How to get to Corn Island

How to get to the corn islands

Depending on your budget and time for travel you can either fly or travel over land and water to Big Corn Island. Here are some insider tips on getting here…

FLIGHT

Direct La Costena flight option will take about 3 hours, including a taxi to and from the airport:

  • From Managua: Cost approximatly $107USD for one­way ($165USD for round­trip) plus $18USD when booked in advance online. Prices are higher closer to your travel date.
  • From Bluefields will cost approximatly $83USD for one­way ($127USD for round­trip) plus $18USD when booked in advance online. Prices are higher closer to your travel date.

Save money and still fly by purchasing your ticket at the La Costena airport office! The flight prices are lower and you will have an option to buy an “open ticket” for an undeclared return date.

Other expenses:

  • Taxi to/from the airport ­ usually $10­-20USD in Managua and C$20 in Corn Island
  • Potential excess ­baggage fee ­ over 30 pounds, $1.20USD per pound
  • Fee at the airport security checkpoint of C$56
Pictures of a hostel on Big Corn Island Nicaragua
Pictures of a hostel on Big Corn Island Nicaragua
Pictures of a hostel in big corn island

BOAT

The more adventours route includes public bus(es) and boat(s) from Managua/Granada to El Rama to Bluefields to El Bluff to Big Corn Island! This trip is recommended for those with plenty of time for travel, a good sense of humor, a strong stomach for the boat journey, and an abundence of patience. Motion sickness tablets for the ocean crossing part of the journey are highly recommended.

This slow travel option will take at least 20 hours from either Granada or Managua through buses and boats, and will cost approximatly C$460­-670 in transport and likely another C$250 for an overnight stay in El Rama or Bluefields.First ­ get to El Rama early in the day to sort out your onward travel…travel dates matter so plan ahead!

  • From Managua: Direct bus to El Rama leaves ‘Ivan Montenegro’ bus terminal at 6am and 9pm, costing C$160, and will take about 6 hours without frequent stops (buy your ticket in advance). Otherwise, local buses leave from Managua’s ‘Mayoreo’ bus terminal throughout the day, beginning at 5am, costing C$140, and will take about 8 hours with frequent stops.
  •  From Granada, you can navigate on your own with some basic Spanish skills and helpful bus ayudantes (person who collects your bus fair). When boarding each bus be sure to let the bus ayudante know where you’re going (both the next stop and the final destination) as each town has multiple ‘stations’ and they can direct you to get off at the correct stop to find your connecting bus onward. To get to El Rama, you’ll take a series of buses to Masaya (C$15), then Tipitapa (C$11), then El Rama (C$130) ­ this route will take about 9 hours.

From El Rama you’ll travel by boat the rest of the way to Corn Island. The ports are about a 10 minute walk from the bus station. There are three boat options: (1) Panga and Rio Escondido, (2) Island Express and (3) Isleño D. The last two options are cargo boats and are more subject to change due to water levels, weather and shipping needs. You will need your passport to board any boat.

Ask various people at the El Rama dock for the most accurate information!

  1. Panga ride and Rio Escondido ferry from Bluefields at 9am Wednesday. Pangas leave El Rama when full, from 5:30am to about 2pm, and cost C$155 (you need to present your passport). This is generally a smooth ride along the river taking up to 2 hours. Wednesday morning in Bluefields at the Rio Escondido ticket counter, buy your Rio Escondido ferry ticket at 7am, this costs C$255 and you’ll need to show your passport. The ferry fills up quickly with limited bench seating ­ sitting outside and having a water­proof cover for your hand luggage is recommended (suitcases and rucksacks can be stowed underneath if you board the boat by 8/8:30am). The ferry leaves at 9am and the trip is about 6 hours, stopping in El Bluff after the first hour then getting into the open water ­ don’t forget your sea­sickness tablets!
  2.  Island Express cargo boat from El Rama at 7pm on Thursday and at 3pm on Monday. Cost is about C$300 and the time onboard can be 12 hours with a 20 minutes stop in El Bluff. Tickets are purchased on­board and boarding time varies depending on estimated departure time – ask at the port. Come prepared with food, beverages, toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Also, don’t forget sea­sickness tablets for the last leg of the journey on the open water (after El Bluff)…though this is a much larger vessel and people generally find the trip smoother. The same boat leaves from Corn Island to El Rama at 9am on Sunday (making a stop in Bluefields and leaving to El rama at 5pm) and at 4pm on Tuesday. For more informatio contact Jhon Tylor  @ +505 8847 5137.
  3. Isleño D cargo boat from El Rama at 5pm Monday and at 4pm Thursday. Cost is about C$300 for a spot on the deck and is usally an 12 (or so…) hour trip with a stop in El Bluff. Tickets are purchased on­board and boarding time varies depending on estimated departure time – ask at the port. Hammocks can be rented on­board, however there is limited space so plan to sleep on the floor. This boat leaves from Corn Island at 9am on Sunday and at 9am on Wednesday. For more information contact Ivan @ +505 8656 5188.

Helpful tips: Bring your own food, water, toilet paper, and sea­sickness tablets (for the open water El Bluff to Corn Island part of the journey). Use sun protection and be prepared to get wet, if seated outside.