About Corn Island

One of the things which first strikes the visitor to Nicargua's Corn Island is the dichotomy of the people, their language and their customs compared with those on the mainland. A visitor described his first visit to Corn Island by saying "I closed my eyes, listened to the conversation and the music, and thought I was somewhere else...like Jamaica."

Corn Island is located in the Caribbean Sea, 52 miles from the port city of Bluefields. Its population of approximately 6,500 of which 2,500 are predominantly Carib. The largest of the Corn Islands is approximately six square miles in size. Little Corn Island, about seven miles northeast of the largest island, is a little over one square mile in size with a population of 300. Corn Island has almost 16,400 feet of white sand beach and crystal water which are ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and other water sports.

Just 17.5 miles from Corn Island are the Pearl Keys. They are practically unexplored and their clear waters are ideal for fishing and diving.

About a mile southeast of Corn Island divers can explore the wreck of Spanish galleon which lies in 72 feet of clear water. Since this area was a favorite haunt of pirates who roamed the Caribbean, it is thought that many other ancient wrecks - some most certainly still containing their rich cargo - lie in the waters off the Corn Islands.

For centuries, the Corn Islands were under British domination and served as a refuge for British, Dutch and French pirates escaping the Spanish fleet. Thus, it is not just idle speculation that the waters are the final resting place for countless ships waylaid on the route to Europe.

It was not until the year 1894 that the government of Nicaragua declared the area's sovereignty.

Most of Nicaragua's Caribbean coast is inhabited by Miskito Indians, descendants of the Caribs who were driven from the Pacific coast by the ancient Nahuas of Pipiles Indians. The Caribs spread our through the dense rain forests which cover much of Nicaragua's Caribbean coastal area settling along the large rivers which run through the area. Some still reside on the Corn Islands to this day. Most of the population of Corn Island is either black or a mixture of black and Miskito Indian. However, the British influence still exists in the language and the type of housing seen on the island.

Two (some days 3) 1:30 hr. flights are available from Managua with small aircraft operated by La Costeņa and Air Alantic. Tourism is just starting even though the beauty of the sea and white sand beaches is incredible. Services still are influenced by the local relaxed way. Snorkle around the islands; beautiful coral formations.

Highlights: Coral reefs just minutes off shore surrounding the island. 10 to 12 feet deep, visibility 80 to 100 meters. Beautiful unspoiled beaches, some of them totally deserted with white sand and turquoise waters. Truly an undiscovered paradise. Don't miss Little Corn Island.

Historical Document