Big Corn to Little Corn
Small open ‘panga’s leave Big Corn at 10am and 4.30pm taking around 30 minutes to make the crossing. They often wait if the plane is late so you don’t miss the ride, so the evening panga especially can run up to an hour late at times. JUNE 2018 UPDATE – due to current low demand there will be just one panga per day until further notice, leaving Little Corn at 6.30am and returning at 4.30pm.
Prices are $6 or 145 cordobas and tickets must be bought at the office at the dock before boarding the boat. There is a dry storage area for your main bags, but both yourself and any hand luggage may get wet so be prepared, or buy a sack to keep belongings dry, especially when windy.
Panga from Big Corn to Little Corn
Panga from Little Corn to Big Corn
first get to Big Corn
Flight from Managua or Bluefields
Flights run three times daily from both Managua and Bluefields, operated by La Costena, a subsidiary of TACA airlines. Flights can be booked on their website, through travel agents/tour operators in Granada/Leon, or in person at the airport. Note there is an $18 fee for online bookings and you have to fix your return date, if you book in person then you can avoid this fee and also buy an open return and book your return ticket at a later date. If you buy a fixed return date then later date changes cost $40 and have to be paid for in person or through their website, date changes and payment for them cannot generally be done over the phone. www.lacostena.com.ni
Flights depart Managua at 6.20am, 11.30am and 2pm, taking between an hour and an hour and a half depending on the plane they use and whether is flies direct or stops in Bluefields on the way. Return flights from Big Corn to Managua run at 8am, 1pm and 4.30pm.
It is advised that you make reservations before your journey as seats can be limited, especially in busy periods. A return journey from Managua costs from $164 (they have recently introduced variable pricing) and you if you buy an open return then you will need to reserve a seat for your return trip either on arrival at the airport in Big Corn, or by calling the airport there on 505-2575-5131. Generally if you have an open return then you should call to reserve your seat 2-3 days in advance, or a week in advance for busy periods.
The airline’s website has started charging higher prices for busy times, but you can usually pay the standard fare if you are able to call the airline and book by phone on (505) 2298 5360. This can be a lengthy and frustrating process, but we recommend you buy tickets in advance if possible as purchasing them at the airport is reliant on there being spare seats available, which is a gamble (in low season they uses smaller planes).
Please note though that checked in baggage is limited to 30lbs per person with an excess charge of $1.20 per pound over this. Note also that excess baggage is treated as standby baggage so there is no guarantee it will arrive on the same flight as you.
You are however allowed two carry on bags so it worth giving some though to packing before boarding.
By Taxi from the airport to the dock
Once you arrive at the airport you can get a taxi to the wharf for the panga to Little Corn for $1 per person
Take a bus to Bluefields
There is now a new daily direct bus service between Managua and Bluefields, C.300 each way. Buses leave Mercado Israel Lewites in Managua at 8pm, and leave Barrio San Pedro in Bluefields at 8am.
Express buses leave from the Costa Atlantica Terminal in the Mercado Ivan Montenegro each evening at 9pm, arriving in Rama at approximately 3am. The cost of this service is $8 or $16 including the boat fare to Bluefields.
Chicken buses leave from the Mercado Mayoreo at 6am, 8am, 10am, 2pm, 6pm and 9pm and cost $7, but make many stops on the journey.
Once in Rama the boats to Bluefields operate when full, starting when it gets light, and cost $9.
On occasions there may be other supply boats running from the mainland to Big Corn but there are no schedules available for these so it’s just a case of being in the right place at the right time.
Please note though that boat times may vary so it is worth getting there in advance to check sailing times and to reserve a space.
Take a ferry from Bluefields to BigCorn
The Rio Escondido passenger ship runs between Bluefields and Big Corn, taking 5-6 hours and costing $12 each way. The boat leaves once a week on Wednesday morning 9am from Bluefields, returning from Big Corn at 9am on Thursday.
As of September 2017 there is now an additional service on the Rio Escondido ferry, leaving Bluefields on Saturday mornings and returning from Corn Island on Sunday mornings, 9am both ways.
Cargo ships may take passengers on Thursday or Friday from the mainland, but departure ports and times are not fixed and spaces may not be available.
They do take passengers back from Big Corn to Bluefields/Rama though on Sundays, check locally for times as they vary.
Boats to Corn Island leave from Bluefields which can be reached either by plane from Managua as above, or you can get a bus from Managua to Rama, and then take a boat downriver from Rama to Bluefields.