The reef around the Corn Islands is the same reef that starts in Belize and runs south for more than 300 kilometers (called the Belize Barrier Reef). The reef in Nicaragua is spectacular but some parts are unfortunately damaged by hurricanes.
The Corn Islands offer good conditions for divers of all categories. People who never dived before can get certified on Corn Island, and certified divers can rent equipment and set off to the reef right away.
Gorgeous, tropical fish are abundant and if you go to the right sites, you will have a good change of spotting rays and sharks. Furthermore, there are plenty of smaller but not less fascinating fish. They come in every color, shape, and size. It is amazing to see that you can find a world so different right under the surface and so close to the shore!
The reefs are close by, so boat rides are short. The difficulty ranking of scuba diving is based on the assumption that obtaining a diving certificate takes some time and effort. Diving at Corn Island is probably easier than in other places because there are few people and you therefore receive personal attention. The sea is neither particularly rough nor calm.
Obtaining your PADI Open Water Certification (recognized worldwide) takes around 4 days. Divers who already have their PADI certification can do regular or specialty dives (like deep water dives or night dives). Introduction dives are also possible, allowing beginners to learn more about the basics before starting the complete course.
Both Big and Little Corn Island offer diving possibilities. The reefs and marine life around both islands are spectacular. There are also some special attractions at both islands. Outside of Big Corn Island there is an odd, rocky formation that rises up from the sea floor to the surface, located several kilometers off-shore. Marine life abounds at this site, called the Blowing Rock. Close to Little Corn Island there are impressive underwater caves. These caves are not particularly large so there is no special expertise needed to swim around and observe these spectacular structures. Whichever place you select for your diving adventures, both islands offer superb sites for scuba diving!
Below follows an overview of diving prices. For more information, contact the operator.
Nautilus PADI Open Water Certification:
$250 (exclusive $35 book)
Fun Dives: $55 (two tanks)
Blowing Rock Dives: $75 (two tanks)
Discover Scuba Mini: $75 (introduction course)
The Corn Islands are also great places to snorkel. The reef is quite close to the surface, which allows you to see the same kind of fish as scuba divers, and if you're lucky you can see even rays or sharks when snorkeling! The reef is also often close to the coast, which allows you to snorkel off the beach to the reef.
To read more about the fish and the reef around Corn Island, read our Reef and Marine Life Special.