Goodbye to the Corn Islands

Corn Island Travel Blog

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View from the beach at Club Paraiso.
Hello all,
Today took quite a while to get going, but ended up quite an experience. In the morning I finally had the time and energy to take a stroll around the whole island.  I started off at about 9:30am, and after studying the big map at the hotel office I had a couple of goals.  I wanted to check out the grounds of the other two nice hotels on the island.

Casa Canada is the most expensive hotel on the island, and it has a nice location on the south shore near Nico's, the Sunday night dance spot.  The beach is mostly rocky, but everything else about the setting looks lovely.  There was a pet monkey on site like a few other places, but this one was a white-faced capuchin monkey as opposed to the spider monkeys everybody else has.  It seemed very nice, but it was very far from everything else on the island.
The cabinas at Club Paraiso.


As I continued to walk I realized what an awful day it was for a walk.  Again there was no breeze, and I was beginning to sweat through my shirt.  I was very happy to come upon an ice cream shop in the middle of nowhere.  I stopped to grab a strawberry milkshake and it was delicious and refreshing.  I think it gave me just enough energy to make it the rest of the way.

The walk along the main road finally got a bit more rural, and Corn Island on the east side had more of that deserted island feel that was all over Little Corn.  But the occasional bus or taxi driving by certainly changed that viewpoint.

The road had been running a bit inland since leaving Casa Canada, and the view as the road reached the island's north shore was a stunner.
The restaurant ay Club Paraiso.
 A wonderful strip of white sand paralleled the road for many kilometers.  Little Corn Island was easily visible past the old steamship wreck, the Caribbean was filled with beautiful blues and greens as far as the eye could see.

A little more walking and I came upon Hotel Anastasia, a seaside place that also has a bar and restaurant built about 15 meters out on a pier over the water.  The restaurant was surrounded by a patio which had a couple of hammocks set up amongst the other chairs.  There was also a couple of huge maps on the walls showing a snorkelling trail encompassing three different sights just offshore.  The farthest place on the map, was an area I snorkelled the first day I was on the island.  A very beautiful setting.
Nico's the Sunday night dance spot in the light of day.


Confident that I had seen everything I may had missed on the island I took a taxi back to the hotel to pay the bill for the week.  Nicaragua charges a 15% tax that got tacked onto everything, but I was prepared for it so it wasn't too bad.  I took one last shower and packed up for the trip.  I got a taxi to the airport and checked in with La Costena Airlines.  Both the Atlantic Airlines and La Costena flights from Managua/Bluefields come in at around the same time.  And when La Costena did a boarding call it was for Bluefields only.  The Managua flight was going to be a non-stop flight this time, and left a bit later.

When my plane got there it was a smaller single prop Cessna Caravan.
Casa Canada, the most expensive hotel on the island.
 I grabbed the seat right behing the pilot, and got a good view of everything going on.  It was a great day for flying, and I had a good view of the Rio Escondido and the Nicaraguan jungle most of the way back.  The clouds were getting a bit thick as we neared the Managua airport, but the pilot skillfully set the small plane down ignoring the increased turbulence.

I had just collected my checked bag when I got a little surprise questioning by the police for some reason.  My spanish had completely broken down while on the mostly English-speaking Corn Islands, but I convinced the official that I wasn't here to work or for any other nefarious purposes.  As I walked out of the terminal several taxi drivers approached me.  I talked one of the drivers down from $10 to about $8.
Casa Canada's White-Faced Capuchin monkey.
20 for a ride to the station to catch a Leon minibus just as a downpour started.

There were two other people in the taxi, and we dropped them off first near the central city.  The taxi driver and I headed towards the bus rendezvous and the heavy tropical rain continued.  We came upon a huge traffic jam and basically stood still for 15 minutes before we realized there was a river crossing the road.  At it's deepest the water was maybe a metre deep, and it was rushing strong.  There were three different cars stalled at various points in the road, and some people were helping to push them out in exchange for tips.

I'm not sure if the situation had gotten any better, but eventually everybody got sick of waiting there.
View from the road towards Little Corn and the steam ship wreck.
 First a few 4x4's and busses made the crossing, and that was all the encouragement that everybody else needed.  My taxi driver took the slow approach to the torrent.  As we crept up to the water things were going well, but then a car going the opposite direction took the speedy approach.  We got hit by a fast moving foot high wave, and the floorboards on the driver's side of the taxi started to take on water.

My side still was dry, and my bags were still in good shape in the high trunk.  We made it to the other side and breathed a collective language-barrier-breaking sigh of relief.  About 75 minutes had passed when we arrived at the minibus station, but we were still in time to catch one to Leon.  We waited about 10 minutes until the little bus was full.
Some fishermen with Hotel Anastasio in the distance.
 I grabbed a bag of tostones from a vendor hawking snacks as the 15 of us pulled out and headed north.  I realized that this was the first food I'd had all day.  A strawberry shake, and a bag of plantain chips all day.  What the hell?  Why am I not more hungry?

The minibus driver collected the 25 Cordobas when we stopped for gas about halfway through, and thankfully the rain slowed enough to be able to open the windows a crack.  We got to the Leon bus station at about 8pm, and it was fully dark by then.  I grabbed a cheap taxi to my pre-selected hotel on the square of Cathedral San Juan.  I think that I am the only person here.

Tomorrow I get to check out Leon.  I hadn't really planned on visiting here, but it's gotta be better then staying in Managua, right?

Later, Phil
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View from the beach at Club Parais…
View from the beach at Club Parai…
The cabinas at Club Paraiso.
The cabinas at Club Paraiso.
The restaurant ay Club Paraiso.
The restaurant ay Club Paraiso.
Nicos the Sunday night dance spot…
Nico's the Sunday night dance spo…
Casa Canada, the most expensive ho…
Casa Canada, the most expensive h…
Casa Canadas White-Faced Capuchin…
Casa Canada's White-Faced Capuchi…
View from the road towards Little …
View from the road towards Little…
Some fishermen with Hotel Anastasi…
Some fishermen with Hotel Anastas…
The brick road in to the jungle.
The brick road in to the jungle.
Cute little church and school on t…
Cute little church and school on …
Looking at Anastasios restaurant …
Looking at Anastasio's restaurant…
Map of the snorkelling off of Anas…
Map of the snorkelling off of Ana…
Mmmmmm...  Lobster.  The red paint…
Mmmmmm... Lobster. The red pain…
A bit of island wisdom painted on …
A bit of island wisdom painted on…
The Cessna Caravan after landing i…
The Cessna Caravan after landing …
Corn Island
photo by: swhayden