20 Amazing Things to Do on Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

By on Published: September 24, 2015 | Last Updated: November 21, 2020 in Central America, Latin America, NICARAGUA with 27 Comments

20 Amazing Things to Do on Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

Oh Little Corn Island, what a tiny drop of paradise you are!

There you sit in the Caribbean Sea, a minuscule pearl, shining with simplicity and serenity.

I fell in love with you from the first moment I saw you – loving everything about your tropical charm and beauty.

With no cars, no roads, banks or shops, you provide the perfect escape, the ultimate haven.

But many presume you lack the excitement and interest of grander destinations.

Here, I want to prove them wrong.

I want to show them that they need only dig a little deeper to unearth in you a wealth of adventure and fun.

I want to show them your best bits, your local bits, your hidden bits; so here I go…


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LCI Plam Trees

#1 Walk Little Corn

If you want to enjoy the whole of Little Corn (and let’s be honest, who wouldn’t!) then one of the top things you should do here is to walk around it.

Yes.. it… as in the whole island!

Look this place is tiny – just over 1sqkm and so you can easily walk the entire coast in a day.

And what a day!

Just make sure you take some shoes for the rocky parts and have bare feet for the sandy parts.

There’s nothing quite like discovering every nook and cranny of the island in this way.

 

#2 Snorkel

Borrowing a snorkel, fins and mask to explore the waters around this island is absolutely one of the top things to do in Little Corn.

If you have your own gear, even better, otherwise, you can rent some from the 2 island dive shops.

Check the tides, tell someone where you’re headed, and then get out!

Trust me, you won’t have to go very far to spot tropical fish, turtles, dolphins and stunning coral formations.

 

#3 Eat Coconut Bread

Don’t deny any part of what your nose is happily telling you and ensure you devour all the hot, steaming coconut bread fresh from a local kitchen bakery.

This is essentially the national snack of Little Corn and it’s utterly delicious.

Just don’t ask me how many calories are in it… I don’t want to know!

 

#4 Watch a Sunset

Come on, who doesn’t love a Caribbean sunset over the ocean!

If you’re a fan, then trust me when I say Little Corn has some of the best in the world!

Yes on this tiny patch of paradise you can enjoy an incredible Caribbean sunset, not only over the ocean, but also above the forest canopy from the fire tower, where you can see the whole island spread before you.

 

#5 Yoga in the Jungle

Stretch and greet the day with a morning wake-up yoga session complete with real-life lapping waves and birdsong soundtrack.

Is there a better way to start your day in paradise?

I think not!

 

#6 Dive with Hammerheads

Ok so this one is a biggie and absolutely a top thing to do in Little Corn.

In fact, it’s the reason many people come here, full stop.

Yes scuba diving is big on this tiny island, thanks to the amazing tropical waters and reefs it’s surrounded by,  there’s no end of wonders you can see here … including some special friends with fins!

So why not push your fear boundaries to the max, as you join hammerhead sharks in their own territory, and marvel through your scuba suit at their sleek beauty.

 

#7 Eat Epic Italian Food

Indulge in the best Italian food in Nicaragua at the wonderfully hospitable and delicious Cafe Desideri.

If you only eat out once on this island, make it here, where the wonderful Mai-Lynn will certainly look after you.

 

#8 Watch a Baseball Game

Cheer on the local team in true island style as you watch a Sunday afternoon baseball game at the Little Corn stadium.

Did you know baseball is the national sport in Nicaragua (it’s closely seconded by boxing) and nothing brings the crowds out more!

What an atmosphere!

 

#9 Volunteer

If you’re looking to give back when you travel, then helping out at the local primary school in Little Corn is a great way to test your energy levels and creole understanding.

There’s just one small school building on this island, so it’s easy to find!

When I helped out there, I just turned up and spoke to the headteacher who was delighted at my offer to help the kids with their English lessons.

If you’re looking to volunteer more when you travel, or in a more official capacity, then why not check out Worldpackers –  an amazing website that connects conscious adventurers with some amazing volunteer projects the world over.

You can also use my exclusive promo code BWSP20 to get 20% off your Worldpackers membership today – winning!

 

#10 Spot Eagle Rays

This is absolutely one of the top things to do in Little Corn, not least because it’s so relaxing!

Yes, if you head down to the town jetty at night, not only can you enjoy a surreal moment of quiet as well as watch the stars above you, you can also look down into the water below and spot loads of eagle rays gliding gracefully past.

Pure magic!

 

Dolphin Dive Shop

#11 Day Trip to the Pearl Keys

But if eagle rays weren’t enough for you, then you can up the paradise factor even further by experiencing the deserted Pearl Keys!

Best enjoyed as part of a sailing day trip, this tiny string of islands are a few hours by speedboat from Little Corn… and they make it seem like the smoking city in comparison!

Marvel at the now-deserted private islands, where forgotten grand pianos and pink swimming pools lay deserted like something from an apocalyptic movie.

 

#12 Go Fishing

Back to reality however, because one of the top things to do in Little Corn Island has to be enjoying the marine world to the max.

