There was a time when visiting the Caribbean meant empty beaches, limpid waters, plentiful fish to catch (and eat), and ample cheap rum and beer. That idyll still exists on Nicaragua's Big and Little Corn Islands. You can still score a $10 room on the combined five square miles of land—43 miles off the Caribbean coast—and $70 gets you a bungalow with private veranda (and electrical outlets) at La Princesa de la Isla. Start by beach hopping on the Big Island: try Long Bay for bodysurfing, Sally Peaches for snorkeling, or South West for vegging out with a coco loco—a coconut and rum cocktail—at Martha's bar. You can walk to any of them, but a cab is just 70 cents per person, no matter where you go. Then watch a Sunday baseball game in the island's 2,000-seat Karen Tucker stadium for $1.
After you've had enough of the Big Island, take the daily water taxi 30 minutes to roadless Little Corn Island, and rent a bungalow with Wi-Fi, fans, mosquito nets, and hot showers ($30). Little Corn's position in the Caribbean makes for consistent winds that are perfect for kitesurfing ($50 for an intro course). You can also fish for tarpon or troll for sailfish from a panga outfitted with two fighting chairs ($50), or take all that money you saved and splurge on a lobster dinner—it's only $14.
Access: Fly round-trip from Managua to Big Corn on La Costeña ($165). Then take a water taxi between Big and Little Corn ($12 round-trip; head to the Municipal Wharf in Brig Bay).