Sunday, April 29, 2018

Five Lazy Days on Corn Island

Exploring Nicaragua

Sometimes I really, truly get it right.  The minute we dropped our bags inside our spacious bungalow at Casa Canada on Big Corn Island, my travel buddy turned to me and said, "You done good."  With a dreamy view of the turquoise Caribbean, outdoor dining and an infinity pool, all desire to ever go anywhere else again completely vanished.

For five glorious days, we did nothing but swim, snorkel, take long walks and nap.  We had grilled fish or lobster, coconut rice and plantains every night while watching the sun set below the horizon.  The bartender nodded his approval when we ordered Flor de Cana rum on the rocks, rather than an overpriced sugary cocktail.  At two bucks a shot, it made sense to me!

The Corn Islands are located 70 km from the coast of Nicaragua.  Not very many people know of their existence, but if you long for those Caribbean Isles of yore without back-to-back resorts, tacky shops and pesky touts, this is the place to come.  It is absolutely charming.  Long white sandy beaches beckoned us daily.  Long Beach, right next to our hotel, was unbelievably beautiful.  And isolated!  Most tourists opt for the more popular Arenas Beach on the leeward side of the island, but I didn't mind the rough surf a bit.

Getting anywhere on the island is easy.  We often started out walking, but if we got tired, we just hailed down one of the many taxis that patrol the roads.  At only 20 cordobas a ride (that's 64 cents, folks!), the driver will take you anywhere on the island you want to go.  We loved walking along the cobbled roads, ending at some palapa on a beach for an ice cold beer, and then hailing a taxi home.

Yes, sometimes I really, truly get it right and this trip to Nicaragua was a good example.  We spent the first two weeks touring the colonial towns of Leon and Granada, independently and at our own leisurely pace, then booked a two-day whirlwind tour to Ometepe Island.  Ending a busy trip with a five-day stay-put, go nowhere itinerary is a formula that works for us and one that we will follow from now on. By the time our five days were up, we were happy and relaxed with all batteries charged for that long haul home.

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