HOW TO GET TO LITTLE CORN ISLAND
The Corn Islands are two sister islands consisting of Big Corn Island and Little Corn Island. Both are located approximately 50 miles east of the Caribbean (eastern) coast of Nicaragua. Only eight miles of ocean lie between Big Corn and Little Corn Island but the two feel a world a part!
Getting to Little Corn Islands from North America
Historically many airlines have flown to Managua, here are a few:
American | Spirit | Delta | Taca | United | Aero Mexico | Copa Air
When you reach Managua you can stay at our recommended hotel the Camino Real. When making your reservations be sure to ask for the Little Corn Beach and Bungalow rate to receive our lower negotiated discount rate for our special guests. Discount only available when you make a direct, via phone reservation prior to arrival.
Arriving on an International flight and going direct to domestic La Costena terminal:
After you leave the international departure terminal, turn left on the covered sidewalk in front of the main terminal and walk about 200 yards to the “old terminal”. It will be the older building on your left as you pass by the end of the newer international terminal. Turn in to the La Costena check in area. After check in, there is a small booth with a glass window on the left of the entrance to the waiting area. This booth is were you will pay a small departure tax.
If will be pressed for time to enter Nicaragua on your international flight and make you La Costena flight to Big Corn, consider these steps:
1. Sit near the front of your international flight so you will be among the first to deplane.
2. Bring only carry on bags.
3. Look for the shortest customs line as you descend the stairs into the customs area.
4. Proceed directly to the La Costena terminal for check in.
Getting to Little Corn Island from Managua
While you are in Managua, we can help you arrange safe and reliable transport in Managua and to other destinations such as Granada, San Juan Del Sur and Leon. Contact us and let us know you would like assistance with your transportation. Or call Rogellio, the owner of JAC’s Transportation Services. Rogelio speaks English and you can reach him at 001-505-8-623-4460. Rogelio can help with safe and reliable transportation. Let him know you are staying with us.
The simple and fastest way to get to Little Corn Island is to fly La Costena, Nicaragua’s regional airline direct to Big Corn Island.
Try booking on their website at http://www.lacostena.com.ni . If you need to, try calling them (011 505 2298 5360).
You can book the round trip flight that costs around $169 USD (if you need an English speaking agent ask “Habla Ingles, por favor?”).
La Costena accepts Visa, MC, Nicaraguan Cordobas and US Dollars. You can also book online at La Costena .
Booking Tip #1:
For maximum flexibility during your trip we recommend you schedule your Little Corn Island portion for the first part of your journey to Nicaragua. Arrive to BCI on an early flight and depart on a later flight to increase your flexibility and potentially reduce stress.
LA COSTENA’S MANAGUA AND BIG CORN ISLAND SCHEDULE AS OF MARCH 2023
- Managua to Big Corn Island (BCI) Departures
- 7:00 AM
- 2:30 PM
- Big Corn Island (BCI) to Managua Departures
- 8:30 AM
- 3:30 PM
(Check La Costena website for up to date accurate flight information)
Getting From Big Corn Island to Little Corn Island
Simplest/BEST OPTION (ARRIVE TO OUR BEACH BY 9:30AM OR SO and be picked up at the airport).
Captain Peter’s Charter Service.
If you would like to arrive direct to Little Corn Island Beach and Bungalow’s (Bed and Brunch) Cocal Beach by around 9:30am and avoid carrying your bags around Big Corn all day, we can help you arrange a Chartered Panga with Captain Peter that includes airport pickup to bring you directly to us. Contact LCIBB for details and current pricing.
Not as simple/convenient option (arrive to LCIBB by around 5:30pm)
Currently, the only reliable commercial panga is scheduled to return to LCI at 4:30pm.
Arrive to the BCI dock 1 to 2 hours in advance as the panga can depart early (or late). Purchase you tickets at the building to your far right as you enter the dock area. It has a large, covered deck.
When you arrive to the LCI dock, look to the beach end of the dock for one of our staff with a white board that will have your name on it. You will arrive to LCIBB around 5:30pm (if panga does not depart late).
Please be aware that a favorite marketing tactic of cab drivers and hotel owners on Big Corn is to tell arriving tourists that there are no pangas running for many days. And, there are no restaurants open on LCI. “Why don’t you just come stay at my friend’s hotel (where I get a commission for people I bring).” Don’t believe them. 🙂
We offer complimentary dock pick up for the regularly scheduled 4:30pm panga.
Should you arrive to LCI at another time or by another means, you can usually hire help to bring you here for 100 to 200 cordobas. Be sure to negotiate your price before leaving and pay your help only after you have arrived.
Reception closes at 6:30pm.
Cab tip #1:
If you are pressed for time to make it to the dock, hire the whole cab. Offer the cab driver the price for 4 passengers (20 Cordobas times 4 people = 80 Cordobas) in return for the driver to NOT pick up (ask him to go non stop) other passengers on the way to the dock.
