the same boat. The ride was pretty smooth and also quicker. At the docks taxis were waiting and I took one to the airport. I had an open return ticket to Managua but there was no problem to get a seat.
Big Corn Island
I had to be at the airport at 5am to catch the 6:15am flight from Managua to Big Corn Island. I used Paxeos shuttle service on my arrival to Nicaragua (to get from Managua airport to Granada). Since I was very satisfied with their service I used them again. I arranged the transportation in their office at Parque Central next to the Catedral, one day prior my trip. It was 15 US $ (December 2010). The driver picked me up at 4am on Calle La Calzada, in front of Hospedaje Café Ruíz where I was staying.
The fastest and most convenient option to reach the Corn Islands is to take the plane. La Costeña has two daily flights from Managua to Big Corn Island, usually once in the morning and again in early to mid afternoon. The flight takes about 1,5 hours. Sometimes there is a short stop in Bluefields (in my case it was both times). You will be flying on either a 12 seat dual prop plane or the bigger plane with up to 46 seats. There is a weight limit for the plane so be careful about how much luggage you bring. They weight each passenger with their luggage before boarding.
La Costena has online booking (www.lacostena.com.ni). Alternatively, you can book in a travel agency at Parque Central in Granada. I heard about the cases that people with the ticket could not get on the plane because too many tickets were sold for the same flight. Boris from La Siesta suggested to get to the airport as soon as possible and try to purchase ticket there. Not all the passenger book in advance so in most cases there are a few places left. Just in case, a few days before my flight I also made a reservation via e-mail. The best person to contact is Julio Caballero who speaks perfect English. His e-mail address is: email@example.com. Though from my experience, they did not accept such reservation. But anyway, I could arrange everything right at the airport. The cost of a round trip ticket was 164 US $ with a tax (December 2010). They accept VISA, Mastercard and US dollars. I got an open return ticket. That means I could choose the return date as long as there was room on the plane.
On my return to Managua the driver from Paxeos was waiting for me at the airport. Shuttle van to Granada was 18 US $.
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