We stayed at Derek’s Place on Little Corn Island from March 5th to 11th. Originally our plans were to stay another day but decided we wanted to get to Big Corn in plenty of time to catch our plane and to see the baseball game (which was cancelled after we had already got to Big Corn).
Derek’s Place has some REALLY mixed reviews on Tripadvisor. I always read the reviews and look at the photos ad nauseum before booking. In spite of some crazy reviews we decided that this place was EXACTLY what we were looking for on Little Corn. The price was right, the rustic off-grid style was perfect. Even more perfect was that Derek`s is tucked in the north east windy side of the island a good 20 or more minute walk to the main village area of Little Corn.
Derek`s Place was exactly what we expected and we were so happy we had chosen this location. It was a little rustic piece of paradise powered by a windmill (and apparently solar which we didn’t see).
Derek and his wife Anna own/run Derek’s. They have been there about 15 years, Derek hails from Chicago oops, Johnny just read this – says he’s from Washington area (I think) and Anna from Spain, they have two children (about 12 & 14 now). Anna and the children were away in Managua during our visit so we didn’t have the opportunity to meet her. Derek is an eccentric kind of guy, was pleasant, loved to ‘agitate’ as it relates to world events during our communal style meals, is probably a fellow who prefers quiet and his own company, but most importantly was very responsive to any requests we had during our stay.
Derek’s as mentioned above is off-grid. We stayed in the Beach House (also known as Casa Grande). I believe it is the oldest most rustic cabana. What we have learned about the Corn Islands is that the sea, wind, waves, and sea salt are all very hard on not only the natural environment but also the ‘built’ environment. It was very very windy (keeping it warm without being hot) and it was wreaking havoc on the wiring. There are always outages with this type of power from time to time but in our case the outages were caused possibly by wind making the wiring blow around and requiring it to be ‘re-taped’. Once we got the hang of it, all was good. Of course, we had running water (non-potable), a 2 pc bathroom (toilet, sink) inside the unit and just outside (off the veranda) an Island style shower. See photo below 🙂
You can see through the floor boards and the walls in some places. We had a visit from a HUGE spider a bit hairy…tarantula perhaps? He liked the bathroom wall…pleasant little guy..seemed to just want company 🙂 Otherwise, we slept (on the upper loft level) with our windows wide open and our heads almost outside. One night there was a hard rain and our pillows got wet…refreshing!
The Corn Islands are not manicured and Little Corn even less so. The jungle and beach paths that you take to get to Derek’s are wind blown and laden with palm frons, coconuts and whatever the sea blows in (an amazing amount of sandals and lobster claws). Sargassum (look it up if you don’t know what it is 🙂 is everywhere. Sargassum is a phenomena that is plaguing the Caribbean and in expensive all-inclusive resorts it is raked up daily and you might not notice it. In all other places it piles up….can be a bit smelly, catches debris from the sea…sometimes it appears, then disappears…always on the windy side of the islands….it is what it is…..the beaches are not pristine…just jump over the sargassum and you can get to the water 🙂
We went for longggggg walks every day (temps were around 29 c plus humidity) and on the windy side near the sea was lovely to walk….the jungle paths were pretty warm when there was no breeze from the sea or if you were out of the shade. Will do another post of our walks. While at Derek’s we mainly read and relaxed. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to snorkel with the high winds. Normally, you can swim easily and snorkel off beach, and we had planned on doing a diving trip…but we decided we weren’t comfortable in the windy conditions (just watching people getting on/off Derek’s dive panga was a challenge).
We really enjoyed our time at Derek’s. The communal meals were tasty and authentic island style food. The little ‘service’ we required was great. Derek is a quirky guy, but I think if you treat him well, he will treat you well – makes sense, huh? If your expectations are high, or if you are a person who requires maintenance this might not be the place for you 🙂 Also staying at Derek’s were people from Canada, U.S., U.K., France and Germany Most were couples, all were interesting to chat with over communal style meals (one big table). We didn’t do all of our meals there, but always breakfast, 1 lunch and 2 dinners over our 6 days. As our cabana was the only one with cooking facilities (no fridge) we did do a couple of dinners at the cabana. The rest of the meals were in the village.
OH YEAH. If you do decide to stay at Derek’s or travel anywhere on the Corn Islands (Little or Big) don’t forget to bring a flashlight. We have headlamps and always take them with us so we can read outside after dark. The paths are not ‘flat’…roots, stones and it is a challenge walking back after dark the 20 (or more minutes) to Derek’s. It was all part of the adventure though!
We got lazy on when we left. Danny the maintenance worker/wheel barrow guy took our luggage to the docks for us (at 5:15 a.m. in the morning). He was a wonderful young man, almost no English. One night he came to fix our electrical and brought his wife and their beautiful little girl (about 1 or 2 years old). We passed his house and it was a house I had passed daily and kept saying, I love this house. A beautiful green bungalow sitting alone in the jungle with views of the sea.