Big Corn or Little Corn, Nicaragua?


Little Corn Beach with Hammocks

The Corn Islands are somewhat off the beaten path…but they won’t be for long. This past Thanksgiving I was starting to feel that itch, you know the one, the travel itch. I had 7 whole days to work with, I needed to go somewhere. 

While looking at what Nicaragua has to offer I saw colonial towns, surfing, volcanoes, and beaches. I did the whole colonial town/volcano thing in Guatemala this past summer so I didn’t feel the need to do that again so soon. Surfing, no one needs to see me trying to surf. So, beaches it is! I also like to go anywhere that offers scuba diving. When googling diving in Nicaragua the first thing that popped up was the Corn Islands. There are two Corn Islands, Big and Little. Which one should I tackle? I couldn’t decide between Big Corn and Little Corn so I chose both! Why not?

Little Corn

Great for scuba diving, snorkeling, trail walking, and lounging on the beach. The beaches are smaller than those on Big Corn but more picturesque. It’s laid back and it’s always 5 o’clock drink o’clock.


Little Corn Main Dock

Also, it’s young backpackers galore, you will most likely run into the same people multiple times during your stay. So try to smile.

No cars – there is a paved walking path around part of the island and several hiking trails.

Little Corn Walking Path


No airport – boats depart from Big Corn harbor twice a day usually after the morning and afternoon flights from Managua.

There are a few restaurants/bars located near the dock. Tranquilo was the only bar/restaurant open that was constantly packed (There looked to be a few more joints located near Tranquilo that were closed for the season).

Island dogs are everywhere! All of the pooches we came across were friendly and more than happy to share our nachos.

Electricity on the island is turned off between 6am-1pm.

US dollars accepted.


Big Corn

Perfect for bicycling, snorkeling, walking along the beaches, and hiking. The beaches are bigger than those on Little Corn, and several sunken boats are anchored close to shore allowing for great wreck snorkeling.

Big Corn Beach


There seemed to be an older tourist crowd and more families with little kids.

Taxis rides are cheap, we paid around $2 US per ride.

Big Corn View of Road and Surf


The island is not touristy in regards to bars/restaurants. We ate mostly at our resort and The Dive Cafe.


Big Corn Dive Center and Cafe

Baseball is huge on the island! Games are on Sundays and there are big parties after the game. If you are a Kansas City Royals fan Cheslor Cuthbert is from Big Corn and you will see many locals supporting him by wearing Royals gear.

Which island did I prefer? Little Corn. It was cleaner, more quaint, friendlier, and easier to get around (because all you had to do was walk). 

5 thoughts on “Big Corn or Little Corn, Nicaragua?”

  1. Just left corn islands. Strongly agree with all you’ve said. Loved the no cars on little corn. Both beautiful, but yeah little corn gets my vote too. Stayed on the east side. Perfect.

  2. Short term vacationers love experiencing the quaintness of Little Corn but if you spend any additional time, many people like having more amenities, more restaurants, grocery & general stores, and more options for where to stay on Big Corn Island. It is definitely more spread out but if you rent a scooter or bicycle, it’s easy. Plus as mentioned, taxis are cheap, and there are lots of them. We highly recommend spending time on both because each one has its own personality and experiences to offer.

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