Little Corn Island is Pure Caribbean—a fantastic getaway retreat on the Caribbean side of Nicaragua.  If you plan well, you can be here in a day, whether flying or arriving by boat!

Flying to the Corn Islands:

With a well-planned itinerary, it is possible to travel between Little Corn Island and major cities in the US, Central America or South America in a single day. First, you must book a flight to Managua. There are several airlines flying into Nicaragua: American, United, Delta, Spirit Airlines and Copa. Kayak.com is one of the best resources for finding cheap airfare. We suggest visiting their site for a comprehensive list of flights and prices available. Great deals are typically available in the fall and spring.

From Managua, fly La Costena to Big Corn Island. Their ticket counter is just outside the main terminal. The flight takes just over one hour total. Sometimes there is a brief stop in Bluefields on the way. They leave Managua three times daily, at 6:30am, 11:00am, and 2:00pm, so book international flights that arrive at least 90 minutes before these times.

Return flights to Managua from Corn Island arrive at about 10:00am and 5:00pm. Round trip airfare on La Costena between Managua and Big Corn Island is approximately $165. 

¬ Get more information on La Costena flight schedules
¬ Book a flight on La Costena

You can reach La Costena via telephone with the following numbers: (505) 2263-1228 or (505) 2263-2263-2142 and via fax (505) 2263-1281; their website, www.lacostena.com.ni; or via email to the airline’s owner, Julio Caballero ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ).

Once you have arrived on Big Corn you will want to make your way via taxi to the wharf. The taxi ride is about 7 minutes and should cost $5. At the wharf (as you enter the gate) you will need to pay a 5 Cordoba tax allowing you to leave Big Corn via boat. The boats to Little Corn run at 10am and 4:30pm and the return boats to Big Corn run at 6:30am and 1:30pm daily.

The boats between Little Corn and Big Corn are timed to coincide with the morning and afternoon flights. Of course, due to weather and sea conditions, these schedules are occasionally disrupted. The boat ride is $7 (160 cordobas) one way. Be sure to bring exact change as the captains do not carry much cash on them. The trip is approximately 20 minutes and has the potential to be quite wet. It is best to assume that you and your luggage will be soaked by sea water as the ride can get bumpy on rough days (on days like this sitting toward the back of the boat can make the ride more comfortable). Pack with this in mind! 

Other ways of getting to Little Corn Island

If you’re more adventurous or traveling on a stricter budget there are other options once in Nicaragua to get to the Corn Islands (this will consist of a bus ride and several boat trips). First you will need to get to El Rama. There are a few buses that will get you there from several cities. From Managua, there is a 9 pm bus (Bluefields Express) that connects with the boats leaving for Bluefields early in the morning.

¬ Vianica full listing of bus schedules
¬ Detailed information regarding boat schedules and fares

There are "fast pangas" which go down the river to Bluefields or El Bluff and cost between $10 and $15 and take approximately 1 hour. From there you can catch a passenger or freight boat to Big Corn Island. This can take between 4 and 8 hours (look out for Island Express, Captain D, Bluefields Express or Umberto Promer). From Big Corn you can catch the $7 pangas, which operate twice daily at 10am and 4:30pm.

Upon arriving on Little Corn there will be a staff member to greet you with an island map and direct you toward a hotel or hostel. If you don’t know where you are staying, we can help you decide.

For more information on the dive sites, click on the dive flag on the map below.  

 

 

 

White Holes 

This is one of our most popular sites positioned on the northern part of the island on the outside of the fringing reef. Being shallow it is suitable for both snorkelers and divers and makes a perfect trip for the end of the day!  It's name comes from the fact if you look from the surface there are a series of white patches surrounded by magnificent corals such as the Elk Horn - rated as the healthiest in the Caribbean by both divers and marine biologists!  Home to many Nurse sharks sleeping the day away, divers can also experience regular visits from Sting rays, Eagle rays & big schools of Blue tangs and Barracuda, making this a site many will return too. 

Max depth 9m/29ft   

 

Buoy (aka Turtle rock) 

A large coral "bomby" (Coral formation surrounded by sand) set inside the lagoon on the north of the island, Buoy is a great site for schooling barracuda & southern stingrays. Buoy is also a popular destination for our famous night dives, where it is common to view various turtles such as the Hawksbill and Loggerhead, along with the Caribbean Spiny Lobster and Octopus.  However, the real treat at night is when the lights go out and fireworks show of phosphorescence and String of Pearls appear!  Also adjacent to Buoy are some smaller "bomby's" we call Buoy Rocks, which we include as part of the dive for experienced divers. The Goliath Grouper and King Crabs occasionally visit here. 

