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Nicaragua: Caribbean Snorkeling Adventure

Explore the undiscovered Caribbean through snorkeling, indigenous community visits, kayaking, and more, in Nicaragua's beautiful Pearl Cays and Corn Islands.

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Overview

  • Enjoy an authentic Caribbean experience as we visit Nicaragua's spectacular Pearl Cays and Corn Islands—still relatively untouched by tourism.
  • Snorkel beautiful coral reefs, with opportunities to snorkel on four days of the program at a variety of reefs.
  • Learn about and visit Miskito and Garifuna indigenous communities.

For the seasoned eco-traveler, this itinerary will remind you of how the Caribbean was 30 years ago, before the cruise ships and sanitized tourism. We begin with Pearl Lagoon, rich in indigenous cultures with Garifuna, Miskito, and Creole communities. Just offshore are the spectacular Pearl Cays, where we will spend a night and snorkel the spectacular reefs surrounding our private island.

Afterwards, we continue to the nearby Corn Islands where we’ll spend three days on Little Corn Island, which is famous for its easy to access, good snorkeling reefs. We will also have options for stand up paddleboarding and sea-kayaking. Enjoy eight days of authentic Caribbean adventure, full of sun, sand, and great reefs!

This program can also be done on custom dates year-round for groups of 4 and more, starting at $2,950 per person. Contact us to arrange your custom dates.

Trip Dates & Cost

2017: April 2–9. $2,890 per person.* Group limit 10.

2018: March 3–10 | April 14–21. $2,890 per person.* Group limit 10.

Available on custom dates year-round for groups of 4 or more; from $2,950 per person.

* Trip prices do not include international airfare. Single supplements are available for a fee of $545. Click here for our full expedition terms and conditions.

Photos
Naturalist

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Managua, Nicaragua
Upon your arrival into Managua you will be met and transferred to the nearby Hotel Camino Real. Enjoy a welcome dinner, introductions, and trip orientation.

Day 2: Pearl Lagoon
After an early morning flight to Bluefields, we'll visit the Historical Museum of Bluefields Indian and Caribbean University for an introduction to the Carribean coast of Nicaragua. We'll then take a one-hour boat ride to the town of Pearl Lagoon, where we will check in to our hotel and enjoy lunch. In the afternoon, we will visit some of the more interesting nearby indigenous communities and learn about their cultures, including the Garifuna community of Orinoco and the Miskitu community of Kahkabila. Our day ends with a delicious seafood dinner in Pearl Lagoon.

Day 3: Pearl Cays Wildlife Refuge
In the morning we'll take a one-hour boat trip into Pearl Cays Wildlife Refuge, where we will be spending the day and night. The Pearl Cays are a cluster of 18 islands about 4 miles offshore; they have historically been home to traditional fishing camps, but in recent years have begun catering to tourists. We will enjoy a night of full-service camping in this incredible setting, where offshore breezes make for pleasant evenings. After our arrival and a brief overview of the facilities, we'll take a multi-stop snorkeling excursion to explore the vibrant reef system before lunch. Enjoy free time in the afternoon to relax under the palm trees in a hammock or to snorkel from the shore. In the evening we will visit a sea turtle nesting beach to look for nesting hawskbill turtles.

Day 4–6: Little Corn Island
Enjoy some free time in the morning for more snorkeling or to relax before we transfer back to Bluefields. From Bluefields we take a quick 20-minute flight to Big Corn Island, arriving around 4:00 pm, followed by a water taxi ride to Little Corn Island. Enjoy dinner after checking in to our beachfront bed and breakfast, where we will spend 3 nights.

Two full days will be spent in the Corn Islands, surrounded by palm trees, beaches, and turquoise waters that harbor a beautiful Caribbean reef system. We'll have opportunities to snorkel (scuba diving can also be arranged), enjoy sunrise yoga or nature walks, go stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, and to visit a local fishing cooperative.

Day 7: Little Corn Island - Managua
You'll have one last opportunity to go snorkeling this morning before we check out from our bed and breakfast in Little Corn Island and retrace our route back to Managua. Enjoy a hearty farewell dinner this evening with newfound friends and share stories from the trip. Overnight at the Hotel Camino Real.

Day 8: Fly home
Catch your return flight home or continue on an optional extension to the charming colonial town of Granada.

Accommodations

Throughout our program we have selected quality hotels that offer a combination of convenience, access to nature / activities, comfort, and value. In Managua, we'll stay at the highly-rated Hotel Camino Real, located just 5 minutes from the international airport. In Pearl Lagoon, we'll stay at a simple oceanfront hotel. In the Pearl Cays National Wildlife Refuge, we'll spend a night full-service camping, and in Little Corn Island we'll stay in beachfront bungalows at a highly-rated bed and breakfast.

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