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How to get to Little Corn Island, Nicaragua (2024)

Hidden off Nicaragua’s stunning Caribbean coast lies the small Idyllic paradise of Little Corn Island. With pearlescent sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, and unbeatable island vibes, it’s no shock that this remote little island is an up-and-coming hotspot for travellers looking for a relaxing off-grid tropical experience.

Due to Little Corn’s location, and the somewhat difficult journey to get there,  it is often missed off the standard tourist route. Which, in my opinion, only adds to its appeal and makes this trip all the more  worthwhile. 

If you are wondering how to get to Little Corn Island, then you are in the right place. Whether you are a backpacker on a tight budget or an experienced explorer with a little more money to spend, I will go through all of the options so that you can decide the best one for you!

Following on from an incredible trip to Nicaragua, Little Corn Island was my favourite place of all. With that being said, I want to ensure that you have a smooth and seamless journey over to Little Corn Island so that you can soak up all the magic that this island has to offer. 

Read on below to find out how to get to Little Corn Island!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you decide to make a verified purchase through the links in this post I will earn a small commission. This will be at no extra cost to you. Thank you 

How To Get To Little Corn Island

When thinking about how to get to Little Corn Island, you have 2 main options. What one you choose will depend on the size of your budget and how much time you have (oh and also whether you suffer terribly from seasickness or don’t like flying).

How To Get To Little Corn Island By Plane

Catching a flight is the quickest and most stress-free way to get to Little Corn Island. However, it is the most expensive.

Step 1 – Managua Airport to Big Corn Island

To fly to Little Corn Island from Managua you will need to book a flight with La Costena airlines. These cannot be found on Skyscanner so you will have to book directly on the operator’s website. 

La Costena runs two flights a day from Managua leaving at 7 am and 2 pm.

Flight prices tend to fluctuate between $80-$115 depending on the time and season in which you book.

Looking for more Nicaragua inspiration? Check out my other Nicaragua Guides.

What to expect

Checking in for the flight is super easy.  You’ll go to the small internal flight zone at the very end of Managua Airport.

You will check in your bags and be given a luggage tag to claim it when you land – make sure you keep it safe.

It’s also important to know that you are only allowed up to 15kg of checked baggage on this flight. 

You will then be asked to pay a $2 tax (I’m not entirely sure what this tax is for, but if you’ve been travelling through Central America for a while you have probably already been asked to pay many a random tourist tax). 

Following on from there you’ll go through security, then into the tiny waiting room whilst you wait to board your flight. 

Don’t expect to be waiting around long as once everyone is through, they will usher you onto the plane where the seating is a first come first serve process. As soon as everyone is sat down the plane immediately takes off (this isn’t the kind of flight where you’ll get a safety briefing 😅).

You’ll be flying for around 45 minutes to an hour before the plane makes its first stop. It will land in an airport called Bluefields to let some passengers off and more passengers on (it’s a lot like a bus service😅). Make sure you don’t get off here! 

After a super quick turnaround, the plane will then take off again and you’ll be flying for another 30 minutes before landing at Big Corn Island airport. 

Once landed you’ll be directed to the terminal where you will have to wait for your checked luggage, this is when you will need your luggage tag to claim your bag. 

In total, the journey is around 1.5 hours

Step 2 – Big Corn Island Airport to Ferry Port

To get from the airport to the ferry port you will need to catch a taxi. This should cost you just $1 per person

Once at the ferry port, you will need to pay yet another tourist tax which is about $2.

Step 3 – Boat to Little Corn Island

As the final step of how to get to Little Corn Island you will need to catch the boat taxi over. There are two boats a day with very different price tags (see below). 

  • Big Corn to Little Corn 04:30pm – $10 
  • Big Corn to Little Corn 10:00am – $20
  • Little Corn to Big Corn 06:30am – $10
  • Little Corn to Big Corn 03:00pm – $20

What to Expect

The boat trip over to Little Corn Island is approximately 30 minutes. But be warned, this can be a particularly wet, windy and bumpy journey.

