If you’re looking for a a tropical paradise untouched by tourism, Little Corn will steal your heart. Always on the hunt for a new off-the-beaten-path adventure as far away as possible from swarms of tourists, commercial resorts, vacation rentals, cruise ships and raging night life, I fell madly in love with this nirvana nestled in the Caribbean Sea about 45 miles off the eastern shore of Nicaragua, and it’s one of the most special unspoiled gems I’ve ever been to. A main reason the island remains so unaffected by tourism is because it’s such a hassle to get to after two flights and then an hour-long, old, rickety, wooden Panga boat ride through unpredictably rough waters. There are no cars, no roads, no one even wears shoes on the island. The only way to get around is by boat, horse, or your own two bare feet. White sand secluded beaches, warm turquoise waters, postcard-perfect corral reefs, nightly live local music, daily fresh caught lobster, funky little rustic beachside backpacker cabañas, only a handful of local mom and pop run restaurants, and 750 of the warmest, beautiful natives you could ever meet make this island a true Caribbean best-kept-secret and the perfect place to completely unplug. By Gillian Zinser
Know before you go
There is hardly any access to the internet on the island, which is part of its greatest charm. Tranquilo Café and Café Desideri, however, do have wifi during select hours. And while most places run off of generators, there is still no electricity between 6am and 3pm so charge all of your electronics at night and be prepared to wake up when the fans shut off!
What to pack
Corrective Control Oil-Free Sunscreen SPF 30
iS Clinical Cleansing Complex
Aesop Protective Lip Balm SPF 30
Klorane Dry Shampoo
Tangle Teezer Compact Brush
Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Daily Face Peels
Olaplex Hair Perfector
Where to stay
Ensueños, Casa Iguana, Derek’s Place, Carlito’s Place, and Little Corn Beach & Bungalow.
Where to relax
Head to Karma Shack, a beautiful hidden gem in a garden behind Carlito’s Place that offers meditation, massage, and energy healing sessions.
Where to eat: Breakfast
Visit Casa Iguana for their legendary Coconut French Toast breakfast and best ocean views on the island.
Where to eat: lunch on the beach
Head to Sunset Shack Café on the beach for some fresh lobster ceviche and cold beer under the oldest almond tree on the island, then to Tranquilo Café Bar for their famous fish tacos and 2-for-1 cocktails.
Where to eat: cheap and chic
Try El Bosque for the best $4 lobster curry you’ve ever had.
Where to recharge
Check out Yemaya Island Hideaway & Spa for the best yoga classes and amazing fresh juices/smoothies.
Where to explore
Spend a day climbing the treehouse, lounging in hammocks, and playing on the swings that hang from the palms over the beachfront in front of Ensueños.
What to do after dark
Set in the woods just behind Tranquilo Café, Happy Hut plays the best live reggae on the island. The local’s joke is that you’re happy that night and “hut” (hurt) the next day.
Gallery Link: x20 | Halfway – On Set [pictures]