Great Corn Island was originally colonized by the British, and most native islanders have more in common culturally with other English-speaking Caribbean islands than they do with the mainland of Nicaragua. Many have English surnames.
Great Corn Island is still in its infancy as most tourists gather on Little Corn. There are almost none of the things one usually associates with tourists traps (tourist markets, huge beachside developments by major hospitality corporations, time-share condos, etc.). The people are typically friendly and genuine.
There are also three options for ferries from Rama (via [[Bluefields]]). This is an all-day plus overnight trip. [http://www.bigcornisland.com/river]
Getting around the island can be done by taxi (anywhere on the island for 15 cordobas =75 cents U.S.), by bus (anywhere on the island for 5 cordobas =25 cents U.S.) per person.
One can rent bicycles,golf carts, cars, or motorcycles if one wishes.
Kalahari Desert (Botswana) and the Hawaiian Islands (USA)
Tierra del Fuego (Argentina or Chile) and Lake Baikal (Buryat Republic)
or Portugal) and the South Island of New Zealand
Find out more at http://www.souloftheworld.com
Snorkeling, scuba diving, and ocean fishing are all excellent. "Nautilus" [http://
, an island institution, can arrange any such trips (including scuba instruction).
The best restaurants on the island for typical island cuisine are Casa Canada (South End), Restaurante Sabor at Sunrise Hotel (excellent breakfasts & Sunday Bar-b-q) --right next to Casa Canada, Seva's (Dos Millas) & Paraiso. Paraiso has a fantastic menu including deserts. The food
is varied from pasta and bruschetta to traditional island dishes and fresh fish. They also make the best pina coladas and coco loco's. They use coconuts cut from the tree. Nautilus restaurant offers gourmet island fusion dishes, pizza and vegetarian dishes. The cook at the Picnic center does an excellant job with local dishes, going to great lenth to prepare them correctly. Lobster fishing is a huge part of the island's economy, and lobster is on the menu at almost every restaurant. When the lobster are in season, lobster dishes cost $5 to $8, and are available at all local restaurants. Lobster is the primary industry in the Corn Islands, so lobster and conch are plentiful. Be careful of lobster tails under 5 inches long or under 5 ounces in weight because they are illegal. When the season is closed in early March time frame, the lobster dishes tend to go up slightly in prices, but are still reasonable in prices. For a very inexpensive lunch or dinner check out one of the little taco stands on the beach on the south end near long bay. They have fried tacos with salad that are excellent. There isn't a name on the establishment, but a taxi driver told us the locals call it "specitos" because the owner wears glasses.
It is not unusual to wait 40-60 minutes after ordering to receive one's meal. Everything is prepared from scratch after you order, so order before you get too hungry and be prepared to pass some time waiting for the results. After you place your order, typically the chef will make a trip off on his bicycle to fetch the needed ingredients for the dish you have chosen. This is typical of the relaxed pace everywhere on the island. It will be unusual to see anyone in a hurry to get anywhere or do anything.
There are a variety of places to stay on the island, ranging from extremely basic backpacker accommodations costing only about $10 U.S. per night to clean/comfortable/air conditioned places for $30-50 U.S., to a few more upscale places (which are still usually less than $100/night). Travelers reviews can be found easily online.
South End Sunrise Hotel falls in the middle pricing structure, but the rooms are very clean and spacious, and the proprietors (Lanmar and Ina) are very friendly and helpful.
*<sleep name="Cabanas Vientos del Norte" alt="Ike's Place" address="North End" directions="About 1 mile NE of the dock" phone="505-8836-7188" url="http://bigcornisland.com/vientosdelnorte.html" checkin="" checkout="" price="$10-$50" lat="" long="">Vientos del Norte is a great place on the North End of Big Corn Island. Ike Siu is the owner, and he has 8 rooms about 50 feet from the ocean. His rooms range from $10 per person in a dorm style up to $50 oceanview with AC/Fridge/microwave, etc, although you may be charged extra for using a credit card or some of the amenities. Also has wireless internet for guests. Ike will do just about anything for his guests. You can use the kitchen. Free airport/boat pickup and dropoff. Food is available. </sleep>
*<sleep name="Paraiso Beach Hotel" alt="" address="Brig Bay2" directions="Shipwreck Beach" phone="+505 2575 5111" url="http://www.paraisoclub.com" checkin="any time" checkout="any time" price="$35 - $65" lat="" long="">Paraiso Beach Hotel is a well known Corn Island resort, able to accommodate 45 people in 15 rooms, all decorated in traditional Nicaraguan style. They are made to make you feel right at home. The cabanas are built 80 meters from the beach. Paraiso Beach Hotel has bathing, diving, fishing, waterskiing and snorkeling. Coral reefs are just minutes off shore surrounding the island 10 to 12 feet deep, visibility 80 to 100 feet. Has a restaurant .</sleep>
The island is relatively safe, and few travelers encounter problems, but you should definitely take the normal precautions and not let the peacefulness get your guard down. Violent incidents are rare, but have happened in the past.
One other note of significance is the electricity, which typically goes out on a nightly basis for several hours and almost always goes out when it rains hard (still the case as of June 2009). There are hotels (Casa Canada, Morgan, Martha's B&B, Hotel Paraiso, Anastasia's on the Sea, Picnic Center, Vientos del Norte) that have their own generators to cover the gaps in electric service. Verify before booking.