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San Juan Del Sur or Corn Islands?

GlobeTales

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  • Added on: February 10th, 2010
Hi there. My wife and I are planning our next Central America trip, and have a few days to hit Nicaragua this time around. We've been looking for spots to spend a few days chilling and both San Juan Del Sur and the Corn Islands look like attractive options.

Anyone been to one or both of these places and have any recommendations? Any other spots that are better than these two? We definitely want to be on the water. Thanks for any advice.

Felix the Hat

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  • Added on: February 11th, 2010
San Juan del Sur is the most developed tourist spot in Nicaragua. A lot of people hate the place. The town itself is scruffy and unremarkable, but many of the nearby beaches are breathtaking. It has easy access to the Nicaraguan heartland containing Granada, Managua, Masaya, and Leon.

Corn Islands are extremely remote and idyllic. If you are pressed for time, you need to fly from Managua. The overland trip is epic - overnight chicken bus from Managua to El Rama, riverboat down Rio Escondido to Bluefields, boat to Big Corn, boat to Little Corn.

Apples and oranges, really. If time isn't an issue, I'd definitely opt for Little Corn, and that's coming from someone who likes the SJdS area more than many.

GlobeTales

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  • Added on: February 11th, 2010
Thanks for the info. I was definitely leaning towards Little Corn as well, from what I've read so far. However, we will be coming from the Pacific side of Costa Rica so SJDS is the much more convenient option. We'd definitely like to do a longer trip to Nicaragua in the future and give it the attention it deserves. So many places to visit, so little time...

Felix the Hat

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  • Added on: February 11th, 2010
GlobeTales wrote:Thanks for the info. I was definitely leaning towards Little Corn as well, from what I've read so far. However, we will be coming from the Pacific side of Costa Rica so SJDS is the much more convenient option. We'd definitely like to do a longer trip to Nicaragua in the future and give it the attention it deserves. So many places to visit, so little time...


If you want something truly unique to Nicaragua, try Ometepe. It's an island in Lake Nicaragua with twin volcanos, and one of my favorite places in the world. SJdS isn't going to be anything substantively different from Pacific Costa Rica, and Little Corn sounds like it might be too remote for the time you have. You'll be near the (fresh) water on Ometepe, although there's no diving or surfing in the lake. It's sleepy to the point of being comatose, so if you're looking to party, you should go elsewhere. Coming from Costa Rica, it's really easy to access. Coming from Liberia, you'll cross at Penas Blancas, and then it's a short trip in bus or taxi to Rivas. The port of Rivas is called San Jorge, and there are several daily ferries from there to Moyogalpa, on Ometepe. Once on the island, people kick back, and usually hike at least one of the volcanos, both of which are about 5,000 feet, and have waterfalls and lakes and views all the way to the Pacific on clear days.



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