We made it to Managua airport with a little over an hour before our La Costeña flight, which ended up being around an hour and a half late anyway (pretty standard from what we heard). The regional terminal, which is in another building next door to the main international terminal, was little more than a large room with uncomfortable seats, no AC and a small TV playing a few of the less popular events from the summer Olympics.
Eventually our small regional plane showed up and we were off to Big Corn Island, where we would then have to catch a boat.
After around an hour in the air, and a quick stop in Bluefields, we landed on Big Corn Island and immediately grabbed a taxi to the docks.
Lucky for us, even though the last panga of the evening to Little Corn was packed full, the boat operators were just able to squeeze us in.
A short but bumpy 30 minutes later, we landed at the Little Corn docks where someone from Little Corn Beach & Bungalows (our home away from home) was there to meet us.
It was only a 10 minute walk across the island, through some seriously tropical areas, before we hit LCBB and, after a brief introduction to the premises, we were shown our bungalow (named Gulliver).
We quickly dropped our packs down and took a quick second to explore around our bungalow. We had a ton of space inside, with 2 beds equipped with mosquito nets (a king size on the ground floor and a double in the loft), a nice sized bathroom complete with a flushing toilet and shower, plenty of fans, and a nice sized table which we didn’t really utilize.
LCBB describes itself as an eco-friendly lodge (more info here) and, while this was noticeable in areas like the low-flow bathroom, it definitely didn’t get in the way. In fact, the owners have even taken a few creative twists on this concept and did things like reuse plastic water bottles to create an cool artistic “window” above the door.
After a quick cool shower, we put on our most comfy beach threads and headed over to the Turned Turtle – Little Corn Beach & Bungalows’ restaurant and main hub. We had signed up for the Dining & Activity package beforehand which, among other perks, included 2 meals a day, a large bottle of water with unlimited refills, coffee delivered directly to our bungalow each morning (worth it just for this), and discounts on various drinks and activities. While we didn’t take full advantage of everything we could have, we did end up eating most of our meals here and found the food, a nice mix of local and familiar dishes, to be some of the best on the island.
After stuffing ourselves silly, we wanted to explore around a bit and so took a quick walk down the beach. Let me tell you, if you only need one reason to check out Little Corn Island, it’s the beaches. They’re gorgeous, mostly isolated, and seem to go on forever. Seriously unreal.
After some legitimate beach exploration, the sun was beginning to set and, after a delish 4 course dinner, we went back to our little tropical bungalow and quickly passed out.
I wish I could say that the next few days were packed with all sorts of exciting experiences to write and read about but honestly, we really didn’t want to do anything other than read, drink beer, and enjoy the view from our veranda. I kept on waiting for boredom to set in but nope, it never did.
After a few days of pure relaxation, we figured it was about time to walk back over to the other side of the island and check out the small town area.
It only takes maybe 10-15 minutes to go from one end to the other, but it has plenty of charm to spare.
Based on a few recommendations, we stopped by the Tranquilo Cafe to use their wi-fi and chow down on some fantastic fish tacos and a monstrous cheeseburger.
We continued to walk around town for a little while longer and, after making note of a few hotspots that we wanted to check out later, we headed back to our bungalow for more reading and relaxation.
Once we had recovered from our mid-afternoon nap, we were once again feeling the exploration itch. Since the northern section of Little Corn was the only area that we hadn’t already previously explored, we slapped on our flip-flops and took off.
We started down a concrete path through what looked like the main residential area and past the local school.
Because it was such a hot and humid day, all of the animals we passed were cooling off in their found patch of shade. We even came across a poor tortoise who was stuck in the sun and attempting to break away from his enclosure.
Continuing on down the path, we later came across an overgrown baseball diamond which is apparently still in use during the dry season.
Further on the path we walked through banana trees and pineapple groves, passing by Dobedo and Ensuenos (2 other small resorts), all before emerging on Little Corn’s northern beach.
While hobbling along the rocky parts of the coast back to LCBB, we saw a couple of the other places to stay: Farm Peace & Love and Derek’s place, which looks more like a set from Lost.
For our last day on the island, we really wanted to try out the Cuban restaurant in town named Habana Libre. So off we went back down the path to town in search for something yummy and a decent mojito.
While the mojito was only decent, the grilled pork with tomato and onion sauce was amazing! The portions here are huge, so we both ended up stuffed silly and had to slowly waddle back to our bungalow.
After some solid relaxation in paradise, it was sadly time for us to make the long journey back home. So, with heavy rain clouds looming in the distance, we boarded the morning panga back to Big Corn.
Everything was going smoothly until the quick stopover in Bluefields to unload/load-up on passengers. When our little puddle jumper’s engines attempted to start up, they spun very quickly and immediately puttered out. After a few more failed attempts, we were informed that they were experiencing technical difficulties and that we would have to wait in the Bluefields airport (a small air conditioned room with a TV and super uncomfortable seats) until they were able to fly in a mechanic from Managua.
After a 4 hour wait and watching episode after episode of El Chavo del Ocho (apparently a huge deal in spanish speaking countries), the mechanic felt confident enough that the plane would be able to make the 45 minute flight. So, feeling especially daring, we loaded back onto our glorified tin can in the sky (now sounding more like a chainsaw than anything capable of flight) and crossed our fingers.
Luckily we made it to the Managua airport without any additional issues and with a couple of hours to spare. As we sat at the gate waiting for our plane home, with a Nicaraguan rodeo video playing at a nearby stall, we laughed and reminisced on the many amazing memories we’d be taking back home with us. Our time in Nicaragua truly was a magical experience and one that I’m sure we’ll tell stories about for years to come.