Big Corn - Activities

Albeit a small island, there's still a lot of fun to be had on Big Corn Island. Here's a list of ideas to help inspire you.

Enjoying Local Cusine

Be sure to try some of the local dishes. Coconut bread is made on the islands, as is the traditional Run-down (also Rondón) soup consisting of fish, potato, vegetables, and coconut water.

Anna and I didn't get much of a chance to explore the various places to eat on Big Corn Island, but partaking of the locale cusine was one of our favorite past times on Little Corn.

There are two dishes in particular for which the Corn Islands are known: coco brean and 'rundown'.

Coco bread can be purchased at any number of small, family-operated, home-based bakeries. Each one guards their recipes. If you're buying coco bread, you might also try other traditional baked goods, including a variety of buns, tarts, soda cake and spicy meat patties (hot patties).

'Run Down' is a traditional dish of tje Corn Island, usually served for special occasions. It isa stew consisting of local seafood (or meat) and "bread kind" (breadfruit, cassava, plantains, coco, banana, dasheen & sweet potato) that is cooked in coconut milk and seasoned with fresh, local herbs.

Anna is also a huge fan of drinking coconut water from a fresh coconut, though it's a bit harder to find than one might expect.

Massage

Anna and I found two places on Big Corn known for their massage offerings (neither of which did we try):

Posada Bella Vista

Italian Masseuse, Teresa, offers 1 hour massages for only $30.

Anahata Massage

Located in Paraiso Hotel offers relaxing Swedish Massage therapies. Full body (1 hour massage) costs 25 USD. To make an appointment, call : 8365 5078 or 2575 5111 (or stop by).

Diving

The Corn Islands offer good conditions for divers of all categories. People who never dived before can get certified on Corn Island, and certified divers can rent equipment and set off to the reef right away.

Kevin Wells: Cruisin Ray

Gorgeous, tropical fish are abundant in the reefs around the Corn Islands. They come in every color, shape, and size. One also has a good chance of spotting rays and sharks. Outside of Big Corn Island there is an odd, rocky formation that rises up from the sea floor to the surface, located several kilometers off-shore called the Blowing Rock. As the reefs are close by, the boat rides are short.

Big Corn’s only diving outfitter, Nautilus Dive Center [Brig Bay; +505 2575 5077; open 8am - 6pm], gets mixed reviews—regarded as relaxed to some, disorganized to others—and some of the equipment is a bit worn. The staff are known to be friendly and have good local knowledge. English-speaking dive guides lead trips to the local reef (US$40 per dive) as well as two-dive trips to Blowing Rock (US$95). It also offers a snorkeling tour of a sunken Spanish galleon immersed in 5m of water where one can can see several cannons, an anchor and chestlike structures (US$25). Various other dive packages are also available.

The difficulty ranking of scuba diving is based on the assumption that obtaining a diving certificate takes some time and effort. Diving at Corn Island is probably easier than in other places because there are few people and you therefore receive personal attention. Obtaining your PADI Open Water Certification (recognized worldwide) takes around 4 days.

Divers who already have their PADI certification can do regular or specialty dives (like deep water dives or night dives). Introduction dives are also possible, allowing beginners to learn more about the basics before starting the complete course.

Nautilus prices:

  • Nautilus PADI Open Water Certification: $250 (exclusive; + $35 for the book)
  • Fun Dives: $55 (two tanks)
  • Blowing Rock Dives: $75 (two tanks)
  • Discover Scuba Mini: $75 (introduction course)

For more information, contact the operator.

Reservations are only necessary during Easter and Christmas.

Snorkeling

The Corn Islands are also great places to snorkel. The reef is quite close to the surface of the water, which allows snorkellers to see a tremendous varaity of fish without the need for scuba equipment.

Bodyboarding

There are often nice waves at Waula Point beach and Long Beach for bodyboarding. Cafe del Mar and Nautilus rent boards.

Boating

Boating is a great way to see all the different beaches of Big Corn Island (including those that are difficult to access over land). Just sit back, relax, and let your boat captain regale you with stories and gossip as you sip beer and bathe in the sun. If you want, you can stop for swim or walk around. The price is around $20 an hour for a boat (which can be easily shared by up to six people).

Ask your hotel staff to charter a boat.

Hiking

It is possible to walk around the island's along the main paved road in ca. 2.5 - 3.5 hours. There are also several dirt trails that cut across different parts of the island.

Trekking along the beaches can involve a bit efforts to traverse the rocky bits, especially around the southern point know as 'El Bluff'.

A tower near the soccer field at South End is the highest point on either of the Corn Islands, and it offers some excellent views.

Motorbike, Golfcart, and Bike Rental

In order to see more in less time, a bike, motorbike, or golfcart can come in handy.

The paved road of the island is 12 kilometers long and there are several dirt roads that lead into the different neighborhoods. Prices for motorbikes are around $17 for half a day; golfcarts go for around $24 for half a day. They can be rented at Hotel Arenas Beach and Hotel Sunrise. Bikes are about $10 per day, and they can be rented at Hotel Morgan.

Shopping

While Big Corn Island doesn't offer a sophisted array of shopping outlets, one can find just about anything that you may need during your stay. Checking out the latest island fashions, jewelry, toys, music, and local crafts can also be a fun way to pass an afternoon.

Baseball

Once can catch a baseball game at the Stadium each Sunday during playing season. Islanders are passionate about their baseball and softball, making the games a lively way to pass the day. Matches run throughout the day (from 9AM until 5PM).

Parties & Nightlife

Nico’s

Nico's is a truly authentic island experience: part lobster cooperative, part rocking bar. While it's no longer the wildly popular spot it once was, Nico's still offers a spot for drinking and dancing from noon-2am Thu-Sun. The biggest party is the Sunday session.

Nico's is situated within a warehouse by the water´s edge.

Other Live Music Venues

Nautilus restaurant features live music every Saturday night. Locals and visitors all welcome to join the jam session.

Every now and then Myers Bar near the dock invites local musicians to play Calypsos and Mentos from the good old times.

There's also an island-style disco called Torito in Long Bay.

Other Activities

Other activities that can be undertaken include watching a local baseball match on Sunday, taking a boat tour around the island, go sport fishing or enjoy the local nightlife (Friday-Sunday).

References

Photo Credits

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