Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Big Corn Island, Nicaragua

It's always refreshing to find a tropical hideaway that hasn't been overrun by mass tourism. In October of this year, I was fortunate enough to visit just such a place: Big Corn Island, an idyllic patch of white sand and greenery languishing some 80 kilometers off Nicaragua's Caribbean coast. Most of Big Corn Island's black inhabitants are of Jamaican descent and speak English. The island reminded me of the Cayes in Belize, but it is less built up and not nearly as expensive.

It would be difficult to envision a spot more peaceful than Big Corn Island. Nonetheless there are problems in paradise. Colombian drug runners sometimes use the island as a stopover. The resulting cocaine trade has led to reports of thefts and assaults. However, the island's untrammeled beaches and easygoing ways more than make up for these shortcomings. There are plenty of affordable hotels and restaurants on Big Corn Island, and as yet there is only one luxury resort, Casa Canada. The best news is that locals seem intent on keeping developers at bay, so the chances of Big Corn Island becoming the next Cancun any time soon are remote.

La Costeña airlines has daily flights to Big Corn Island from Managua. Please click on the link below to read a newspaper travel article that I wrote about Big Corn Island.

Big Corn Island

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Big Corn Island, Nicaragua - Images by John Mitchell

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