REEF's inaugural Field Survey to Little Corn Island is an ideal trip for adventurous travelers and surveyors in search of a unique experience. Only two miles long by one mile wide, this island off the coast of Nicaragua is a tiny, Caribbean paradise known for calm seas and shallow reefs. There are more than 20 dive sites located around the island, and most sites are a short boat ride away. Weather permitting, the group will also have the chance to dive Little Corn's premier dive site, Blowing Rock, a volcanic rock pinnacle that has been known to attract jacks, barracuda, and the occasional mahi-mahi. Participants will be accommodated in oceanfront or garden view cabins at Little Corn Beach and Bungalow, an eco-conscious resort with an onsite restaurant.
Trip Type: Fish Survey - click here to learn more!
Pricing: $890 per diver based on double occupancy in a Standard Crusoe cabin, $1,062 per diver based on double occupancy in a Master Suite Gulliver Beachfront of Garden View Cabin. A limited amount of single occupancy reservations may be accommodated based on availability; please inquire with REEF Trips for pricing and availability.
Considerations: Little Corn Island is a remote, tropical island. There is no regular power, mail service, bank, ATM or Western Union, or reliable phone or internet service. There are no cars, motorcycles, or mopeds. The island has a generator that runs from about 2pm-6am each day. It is highly recommended to bring bug spray, a flashlight or head lamp, battery operated alarm clock, and spending money. There are some small stores on the island, however the selection is very limited in comparison to North American standards. There are restaurants available as well, but please keep in mind that the service may be laid back by North American standards. In order to ensure the best experience possible on this remote Caribbean dive trip, please remember to bring and open mind and plenty of patience. Due to the remote nature of this destination, it is highly recommended that all participants have adequate dive and travel insurance. If you have specific questions about the amenities on Little Corn Island, please contact trips@REEF.org. It is also highly suggested that all trip participants review the Remote Tropical Island Disclaimer on the hotel's website.
Accommodations: Cabins options include the Standard Crusoe and Master Suite Gulliver. The Standard Crusoe cabins have 1 queen and 1 double bed, veranda with privacy screen, small sitting area, reading lights and power outlets, two bottles of purified water and snack bowl and pedestal fan. The Master Suite Gulliver Cabins are very spacious and include 1 king bed and a smaller separate bed. The Beach Front cabins' separate bed is a double bed located on a sleeping area loft accessible by a bamboo ladder. The separate bed in the Garden View cabins is a day bed in the sitting area (not lofted.) All Master Suite Guilliver Cabins have a large veranda with privacy screen, sliding glass doors, comfortable sitting area and table, night table, reading lamps, shelving and storage, small refrigerator, bottle of wine, two purified water bottles and snack bowl, ceiling, pedestal, and wall fans, power outlets, and security box. Please note that cabins are not air-conditioned. All beds in all cabin types have a mosquito net.
Diving: The package includes two dives per day for five days, beginning on Sunday, Aug. 25 and ending on Thursday, Aug. 29. The dives are single tank dives and the boats will return to the shop in between dives. Approximate dive times are 9am and 11:30am. Please note that Nitrox is not available on Little Corn Island. Most of the dive sites are not deeper than 50 feet. Water temperature is approximately 82 degrees Fahrenheit.
Price Includes: This trip includes 7 nights of double occupancy accommodation, 10 boat dives (two 1-tank dives daily for five days), dive gear rentals, assistance with transporting baggage and dive gear while on Little Corn Island, tanks, weights, and weight belts.
REEF Program Fee: A REEF Program Fee of $300 per diver will be added to each package to cover the cost of the group leader, seminar and REEF survey materials.
Additional Fees: The following costs are not included in the price paid to REEF. All flights, ground transfers in transit, panga transfer, meals and drinks, gratuities, and insurance. Gratuities are at each individual's discretion. Insurance is not included, however REEF strongly recommends that each participant purchase adequate dive travel insurance to protect you from unforeseen circumstances. More information about dive travel insurance is available here.
About the Trip Leaders: Ellie Splain is REEF's Education Program Manager. Under Ellie's leadership, REEF's Explorers Education Program has grown to include Ocean Explorers Summer Camp as well as week-long marine science programs for students of all ages. She is a member of REEF's Advanced Assessment Team and an expert level surveyor in REEF's Tropical Western Atlantic (TWA) region.
Ellie Place is REEF’s Conservation Coordinator for the Volunteer Fish Survey Project (VFSP). Ellie works closely with many individuals and partner organizations who participate in the VFSP and Invasive Lionfish Program, helping to engage the public with REEF’s citizen science programs through coordinating the Fishinar series, acting as the participant contact for the Trips Program, and managing the Conservation Partner program. Ellie is an expert level surveyor and member of REEF’s Advanced Assessment Team for the Tropical Western Atlantic region, with additional surveys completed in California and the Pacific Northwest.
How to Sign Up: To reserve your space on this trip or find out more, e-mail us at trips@REEF.org, or call us at 305-588-5869. If booking greater than 180 days prior to trip departure, a $500 deposit will be collected at the time of booking. If booking within 180 days of departure, the deposit and any other corresponding payments will be due at the time of booking. Visit our Trip Policies page for more information on deposit and payment schedules.
How to Get There: There are several components involved in arranging travel to Little Corn Island. Participants should make arrangements to fly into Augusto C. Sandino International Airport in Managua (airport code MGA). Managua is Nicaragua's capital, located on the mainland. From Managua, you can fly to Big Corn Island via La Costena, Nicaragua's regional airline. It is recommended to call La Costena to secure your Managua to Big Corn Island plane reservation. All participants are responsible for booking their own airfare. REEF is not able to book air travel for participants. After arriving at Big Corn Island airport, you will need to collect your bags and take a cab to Brigg Bay to catch the panga to Little Corn Island. The cab ride to the panga takes about 10 minutes and costs about 20 Cordobas (approximately $0.63 USD) per person. It is recommended to arrive at the panga at least two hours early to purchase tickets. The panga ride is about 30-40 minutes and can sometimes be bumpy or wet. For other helpful travel tips and suggestions, visit the Little Corn Beach and Bungalow travel page.
Transfers: Little Corn Island is very small and there are no motorized vehicles, so the main way of getting around is walking. Due to the lack of motorized transportation, this destination is not suitable for individuals with limited mobility or physical limitations. Little Corn Beach and Bungalow offers complimentary dock pick up services and assistance with bags. Upon arrival, participants will be met by a hotel representative and walk from the dock to Little Corn Beach and Bungalow, which takes about 15 minutes. The walk from the hotel to the dive shop each day is also about 15 minutes.