Pros and Cons of Living on Little Corn Island
Escaping the city to live on a remote, Caribbean island sounds like the ultimate in peace and relaxation. However, does the reality actually live up to the fantasy?
Nicaragua’s Little Corn Island is a beloved Caribbean paradise among tourists who often come back year after year. Some decided to plant their roots, open a business, and live permanently on the golden sand shores. For many people, Little Corn Island offers the lifestyle of their dreams, but it doesn’t come without hardship.
If you are considering relocating to Little Corn Island, here are some pros and cons to help you decide if paradise comes at too high of a price.
The Pros of Living on Little Corn Island
Little Corn Island is one of the most magical places in the world, so there are many benefits of choosing to call it home.
Little Corn Island has some of the most beautiful, unspoiled beaches in the entire world with golden sand shores, glowing turquoise water, and coconut palms. On the harbor side of the island the water is calm and laid-back, restaurants and reggae bars line the sea, and across the island are quiet guesthouses on a wide sandy beach. Venture beyond these hubs and the beaches are undeveloped and relatively deserted. You can enjoy your own patch of paradise in complete solitude. That’s why you came here, right?
A strong dive community resides on Little Corn making diving accessible and inexpensive. Two dive shops offer PADI-certified dive courses and plenty of fun dives. Uncrowded dive sites house stunning tropical fish, coral reef, and sharks. For those without dive experience there are many snorkeling sites, some directly in front of the beach on the island.
The Cost of Living
Compared to the rest of Nicaragua, Little Corn Island is more expensive due to its remote location, however compared to the rest of the Caribbean it is extremely affordable. Living on Little Corn is considerably cheaper than living in most Western countries. Property costs are low, a four course fish dinner costs $10, and hanging out at the beach is completely free.
Easily the best aspect of living on Little Corn is the culture and community. Relaxed is a way of life here and the locals and expats truly embody it. Things do not happen quickly, but people usually have a smile on their faces. The native language is English, which makes communicating with and befriending locals quite easy. Expats and tourists on the island are very friendly and due to the small size of the island, visitors quickly find themselves feeling at home with new friends.
The Cons of Living on Little Corn Island
Nowhere is perfect, and Little Corn Island is no exception. Living on a remote island has plenty of challenges.
If you get stir crazy in small spaces, Little Corn Island may not be the place for you. The entire island is only 1.5 square miles and is about an hour boat ride from Big Corn Island. It has no cars, no ATMs, and a few guesthouses, restaurants, and bars. While Big Corn has cars, more restaurants, and some shopping, it is still a small Caribbean island that lacks many modern conveniences. The good news is that Managua is an inexpensive one hour flight from Big Corn. However if you like having the freedom to hop in your car and go, Little Corn may not be the place for you.
Due to its remote location many provisions often run out on Little and Big Corn Islands before the weekly boat arrives. Fruits and vegetables in particular can be in scarce supply in restaurants. However, if you decide to buy property on Little Corn you can begin to grow your own food, decreasing the necessity for provisions brought in from the mainland. This is also a great way to save money.
Lack of Electricity
It was not long ago that Little Corn Island did not even have electricity. Now many businesses have electricity all day long, however it can still be scarce. Many guesthouses only have electricity in the morning and the evening and WiFi is generally spotty on the entire island all day long. If you work remotely online this can present a huge challenge.
If you can handle these challenges, Little Corn Island very well could be the island of your dreams. However if you long for something a little less rustic, there are plenty of more developed islands throughout Central America. The Bocas del Toro archipelago in Panama is much closer to the mainland and has a variety of islands for every style.
If the Pacific is more your style, we love the archipelago of Boca Chica on the other side of Panama.
Get out there, get exploring, and create the home you have always dreamed of. It is possible!
Map of Little Corn Island
Use this quick map to see where Little Corn Island fits in Nicaragua and its proximity to the nearest international airport, Managua International Airport. Get there: Fly to Managua via American Airlines, Continental, Delta, Copa, Taca, or Nature Air; then take a 1+ hour flight on La Costena from Managua (Departs at 6:30 AM and 2 PM) to Big Corn Island on the Atlantic side of Nicaragua.
- Population: About 1,200
- Typical temperature: Ranges low to mid 80s
- Nearest airport with U.S. flights: Managua International Airport
- Nearest U.S. consulate: Manangua, Nicaragua