LITTLE CORN ISLAND
Little Corn island is approximately 70km off the coast of mainland Nicaragua, and at just 3 square km is around half the size of its neighbour, Big Corn Island, 7km away.
Also known as Islita, Little Corn is home to a population of around 700 speaking mainly Creole English as well as an increasing number of Spanish speakers who have come over from the mainland.
The main industry on the island in lobster fishing although tourism is playing an increasing role in the economy.
WHAT TO BRING
There is no ATM or any banking facilities on the island so most of your purchases will need to be in cash. Try to avoid large bills however as getting change is always a problem. Payments can usually be made in either US$ or cordoba. Credit cards and travellers cheques are only accepted in a few places on the island, including Dolphin Dive and Los Delfines hotel (credit card payments are usually subject to a charge of around 5%).
There is only one paved path on the island so for exploring the island you will walk along unlit tracks through the woods so a flashlight is a must. Light clothes will suffice as will flip flops or sandals. Note though that there are some mosquitos on the island so longer clothes and repellent are a sensible precaution.
Little Corn Childrens Reading Room - The local school here has recently set up a reading room for the children on the island of all school ages. If you have any unwanted childrens reading or colouring books please feel free to bring them and we can donate them to the school.
EATING & DRINKING
There are lots of restaurants on the island, ranging from small shacks by the path to more established restaurants. Nearly all restaurants sell excellent fresh fish and lobster. There are also some small stores on the island but supplies are limited and the supply boat only visits once a week so please bring any special needs items with you.
Tap water is drinkable on Little Corn as it comes from natural wells on the island. We therefore would encourage you to re-fill water bottles whenever possible as plastic waste can be a real problem.
Little Corn now has a police presence so security is much improved from some of the stories going round a few years ago. We are still though in a poor country so usual travel precautions should be taken.
MEDICAL CARE & DIVING ISSUES
Little Corn has a small medical clinic which is generally open mornings only, not at weekends, but they are able to see emergency cases outside these hours. Facilities are limited to a couple of beds, and depending on the staffing which varies from time to time, a doctor and/or a nurse. The hospital on Big Corn, whilst larger also has limited facilities.
The nearest hospital with x-ray and other major facilities is in Bluefields. The nearest recompression chamber is in Puerto Cabezas. In case of diving or other medical emergency then evacuation to these locations can be time consuming and/or costly. We therefore recommend that you have a suitable insurance policy to cover you in the even that this was to happen. Divers Alert Network (DAN) provide insurance specifically aimed at divers and dive medical treatment, as well as having a 24 hour hotline for al diving medical emergence issues.
Please note that spearfishing is illegal for tourists on the island. Penalties for being caught are 500 cordoba for first offence, second offence is 5000 cordoba and confiscation of equipment.
This law may not be widely enforced, and some locals will still offer to take you out spearfishing if it means them making some money from the trip. But we have a small reef ecosystem here and we can already see the number of apex predators (groupers, snappers etc.) reducing on the reef. Please respect the local environment and leave your spears at home.