There’s only one ‘airline’ that flies to Corn Island called Costena Air. They run a fleet of small and smaller planes to service Nicaragua and Costa Rica destinations. I pictured us in a Cessna 172, but we actually flew in a 40 seat twin prop passenger plane that was as comfortable as any other mass carrier. Plus they give you free drinks in flight on only a 1.5 hour plane ride! They did take our Leatherman’s from us, I guess so we didn’t hijack the plane?! They were nice enough to ‘check’ the Leathermen and give us a claim check to pick them up on our arrival. We had a quick stop in Bluefeilds to drop off and pick up passengers…then it was a 15 minute hop over to the island. When we arrived, as I mentioned before, it was windy! It’s save to say there were 30+knot winds and that made the landing bumpy. Plus this is a third world, isolated runway…meaning there’s livestock along the sides, presumably to eat the grass, and people waving as we arrived…that’s just what they do all day every day. Once there a cab spirited us away to Hotel Paraiso where we checked in and then went for a walk. The ocean was so angry , the short period wind waves were splashing up onto the road. Most structures on the island are built on stilts because the island is completely under water when a hurricane arrives. It’s a quaint place though, with very nice people, piles of conch shells everyone, a small fishing village and, with about a 6 mile circumference, everybody knows everybody! I think someone with a bad case of gas would make the news. One of our favorite places was called Spikito. This is a small bar/restaurant/nightclub on the North East corner of the island. The vibes are very Caribbean, but the best part is their shark pool. They captures a few nurse sharks and keep them in an enclosure formed from a jetty of volcanic boulders. The sharks are pretty lazy and don’t do much except scarf fish heads and lobster shells cast off the deck by diners. Of course with the strong winds Kayla lost her flip flop to the shark tank and warily waded in to retrieve it. Being the galant one, I watched and hoped the sharks decided to swim over and investigate her…no such luck. She made it out un-scared and gladly unscathed. While hanging at Spikito we got into some good conversations with some locals, Quinn, DJ and Big Black. Big Black was actually from Jamaica and he was, as his name conveys, big and black. The conversations got notably more difficult as the drinks became more plenty. They modify their Creole dialect and as they get more drunk they fall more into the local colloquial that it really became another language. I spent some years on the Island of Antigua…it barely helped.
A big part of the reason we went to Corn Island was to see another part of Nicaragua that we’d heard so much about, but knew nothing beyond the guide book accounts. We wanted to be able to answer guests questions with true knowledge. We can safely say though that we would definitely recommend to anybody going to Corn Island. By anybody we mean those who don’t see an analyst on a regular basis, they don’t use the word ‘yucky’ or ‘icky’, they don’t freak out when the power goes out, they don’t mind sitting in taxis with strangers, they understand that the restaurant might be out of chicken because the boat didn’t arrive, and they are happy to eat fish every day when that happens. It’s rustic, out there, but quaint enough to be worth it. We’re looking forward to going back and we can only hope that the weather is a little better.