Once you arrive at Brigg Bay, on the right hand side as you pass through the harbor entrance gate is the “ticket office” for the Panga. It is a building with a large covered deck. Purchase your tickets here and pay your 3 Cordoba (about $0.10 USD) harbor tax near the gate as you pass through.
Cab tip #2:
Please be aware that a favorite marketing tactic of Big Corn Island cab drivers and the hotels that pay them a commission is to tell newly arriving visitor to the islands that, “No pangas to Little Corn for the next few days, you might as well stay at my friends hotel on BCI (where I get paid a commission)”. Don’t believe them 🙂
Booking tip #3:
Tickets are “first come, first served” and occasionally pangas leave early. We recommend that you arrive at least 2 hours early if you can to purchase tickets so you don’t get left out. If you are arriving on the late afternoon flight, collect your bags and go directly to the dock to purchase your tickets.
Big Corn Island and Little Corn Island Panga Schedule
The Panga costs 360 Cordobas or about $10 USD one way. Tickets are sold on a “first come, first served” basis so be sure to purchase your ticket prior to boarding as soon as you can. They will collect your ticket and hand out life jackets when you are on the boat.
Booking tip #3:
If you are travelling with a small child, you may want to consider bringing a life jacket with you for your child. While they do have some children’s life jackets, there can be lots of youngsters on the boat that may outnumber the number of small jackets to distribute.
Panga schedule (has been varied for the last year,)
- Big Corn Island to Little Corn Island:
Departs 4:30 PM – Arrives 5:00 PM
- Little Corn Island to Big Corn Island:
Departs 6:30 AM – Arrives 7:00 AM
Typically, the panga and airline schedules are coordinated. Usually taking the morning panga from Little Corn Island to catch the morning flight works out fine.
We are frequently asked if you need to stay on Big Corn Island the night before an early morning flight back to Managua. While anything can happen, we never have missed a plane by taking the morning panga to Big Corn the morning of our flight. The panga schedule coordinates with flight schedules, so enjoy another night on Little Corn, you will be glad you did.
We have always felt safe leaving our bag with a crew member or the Captain of the Panga. Be sure to take your passport and any other valuables with you!
- Comfort tip: Sitting in the front of the boat is the roughest and driest place to sit. Sitting in the back of the boat is the smoothest and wettest place to sit. Some guests find that the seating that best balances the two is in the back 2 or 3 rows of the boat and in the middle seats.
- Better yet, arrange a charter panga through us so your are picked up directly at the airport and your charter service offers more flexibility where you sit.
After riding on the open panga to Little Corn Island, you may say to yourself, “Wow, it is a pretty big adventure to get here.” Now just think how challenging running a resort on Little Corn Island must be!
- Packing Tip #1:
Bring in an easily accessible place large trash bags and place your travel bags in the trash bags before handing them over to the crew. Be sure to place any devices that might be damaged by rain or salt spray in their own water proof plastic bags.
- Packing Tip #2:
Keep an eye on your bags to be sure they are stowed on the panga and not left behind on the dock.
- Packing tip #3:
If you brought a rain jacket or poncho, you may want to carry that with you when you board.
- Packing tip #4:
The panga can sometimes be filled to capacity and tickets are sold on a first come, first served basis. Arrive early to purchase your tickets and be at the boat at least one hour before boarding time (sometimes the panga leaves ahead of schedule without notice). If the boat is at the dock, you can hop in and get your seat.
- Packing tip #5:
If you are arriving on the 4:30 PM panga, pack you head lamp or flashlight in an easily accessible place. Nigh time falls quickly in the tropics and you may need your flashlight for the walk to the hotel.
Arriving on Little Corn Island
You will arrive on Little Corn Island after the 30 to 40 minute Panga ride. We offer complimentary dock pick up services to our 4:30pm commercial panga guests arriving to at the Little Corn Island dock.
Watch for a Little Corn Beach and Bungalow hotel representative holding a white sign board with a member of your parties name on the board at the beach end of the dock. Introduce yourself to the representative, help them by identifying your bags, be sure your bags are loaded on the “truck (wheelbarrow” and you will be ready to “trek (walk)” to Little Corn Island Beach and Bungalow when all bags are loaded and guests accounted for.
If you sneak up on us, or you are just going to drop by to see if we have a cabin or bungalow available, anyone on the dock can direct you our way. Ask for help to either Little Corn Island Beach and Bungalow or “Beach-Bungalow” on the beach side. You can also hire someone on the dock to help you with your bags for a small (180 Cordobas or about $5 USD is fair) tip. Be sure to negotiate your price prior to leaving your departure point and pay your help only after arriving.
See you here when you “reach”.