This means a good fishing trip is often top of many traveller bucket lists and this island is the perfect place to tick it off.

Head out with respected local Randy (from 3 Brothers Hostel), as your ears fill with the stories and legends of slaves and pirates from the past.

 

#13 Let Your Hair Down at Tranquilo

The place where I worked for a year, and consequently hung out, partied, socialised and sorted of lived at, Tranquilo is the beating heart of traveller life on Little Corn Island.

Owner John is a really lovely man and has created the perfect place for locals and travellers alike to let their hair down with a beer, play a game of banagrams or enjoy an evening beach bonfire.

Make sure you go here at least once during your island time – you won’t regret it!

 

#14 Gorge on Mango

Little Corn really is the island of mangoes and during the season that’s about all you can smell across the whole place!

Don’t miss out on the full tropical experience therefore and pick as many free mangos as you can during the season.

Then watch, amazed, as these plentiful fruits turn the colour of the island floor from vivid green to warm sunshine yellow.

 

#15 Find the Secret Beach

Get lost and endeavour to find the secret beach – it’s something of an island mystery, but I promise you it does exist.

When you get there, you’ll discover it really is the ultimate place to soak up paradise uninhibited.

 

#16 Enjoy a Massage

And paradise isn’t paradise without a massage right?

Relax and lose yourself to the sound of lapping waves as you enjoy this wonderful beachside experience.

 

#17 Spot the String of Pearls

But now we’re back underwater, and this time at night, as we turn to this –  one of the most unique things to do on Little Corn.

Yes, there are few places in the world where these naturally suspended illumination chains can be seen, so don’t miss out on your chance to discover the elusive beauty of the string of pearls in a night dive on Little Corn.

 

#18 Eat Seafood

And now we’re nearing the end of this list, but not before we talk about Little Corn’s most famous dish.

You can’t come to this island (unless you’re a vegetarian of course) and not try the seafood coconut delight that is a local rondon delicacy.

Like a mild curry, this guy has to be cooked over a hot fire, on the beach, in a large earthenware pot with yams in the traditional way.

Apparently it’s well worth the wait!

 

#19 Swing in a Hammock

Look, there’s no point in getting away from it, Little Corn is big on the chill factor.

This makes one of the top things to do here simply swing in a hammock.

Yup all you gotta do is find one, clamber in, watch the world go by and get some perspective – it’s amazing how different everything looks when you’re horizontal!

 

#20 Arrive

Arrive… and then stay.

Trust me, it’s the best thing to do on Little Corn Island… and not as hard as you think!

 

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When to Visit Litte Corn Island

night-dive-boat-on-lci

Situated in the tropics, Little Corn Island is hot and humid most of the year.

Here, you rarely have to worry about the sun shining, it’s more about avoiding the heavy rains that you want to do!

Rainy season runs from May to November, with peak hurricane season coming in October usually.

This makes December through April the best time to visit.

 

How to Get There

Nicaragua, LCI, Little is Big

To get to Little Corn Island, you first have to get to Big Corn Island and from there take a local speed boat called a panga, that leaves twice a day – morning and afternoon – and takes around 1 hour.

Hang onto your hats folks, this is a wild ride!

To get to Big Corn Island, you can either fly with La Costena from the Nicaraguan capital of Managua, or take an epic bus / boat journey from El Rama or Bluefields – 2 towns situated on the mainland Caribbean coast of the country.

Learn more in this post I wrote.

If you’re coming from either Honduras or Costa Rica, then you can easily cross into Nicaragua overland via borders which are safe and easy to navigate – I’ve done this many times as a solo female traveller.

Otherwise, if you’re entering Nicaragua from further afield, it’s likely you’ll have to take a flight that will arrive into Managua’s international airport.

As always, I use Skyscanner to find the best deals on flights for Central America and beyond.

 

Where to Stay on Little Corn

South America, Nicaragua, Pearl Keys

If you’re a budget traveller like me, then you can’t go wrong with the excellent Green House Hotel, owned by the wonderful Rob.

It’s like a home away from home!

 

Best Travel Insurance for Nicaragua

Nicaragua, Little Corn, Boat

I wouldn’t dream of travelling to a country like Nicaragua without proper coverage and always recommend travel insurance from World Nomads which I’ve used during my time in this country and across the world.

World Nomads are actually one of the few companies that will insure you for a huge range of outdoor activities as standard – essential for a country like Nicaragua.

If you’re looking for travel insurance with Covid-19 cover, then look no further than Safetywing’s great Nomad Insurance policies.

These guys have you covered!

 

LIKE IT? PIN IT!

 

And there you have it, my list of the 20 best things to do on Little Corn Island.

Have you visited this patch of paradise?

What was your favourite thing to do there?

I look forward to hearing all in the comments below…

 

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About the Author

About the Author: Creator of Big World Small Pockets, Stephanie Parker is a budget travel addict! Originally from Jersey in the Channel Islands, Stephanie backpacks the world collecting tips, advice and stories, to share with a smile .

