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treasure map to tranquility

Updated: Nov 15, 2018

This is the actual map that hotels hand out when you arrive on Big Corn Island, Nicaragua. It's hokey, not to scale and somewhat inaccurate - everything a map should be!

Since it reminded us of a children's treasure map, we decided to treat it as such and go on a hunt to find every cocktail icon. To make this happen, we hired a golf cart as our mode of transportation ($25 for the first 2 hours and $5 for every hour thereafter - a bargain!).

The whole island only takes about 40 minutes to drive around (going top speed - about 15 mph). Most of the roads are paved, but there are a lot of speed bumps (and they are literally building new ones every day). Apart from the speed bumps, the biggest obstacle that you will be expected to overcome is patiently waiting for crabs to cross the road. Seriously!

Whenever we wanted to stop, we'd just pull over to the side of the road, park the cart, grab a Toña (a local Nicaraguan beer) and then carry on.

After succeeding in finding all the bars on the islands, we spent the rest of our hours sunning ourselves on the near-empty beach. It was hot (about 84 degrees) and humid, but there was a pleasant breeze. The water was various shades of teals and blues and was completely calm, like a giant pool. It was impossible not to feel relaxed on this deserted and beautiful island! We were so tranquil and disconnected, that we didn't even know that Nicaragua experienced two big earthquakes while we were there.

If you're planning a trip to the Corn Islands, you may find this link helpful. Here are some other tidbits that you may also find handy:

  • There is a $10 entrance fee when you land in Nicaragua

  • There is a $2 entrance AND $2 exit fee into/out of the Corn Islands

  • Visas are not necessary for American citizens

  • US dollars are accepted on the island; the local currency is the Cordoba

  • Bring new bills, the banks there won't accept old/ripped US dollars

  • Bring small bills ($1's and $5's), nobody ever has any change to give you

  • We stayed at Paraiso Beach Hotel - basic, but cheap and centrally located

  • Dos Millas was my favorite restaurant (cheap lobster and seaside seating)

  • Best beach: Arenas Hotel

  • Luggage weight limit, on the flight from Managua to Corn Islands, is 30lbs

  • They use American electrical sockets/plugs

  • They drive on the Right side of the road

  • Taxis are about $1.20 (30 Cordoba) to go anywhere on the island

  • Cabs will pick up other passengers while you're already in the car


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