I’d advise you to come prepared with a rain mack just in case or otherwise, you’ll end up like me who got absolutely drenched from head to toe. 

NOTE: If the weather is too windy these boats will not run. You may be able to catch a cargo boat over, however, you will have to ask if that is a possibility once you are at the port.

How To Get To Little Corn Island By Bus and Boat

The journey to Little Corn Island via bus is WAY cheaper, however, takes a lot more time.

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Step 1 – Managua Bus Station to Bluefields

You can catch a direct bus from Managua ‘El Maoyreo’ Bus Station to Bluefields. The Journey is around 8.5 hours and will cost you 280C$ which is roughly $8 (USD).

The buses depart at the following times: 

  • From Managua (El Maoyreo)– 9am, 6am, 2pm, 9pm, 
  • From Bluefields to Managua – 4am, 5.30am, 6.30am, 4pm

Please note the above can be subject to change.

To secure a booking on the bus you can either call the bus station or head down a day or two early to secure a ticket. It is also okay to turn up the day you plan to travel, however, it’s not guaranteed you’ll get a spot on the bus. 

NOTE: You may see a lot of older travel blogs that will tell you to go from Managua to El Rama and from El Rama to Bluefields. However, that route isn’t used as much anymore thanks to the direct route from Managua to Bluefields.

What to Expect

I personally did not choose this route, however, I have heard from other reliable travellers that the bus journey is easy and very straightforward.

Step 2 – Bluefields to Big Corn Ferry

Once you have arrived at Bluefields bus station you will need to catch a taxi over to the ferry port which will cost you about $1. 

When you get to the port you will need to queue up at the ticket office. The queue can be notoriously long but it really is a case of just waiting your turn. Tickets cost about 280C$ which is roughly $8 (USD).

Once you are on the boat, the journey over to Big Corn Island is roughly 6.5 hours.

The passenger boats to Big Corn leave Bluefields at 9 am on Wednesday and Saturday (so make sure you have  planned your whole journey accordingly).

What to Expect

I personally did not choose this route, however, I have heard a few horror stories about this boat journey. Things such as how packed it gets, how hot the boat can be and just generally how it is for anyone who suffers from seasickness. So enter at your own peril, and pack some sea sickness pills.

Step 3 – Boat to Little Corn Island

As the final step of how to get to Little Corn Island, you will need to catch the boat taxi over. There are two boats a day with very different price tags (see below). 

  • Big Corn to Little Corn 04:30pm – $10 
  • Big Corn to Little Corn 10:00am – $20
  • Little Corn to Big Corn 06:30am – $10
  • Little Corn to Big Corn 03:00pm – $20

What to Expect

The boat trip over to Little Corn Island is approximately 30 minutes. But be warned, this can be a particularly wet, windy and bumpy journey. I’d advise you to come prepared with a rain mack just in case or otherwise, you’ll end up like me who was absolutely drenched from head to toe. 

NOTE: If the weather is too windy these boats will not run. You may be able to catch a cargo boat over, however, you will have to ask if that is a possibility once you are at the port.

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How to Get To Little Corn Island – The Best Option To Choose?

As I mentioned earlier in this post the option you choose will be down to the amount of time you have as well as your budget. 

Plane and Boat
  • Total Cost: Approx  $180 and $270
  • Total Time: 3-4 hours 
Bus and Boat
  • Total Cost: Approx  $27-$37
  • Total Time: 16-17 hours
  • Bluefields Boat Departure: Wednesdays and Saturdays 

I personally chose to fly as I only had 10 days in Nicaragua so needed to use the quickest option possible. That and the fact was I totally put off the boat option due to the horror stories as well as suffering from seasickness.

Happy Exploring

I hope your journey to Little Corn Island is nice and smooth. If you have any more questions about anything discussed in this blog post, please feel free to reach out!


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