Laid back on the Corn Islands

Published: January 15th 2019
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The Corn Islands, especially Little Corn Island, is living up to expectations....laid-back, sun, sand, snorkeling, fishing, beachcoming and coconuts. Hotels and hostels pick the best spots on the circumferential beaches: from the high end Yemaya ($300), to the one my travel partner and I chose, Little Corn Beach and Bungalow ($54++), to our favourite that we are at now, the more rudimentary, beachfront Elsa's Place ($30, two bdrm, bath, kitchen access). Sun rises over the sea and beach, snorkeling straight out to the reefs 200m off shore. Coffee and tea brewing in the kitchen.

Fishing has been pretty cool; predictably tons of ground fish plus one to three of the more elusive Barracuda, Mackerel or King Fish all within 3 hours. Lots of conch. However, lobster, which comes mainly from Big Corn Island is in over-fished short supply this year. The big events here are the Sunday inter-island baseball match, and, when the big boats come in (literally) every Saturday morning loaded down with EVERYTHING (and importantly the weekly fresh fruit and veggies) at the one and only pier. It's the big social event and the closest thing to a traffic jam -- of wheel barrows of course.

Culture here is very different than the 'spanish' mainland; laid-back Caribbean, no motorized traffic, quite safe, a bit religious, crazy creole English and all very friendly despite lurking economic desperation. Tourist occupancy has to be below 20%, some deserted facilities and shops, race-to-the-bottom pricing.The biggest impact for us has been the lack of wifi facilities...the first thing to cut after employees and before civic taxes, water and electric. The diet of Creole fish dishes, rice'n beans and salads has been consistently delicious.

We're fast approaching the end of the Corn Island stay; probably another day to kayak around Little Corn Island and then off to the mainland to some beaches north of San Juan Del Sur to try my hand once again at surfing.

Best wishes to all. Cheers. Pet

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