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…
- Went for a Week, Stayed a Year : In Love with Little Corn Island
- How to Travel Cheaply from Panama to Colombia (or visa versa!)
- 10 Important Things to Know Before Backpacking Central America
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#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.
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!
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.
#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!
Arrive… and then stay.
Trust me, it’s the best thing to do on Little Corn Island… and not as hard as you think!
When to Visit Litte Corn Island?
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 Travel to Little Corn Island?
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?
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!
Travel Insurance for Nicaragua
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If you’re a remote worker or digital nomad, then look no further than Safetywing’s Nomad Insurance policies.
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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…