Diving Little Corn Island

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Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

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Country: Nicaragua  Area: Nicaragua

Water Temp: 26 - 29°C (79 - 84°F)

Visibility: 5 - 30m (16 - 98 ft)

Depth Range: 10 - 28m (33 - 92 ft)

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Little Corn Island is a beautiful and unspoiled with no cars and no roads. It’s a reminder of how other Caribbean islands used to be before big tourism took over. It's one of the most friendly islands you will ever visit, and within a few days you’ll be on first name terms with many of the locals!

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The island is small enough to walk round in an hour, it boasts some fantastic restaurants, with the local lobster and seafood of course being specialities. English is the primary language on the island, with some Spanish spoken. Life revolves almost entirely around the ocean, with most visitors flying in for the diving, the snorkeling and the laid-back Caribbean vibe. Home to only 800 individuals, this quiet piece of paradise is far removed from the hustle of Central America and is full of a unique character.

Diving here is great for beginners and intermediate divers with relatively shallow reefs, mild currentsand healthy reef and corals. There are roughly 20 dive sites in total.

Little Corn Island, Credit

A great attraction is Blowing Rock, an old volcanic pinnacle formation 16 miles from Little Corn which just above the surface by a few metres, and attracts wildlife from all around. It’s common to see Caribbean reef sharks here, as well as occasional pelagic species, and larger numbers of fish generally. On the east side of the island are also some swim through, caves and tunnels. Calm weather is needed for Blowing Rock and the east side though, so best months for those are generally March to May and September/October.

Climate

Central American ‘rainy season’ runs from May to November, but is not as pronounced on the Corn Islands as we’re 50 miles offshore, but November and December can be wet and windy. Calmest months tend to be March to May and September and October.

Fish,Little Corn Island , Credit

Marine Conservation

The lodges drive much of the conservation on Little Corn Island and dive centres. Given the remote location, most operate with solar electricity, wind power and back up generators. Composting, rainwater catchment systems and biodegradable products also help to reduce the impact of tourism on these remote islands. The island decided to remain vehicle-free as it develops, with walking and bikes the only methods of transportation.

Many of the initiatives are united under the non-profit, Little Corn Marine Park, established in 2013. The organization strives to enforce the environmental protection laws and regulations on the island, while promoting education opportunities for residents and guests. At the moment, projects remain fairly limited. However, they have established two dive mooring sites within the Marine Park boundaries, and have plans for rapid expansion of efforts in the coming years.

Much of the conservation initiatives are currently carried out by volunteers.

Other Year round Marine life

Nurse sharks, sting rays, bio-luminescence when night diving

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Boat Diving

With the exception of Blowing Rock all sites are within a 5-10 minute boat ride of the dive shop and most are suitable for all levels of divers. Currents are not common here except in the windier months when seas can be a little choppier and visibility lower.

Reefs here are not wall dives, so tend not to be multilevel but more of a square profile. Corals here are healthy and we have some amazing staghorn and elkhorn corals.

Wonderful dive, Credit

The Blowing Rock is often regarded as the region’s best dive site and is 16 miles from Little Corn. The site revolves around an 80-foot rock pinnacle that reaches the surface. Horse-eye jacks, barracuda and mahimahi are often seen at this site.

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How to Get there

There are twice daily boats from Big Corn Island, at 10am and 4.30pm which connect with the incoming flights from Managua (depart Managua at 6.20am and 2pm). Managua airport has international connections to Miami, Atlanta, Houston, Fort Lauderdale as well as other Central American cities.

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Where to Eat & Drink

For such a small island we are very lucky to have some great places to eat. There is a mix of locally and foreign owned with everything from the famous locally caught lobster, the local Rundown (a traditional coconut based seafood stew), to burgers, pastas and more.

The bars are great for watching the sunset and then staying on through the night, and are generally far enough away from hotels etc not to be a nuisance!

Food it is! Credit

Meals range from around $5-$15 and a bottle of beer is $2.

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Family Activities and diving for Children

Diving on Little Corn is relatively shallow so there are sites suitable for younger children and first timers doing try dives.

 

Other Activities

In the Corn Islands you can relax, swim, snorkel and just generally enjoy the laid back Caribbean culture. Life largely revolves around the ocean and the beach, with plenty of opportunities to swim, snorkel and paddleboard. Kitesurfing has recently gained popularity here, with an experienced instructor offering up lessons.It is possible to walk around the entire island in roughly an hour, passing by a handful of churches and a rundown lighthouse. The local soccer field generally has a game going, which you can join in. Firefly Yoga and Massage offers yoga classes and massages by appointment.

Otto Beach, Little Corn Island, Credit

Nicaragua as a whole is a great country to visit, with everything from charming colonial towns, crater lakes you can swim and even dive in, mountain towns with coffee plantations and cigar factories and the island of Omotepe, based on two volcanoes in the middle of Lake Nicaragua.

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Tips

Bring a flashlight, some parts of the island are not lit at night. Bring small bills and ensure any US$ bills are not torn in any way. There is no ATM on Little Corn, so be prepared to pay credit card surcharges where they are accepted, or bring cash, bearing in mind that prices here are a little more than on the mainland, but still very reasonable.

Horses, Little Corn Island, Credit

Stores here have limited supplies from a once a week supply boat, so bring any specific requirements with you.

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