Nicaragua is located in Central America, between the Caribbean Sea (East), the Pacific Ocean (West), Honduras (North) and Costa Rica (South). With an area of 130,668 sq. km. (50,451 sq. mi.), Nicaragua is slightly larger than the state of New York, and is the largest country in Central America.
There are four main areas around Nicaragua that make for choice diving spots. Visitors can get their feet wet at Managua, which is a great place to start and to get a feel for these waters. San Juan del Sur is another great place to get used to the waters around Nicaragua and to learn about the creatures that live along this country’s stunning coastline. However, if you really want a breathtaking underwater experience, you can do little better than head for Big Corn Island and Little Corn Island. Each spot offers unparalleled underwater opportunities and you can swim with dolphins or simply sigh in wonder and the amazing sea life that can be found here.
The Corn Islands are surrounded by a barrier reef system which is a unique underwater ecosystem for snorkeling and scuba diving. Whether snorkeling from the beach or on a dive excursion with one of the local dive operators, one can expect to see a wide variety of corals, sponges, tropical fish, rays, schools of snapper, turtles and even dolphins.
Big Corn Island: The water around Corn Island stays a pretty constant 27-28°C (81-83°F), with visibility in calm weather extending beyond the depth of the deepest dives. The fringing reefs and table reef dive sites around Big Corn Island range in depth from very shallow (10m / 30ft. and above) to deeper dives in the 21m / 70ft. range, with Blowing Rock, a small volcanic seamount, offering still deeper dives of over 24m / 80ft. Coral and fish life here vary somewhat depending on depth and location with shallow fringing reefs populated by large elkhorn coral colonies, and deeper reefs displaying sheet corals, black corals, and other varieties. Blowing Rock offers the most distinctive and impressive reef formations and species diversity. There are a couple of wreck sites which are themselves surrounded by reefs, but these sites are not advanced dives and there are no wreck penetration opportunities at the present time.
Little Corn Island: Little Corn is the smaller, less developed of the two, an island with no roads or motorized vehicles which hosts a small but friendly dive community. Eagle rays, nurse sharks, even hammerheads regularly cruise in; and the shallow depths, paired with consistently calm conditions, mean Little Corn’s top spots are accessible to divers of all levels.The conditions are excellent for any underwater photography enthusiast. Incredible year-round water temperatures average 28 degrees Celsius (82 degrees Fahrenheit) and visibility ranges from 50 to 70 feet. You can expect greatly varied and diverse underwater scenery.
Come dive in Nicaragua!