First thing if you are coming off the boat is to check out the new Tourist Information area on the left-hand side of the wharf before you exit. There you can find all kinds of great information about what to do, where to eat and where to stay on the island.
After you find your hotel and grab a quick bite, hop on the bus (C$5) and do a loop around the island. If there seems to be a bunch of people hanging around the big red stadium on a Sunday, stop off and catch a baseball game. If you are feeling adventurous, hike up to the mirador on Mt. Pleasant and see the island from its highest point. After that you can cool off on Long Bay beach, which will probably only be shared with the occasional lobster fisherman. On the south side you can find the soul of the world, part of an art project that fit a cube inside of the earth. Ask around for directions. Corn Island offers excellent sportfishing, with big snapper and other reef fish waiting to be caught. If sightseeing under the water sounds more appealing, you can dive several reefs and wrecks scattered around the island. Or if you prefer to stay in the shallow water, grab your snorkel gear and head straight out into the water!
Rondon is the definitive coastal dish and many would argue Corn Island is the best place to find it. If you aren’t feeling that adventurous, lobster is popular and cheap. The chamberos who seem to always hang around the wharf trying to hustle up work can be somewhat annoying at first, but are always very friendly and full of useful/interesting information. Ask them about best places to stay/eat/snorkel/dive/party or ask them about the war/finding cocaine on the beach/anything else you can think of. Make sure you give them a few cords for their troubles (C$20 – C$50 is the average on the island).
There are two dive centers on the island, which many people say has better diving than the little island.
Corn Island Dive Center – Corn Islands newest fully equipped dive center, offering a wide range of PADI dive courses from beginner to professional, Discover Scuba Diving, guided dives, snorkel trips, equipment rental, and more. www.cornislanddivecenter.com
Nautilus Dive Center – The original dive center on the island is still around and offers trips when there is demand. They also operate a glass-bottom boat for those who like to stay dry.
On the weekends Big Corn Island likes to let its dreadlocks down and have a good time.
Bamboolay – (beer C$20) is one of the newest places in town. The taxi will take you to the south end and down a dirt road to this bar set next to the water. There is ample seating, though on Saturdays it packs em in tight. It has a great view in the day, and at night you will see plenty of people dancing in the semi-awkward dance room off to the side.
Nico’s Place – (beer C$20) on the beach is the only place to be on a Sunday night. Hang out in the street and talk to the locals until a good song gets rotation, grab a partner and carve out a space on the dance floor. Or find a table on the patio overlooking the sea and just watch the show. They play a good selection of dancehall reggae and some slower reggae soul.
Reggae Palace – (beer C$ 20) It is a big joint located between the Island Grill and the seafood plant, lit up with blacklights on the inside. Said to be a hoppin Saturday night venue and sometimes hosts concerts.
Xtasis – (beer C$20) Located just around the corner from Brig Bay, next to the bank. Follow the spiral staircase up to a small, kitsch bar and dance floor. They play mostly reggae soul and dancehall and some country. Put on your dancing shoes, dress sharp and you will have a hard time not getting asked to dance.
Anything I missed or changes to be made? Let me know!