Max Depth 13m/42ft    

Casa II 

Another popular night dive only 5 minutes in front of Dive Little Corn, Casa II is a small coral mound encrusted with hard & soft corals and sea fans. Packed with small reef fish, porcupine puffers and ocean triggerfish - even the occasional visit from Bottle nosed Dolphins!  At night watch out for Octopus, Moray eels and toad fish lying silent ready for its next meal! 

Max depth 16m/52ft   

 

Grants Cave

Clint’s favorite site named after the previous owner (Grant) of Dive Little Corn. This site on the "windy" side of the island has small caves and tunnels carved into the coral rock by the constant sea's bought by the NE winds.  Marine life sightings include schools of grunts & snapper hiding out in the caves; divers may also encounter Eagle Rays, Remora’s, Reef sharks, Tarpon & African Pompano's occasionally drifting by. 

Max depth 12m/42ft  

Shark Hole

This is a favorite for both our staff and divers, Shark Hole is a short distance from Grants Cave (sometimes doing both dives as a drift for experienced divers). A labyrinth of tunnels with openings in the ceiling sending down beams of sunlight making a perfect scene for the underwater photographer.  Glass eye Sweepers are found schooling inside the tunnels and lookdown's, eagle rays & Caribbean Reef sharks are often swimming curiously over the top investigating the strange bubbles rising from the coral. 

Max depth 12m/42ft   

Yellowtail 

Commonly a morning dive due to its depth, this is probably our most colorful site often joined with Abel Hole as a drift dive.  Packed with colorful sponges, soft and hard corals surrounded by huge schools of Yellowtail Snapper (hence the name!), Grunts, Durgon's, Queen triggerfish & occasionally nurse sharks, eagle rays, schools of jacks & cobia. Those with the sharp eye may find the tiny Nudibranch's, another great site for the underwater photographer.  Yellowtail is also a prime site for seeing dolphins on the surface, and quite often found playing around the divers, a priceless experience! 

Max depth 18m/60ft   

Tarpon Channel 

Stop....Hammer time!

Shell's favorite site and yes as many as 4 great hammerheads often come to Tarpon Channel to feed on unsuspecting stingrays! This you think would be enough for one dive, but this dive site also has huge coral rock walls with hidden caves and tunnels to navigate, Eagle rays glide over you while you watch the big Midnight parrot fish biting chunks of coral to feed on the algae and then excrete what becomes coral sand surrounding Little Corn Island.  This site does go deeper than the 18m/60ft but can still be dived by those who have not completed their advanced, by avoiding the deeper sections and leveling off at 17m/57ft. 

Max Depth 23m/75ft   

Jake's Place  

Another colorful site similar to Yellowtail, only 5 minutes NW from Dive Little Corn, Jake's is a great site for the photographer due to its color and abundance of reef fish along with the oddly shaped trunkfish, cow fish, jack knife and our favorite juvenile drum fish.  Quite often Loggerhead, Hawksbill & Green turtles can be found sleeping in the coral or coming up for & air even seen mating on the surface!

Max Depth 16m/52ft   

Jeff’s Rock 

This is one our deeper sites a little south of Jake's Place, home to huge porcupine puffers, Hog fish and Drum fish. Set aside from the reef is a small young "un designed" artificial reef put in a few years ago including a toilet?!?!? Close to this is a small patch of the very timid Garden eels which do a kind of "Mexican wave" as you pass.  Divers can also spot large diamond shapes dug into the sand - evidence of where huge stingrays have slept the previous night (or perhaps they're still there!).

 

Max depth 24m/78ft   

Blowing Rock 

Truly our best dive site, located 17 miles South of Little Corn Island. A trip to Blowing Rock is comprised of a 2-tank dive with a surface interval on the boat so bring a drink, food, hat, sunglasses, hat and some sun lotion.


Blowing Rock is our most visually impressive site - a huge formation of rock and coral that pierces the surface as waves smash dramatically against the rock. The depths below highlight an abundance of marine life that feature bigger and more numerous schools than those found around Little Corn. Commonly seen are huge reef sharks, turtles, curious eagle rays, barracuda, dog tailed snapper and even very occasional sightings of Bull sharks!!  Due to the layout of Blowing Rock, both open water & advanced divers can dive this site. Some students pay an extra fee to combine their advanced course (Deep & Fish ID) as it just can't be missed!  The 30 - 40 minute journey each way can be a little bumpy at times, but every customer is always happy! Some have even rated this as their favorite dive in the Caribbean! 

 

Max depth 28m/91ft 

We have many other sites, descriptions will come in the near future.

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