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Little Corn Island

The words unspoiled paradise have never been so appropriately applied as to when used in reference to Little Corn Island. It's a place of phenomenal beauty, where coconut trees sway in the gentle evening's breeze and every section of beach seems cut and pasted right off of a postcard. With its Caribbean vibe and slow, tranquil pace, Little Corn is a wonderfully easy place to get stuck. Schedules can be adjusted, vacations extended. Never has doing nothing been so satisfying.

Development here has been extremely limited. There's just one paved footpath on the island, very few motorbikes and no cars. Most places only offer electricity at night, and every restaurant or hotel is responsible for generating their own power. The island also lacks a bank or ATM, so be sure and take enough cash with you.

Although there are a few Western-owned hotels, the islanders have done a remarkable job of preventing big companies from moving in, and the vast majority of businesses are locally-run. The locals themselves are generally quite a friendly bunch, in the bantering Garifuna tradition. Spanish, English and Creole are all spoken here, but English is generally the default language. Juggling their mixed linguistic heritage, many islanders seem to have difficulty understanding tourist Spanish. Try to open a conversation with the standard “Hablas Ingles?” and you'll often get a befuddled look, followed up by “Whatcha talkin?” Best to just switch over to English while you're here. Locals who speak only Spanish are few and far between, anyway.

Little Corn is a popular diving and snorkeling destination, and offers a few more specialized activities, such as horseback riding, as well. But generally, the vast majority of visitors seem to get sucked into the island-lifestyle of doing nothing. Simple acts like checking your email at the island's lone internet cafe or collecting mangoes make up the day's productive activities, interspersed with long periods of lounging, swimming, basking and laying around. Take advantage of the island's abundance of hammocks. It's a wonderful way to spend a few days...or a few months.

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Caribbean Coast and the Islands: Pearl Keys, The Corn Islands and Big Corn Island.

By Mike Karanicolas

Michael Karanicolas is awesome.

29 Jan 2009

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