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  1. 5 Tropical Islands to Visit Even If You're on a Budget | December 19, 2019
  1. Debz says:

    Looks like a perfect island to relax, would love to visit South America!

  2. Kenny says:

    Hey Steph, great read. Heading over to the islands this coming week.(hope we get the weather).
    I was wondering how you went about volunteering at the local school. Also keen on some fishing.
    Any advice will be great.
    Thanks in advance
    Kenny

  3. Gemma says:

    Planning mode! Very excited to be going in Feb / March.

  4. Lindsey Medina says:

    My brother lives in little corn island, and I absolutely fell in love with it! I can’t wait to head down there again this summer.

    • Steph says:

      Another fallen one … Good to hear I’m not alone! What’s your brother’s name, maybe I know him! Have a great trip there Lindsey 🙂

  5. Danielle says:

    Wow this sounds truly perfect! I’ve been hearing such great things about Nicaragua recently! You sold it to me in the first point alone 😉

  6. Yasser Foster says:

    Hello, i would like to know if the activities like to do diving is expensive, cause i am going in a few days 🙂 btw this review was awesome

    • Steph says:

      Hi Yasser, thanks for such a great question. It depends on what you think is expensive. A single tank dive with Dolphin Dive Centre on Little Corn costs $35SUSD and a double tank dive is $65USD. The more you do, the greater the discount you can negotiate of course. It really is worth it in my opinion. They aren’t many places in the world you can see a hammerhead shark for $35!

  7. Daniel says:

    I’m doing a school assessment on Nicaragua and was wondering if you knew where I could find some prices?

  8. Tania Batalama says:

    Hello! I am visiting Nicaragua on the 27th of November with two of my friends and we definetely plan to go to Little Corn. I was wondering if you could give me some info about organizing a trip to the Pearl Keys (e.g. tour operators, prices, dates of excursions) from Little Corn (we will have 3-4 days in Little Corn). Thank you in advance!

    • Steph says:

      Hi Tania, thanks your comment… and a great question. Pearl Keys tours would be better organised from on the island, as you’ll need to join a group in order to make it worthwhile. Speaking to your accommodation provider on Little Corn, or the guys at Tranquillo cafe would be a great option if you want to know whether there is a trip going out or other people that are interested in making one. From my experience, these trips tend to be organised on an ad-hoc basis and therefore can be tricky to fully arrange in advance or from off the island. I went with the local panga captain – Luis – when I was there. This might also be someone to seek out and ask. Sorry I can’t be more specific, but this is Central America so pinning things down isn’t always the easiest!

  9. Tiffany Reynolds says:

    Hello, I’m trying to book a flight from BWI to Nicaragua, & then to Little Corn Island. I saw that there is only one reliable boat & it leaves on Wednesday’s. Um, I booked from a Monday to a Thursday. Any help is much appreciated. I just need a vacation, not a math riddle. Thanks, Tiffany

    • Steph says:

      Hi Tiffany – if you have a tight schedule like that, I would definitely recommend flying to the Corn Islands, rather than taking a flight as the bus / boat can take up to 2 days all in all from Managua. La Costena are the airline that fly to Big Corn from Managua, so check out their website for bookings. From Big Corn, you can then get the twice daily panga to Little Corn. It takes about an hour, but does not run in rough weather!

  10. Nikki says:

    Hi. Planning on visiting Little Corn later this year, can you tell me how you get there in more detail. Also as there are no banks do you take all your cash with you. What’s a budget daily allowance you’d recommend. Also can you take your PADI there or does it need to be somewhere else. Many thanks. Love your blogs you’re a poetic writer. Wonderful

    • Steph says:

      Hi Nikki, in answer to your questions…
      #1 Yes, take all the cash with you
      #2 How much cash you will need depends on where you stay, how long you travel for, what you do there and how much you eat / drink
      #3 Yes you can take your PADI there. I recommend Dolphin Dive
      So glad you enjoy the blog and safe travels 🙂

  11. Ralf says:

    Hi, I was wondering if you did the sailtrip yourself and how you organised / booked this? Realy keen to do this when I am there next week

  12. Maxine Chivers says:

    I really wish to visit Little Corn Island in the future. It sounds like my sort of tropical island.

  13. Thea says:

    Hi Steph , I was just wondering if you feel this is a safe place to go as a solo traveler? I have not been able to find any recent posts about safety on the island but have seen many young girls stories of feeling unsafe and being threatened on the island a few years ago.
    ( I have read these on invidulal blogs and a trip advisor page )

    • Steph says:

      Hi Thea, great question and thanks for taking the time to ask it here. I felt incredibly safe when I was living as a solo female in Corn Island in 2011/2012. However, more tourists now know about this place and it’s always possible that vibes and safety levels change. I cannot comment on reports you have read from a few years ago, but in my personal opinion, LCI is totally safe to visit for solo women. As always, be sensible, don’t invite unwanted attention, keep your wits about you, don’t drink too much, don’t walk around at night (especially not alone) and be hyper-vigilant with valuables. I hope that helps. Safe travels, Steph 🙂

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