Farm “Peace and Love”, Little Corn Island, Nicaragua:
At the outset, let me state a few pointers for this trip: ideally one should use back-packs and travel very light. Laundry can be done almost anywhere – many locals will do this for a small fee. With temperatures in February around 27 to 31 C in the shade, not much is really needed.
Bring a flashlight and spare batteries for whatever electronics you have – charging may be possible, but only in a few places. Bring at least one beach towel, matches, and a few candles. The farm has wi-fi and you can use Paola’s lap-top for a small fee. You should be able to use “Firefox” in Spanish.
The farm is situated on the North shore of the island, between “Ensuenos” and “Derek’s Place”. The beach, which is kept natural, is protected by an outer reef, which makes for great diving, snorkeling and fishing. The water temperature in February was around
It is a working farm: fruit, sugar cane, chicken, horses, and I believe we saw a cow in the distance. There are two dogs and at least one cat – all very friendly.
To get to the farm, we flew “La Costena” from Managua to Corn Island, had breakfast there and caught the 10:00 water taxi to Little Corn Island. There we were picked up by our host by boat for another 15 minute trip.
The flight from Managua is worth every penny, if you get one of the smaller planes – you see so much more and it’s very casual.
The water taxi (panga boat) ride outward, can be rough, even in good weather, since the young drivers keep slamming the boats at top speed into the swells, translating the hard impact on the water through your derriere and tailbone (sit on the life jacket, unless they make you wear it – seems optional, depending on driver). In really bad weather they don’t run and you need to have a back-up plan. The return trip is usually very smooth and faster than the outbound trip. You are going with the swells. Cost C$ 110 p.p. and trip.
At the farm, we stayed in the “suite”, which is attached to the main house. It provided us with a bedroom, bath room with flush toilet (!) & running cold water, an outdoor shower, a pantry kitchen and a lovely porch with chairs and a hammock. The place was very clean and daily maid service was provided. The bed had a very good mattress and a mosquito net – we never saw any of these pests though.
The kitchen was basic equipped and we did cook some meals. There was a propane stove which worked very well, and a small bar fridge – power was on 75% of the time, so keep the fridge closed as much as you can. If you bring anything, a good knife will go a long way (I always carry a decent Buck Knife), and so will a small bottle of olive oil (we brought one of these 300 ml spray bottles made of Aluminum). The host provided us initially with milk, butter, some eggs, some tea, very good coffee (cannot get it on the islands), sugar, flour, salt, bread and a small jar of jam. We did get more fresh eggs during the stay (you see the chicken everywhere, go to bed with them and wake up to the cock’s call in the morning ),and the rest we replenished in the village, which is a comfortable ½ hour walk through the woods (no danger anywhere!).
On the farm, you can drink the water from the tap – we did, and as I write, never a “twinge”. They do have their own well and a good septic system far from it.
The local stores have all the basics – rice, beans, some chicken, fruits, some vegetables, potatoes etc. – selection is limited and by weekend usually low, until the supply boat comes in again. Wine, beer (very good), Rum etc. is everywhere to be had in the stores. “Oliver’s” is a good choice in the village. Fresh bread you can get daily in the village - some women bake around 3:00 PM, just ask where.
On the farm you can help yourself to whatever fruits you find on the trees – during our visit this was basically coconuts (great to drink), Oranges and limes. The bananas were still very small and too young, pineapples also still very small and not ready. There were some ripe papayas. The oranges and limes were great juiced with gin and a shot of pineapple juice or sprite (no Tonic anywhere to be had). Keep the bottle in the fridge, the ice cubes took three days to form. There is a small herb garden, where you also can help yourself.
The coffee, as already stated, was of excellent quality and the Espresso type. The pot provided was a very small (two demi tasse) size and should be larger. We had to make two pots in the morning, to get one decent cup each. If someone wants to step up, bring a larger model and leave it behind (http://www.ineedcoffee.com/06/moka/ ).
Our host, Paola, also served dinner on request – just advise her in the morning. Three courses (pasta, main, and dessert) for US 18.00, drinks extra. She also has wine and cold beer, but the wine is cheaper at the village grocer. If you stay longer, buy a case of beer from the depot in town and get your host to transport it by boat.
The food was good, although a bit high sodium; for a change of fare, you can go to any of the other places (Ensuenos, Derek’s, Casa Iguana etc.) around the island, advise them in the morning and then join them for dinner in the evening. We met some very nice and interesting people this way. For the trip back “home” you will need your flashlight. There are also a few small restaurants in the village. Habana Libre, next to the Farm the most expensive of the lot, but very good food (expensive used as compared to others and the cost of living on these islands in general).
The beach is only thirty paces away from the house, and palm trees provide a good shade canopy to within 25 ft of the water line. This was very welcome, since the sun is strong. There were some simple chairs, a “lounge” and the best, some hammocks. A welcome breeze was usually present – this and a cold Toña while swinging in a hammock was pure bliss. If you feel energetic, you can walk along the beach for miles and you can cross the island comfortably in an hour. The part of the beach out front is one of the most scenic ones on the island and makes for great photography. But you will find many more interesting places on your hikes.
There is also a self contained bungalow on the farm, but since it was occupied, we did not see it. The people renting it while we were there had no complaints.
The hosts are very friendly and will help you with whatever you need. If you wish to be left alone, they do this as well. The place is at the high end of the scale for accommodations on Little Corn, but then you have electrical power and a really lovely spot to spend your time. And you are at the quiet end of the island – ideal for those who seek true R & R.
There was a small safe bolted to the floor in our bedroom – for your extra cash and passports. Other than that, we slept by open doors and windows, and doors were never locked, even when we went out. A good feeling and one of the few places I know we could still do this.
Below a few useful links:
Map link: http://www.bigcornisland.com/files/Dive_map_Little_Corn_Island.pdf
Island link: http://www.bigcornisland.com/index.html
Note: C$ = Cordoba
- Also Known As:
- Farm Peace & Love Little Corn Island, Nicaragua - Corn Islands