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Casa Iguana - On Little Corn Island, Nicaragua


WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE? Keep in mind, our guests rarely let weather stop them from doing anything, and experienced travelers don't let weather get in their way of having a good time. This being said, it rains a lot in the tropics. Mid-January thru Mid-May tend to be the drier months, while June, July and November tend to be the wetter. November through March we're subject to getting strong north winds that can last up to a week, though they often bring little or no rain. Mid-August thru Mid-October are often the calmest months, with moderate rain and light breezes, and Mid-April thru Mid-May can be the same way.

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DO YOU HAVE AIR CONDITIONING? No. Our hotel is located on the windward side of the island. Our rooms are open and airy. Air conditioning is not needed.

HOW DO I GET FROM THE AIRPORT ON CORN ISLAND TO LITTLE CORN? From the airport you go to the municipal wharf. You will need to take a taxi, it's about a 10 minute ride to the wharf. If you arrive on the morning flight, you will have time to make the morning water taxi. If you arrive on the afternoon flight, you will have time to make the afternoon water taxi. Just don't dally. Go straight to the wharf then ask anyone where the water taxi to Little Island can be found. The ride out can often be wet and bouncy, so be prepared. Sit toward the back of the boat if possible and sit on your life vest unless the captain asks you to wear it.

HOW FAR IS THE BEACH FROM THE HOTEL? All cabins have great ocean views. Half the cabins are beach cabins and half are on a cliff at water's edge. The latter tend to be a little more private, and can access the beach by a two minute walk. The beach is cleaned daily. We also have two private coves in the Iguana Reserve, MJ Beach and Melba Beach, just a five minute walk south of the lodge. Follow our signs.

WHAT KIND OF FISHING DO YOU DO? Mostly, we troll with ballyhoo. Sometimes we bottom fish with live bait. We have GPS, fish finder, high speed planer, down rigger and all the other needed "stuff." We generally stay within two miles of the island, and fish in less than 100 feet of water. Our trips last about two hours. If we can't eat it, we release it. The best fly fishing is done right from shore.

WHEN IS THE BEST FISHING? We catch year round, but we have a saying: The rougher the weather, the better the fishing. (This doesn't apply to fly fishing, of course.) January thru April tend to be good months for kingfish. April thru the summer the best time for dolphin. Though both of these species are caught year round. Visit Little Corn Fishing Charters for more info.

HOW IS THE DRINKING WATER AT THE HOTEL? We collect rain water and also have our own private well. Our water is very good and treated and tested by us on a regular basis. We've even bring in a group of university students from the US each year to conduct tests. We've been drinking it for over eighteen years. Still, we have some guests that buy drinking water, which is readily available on the island. We do not sell bottled water which contributes to unsustainable practices on Little Corn.

DO YOU HAVE MALARIA ON THE ISLAND? It is not highly unusual for a case to be reported. The strain is not one of the hard-to-knock-out varieties found in Africa and Asia, and is successfully dealt a blow with Chloroquine. Many seasoned travelers take a malaria preventative whenever traveling in the tropics. Personally, we don't take it, but we're not on vacation either.

ARE THE BUGS BAD AT THE HOTEL? No. But do not travel in the tropics without repellent. In general the bugs are not bad on the island as a whole, (certainly not as bad as our native Florida) and being on the windward side is an obvious plus. When the wind is calm, and we've been getting rain, we can get mosquitoes or sand flies at dawn and dusk. Regardless, all of our windows are screened and you will not be bothered in your room.

WHAT ABOUT THE NIGHT LIFE AND SHOPPING? Little Corn Island is no Mecca of night life. There IS the Happy Hut---dirt floor reggae bar---where some of our guests have been known to provide locals with side splitting entertainment from the dance floor. There isn't a single tourist "shoppe" on the entire island, but there are a few local artists and craftsmen who do nice work.

WHAT ARE YOUR POLICIES ON CHILDREN? Casa Iguana is a very special place that inspires curiosity and offers discovery under every nook and cranny. Since 1994 we've had children and parents of all ages enjoy themselves because of our safe beaches within close proximity to the casitas, outlets in the room for charging batteries, comfortable sleeping arrangements for families and a fun filled lodge where kids can lose themselves in our board games, weather station, binoculars, books and magazines. Also, our casitas are far more private and offer more space in between one another than other cabins on the island. We also have 40 acres full of protected flora and fauna and three beaches that you can safely explore with your kids accompanied by one of our friendly dogs. Check out our garden and farm with pigs and chickens or marvel at the hundreds of crabs out for their nightly stroll. Lastly, Fodors Travel Book says that the reef in front of Casa Iguana is among the best for snorkeling in all of the Caribbean. Unlike the the hotels north of us, just a 25 meter swim brings your kids to the snorkeling waters and reef, which are teeming with marine life just waiting to be explored. Note: Though all the raised decks on our casitas have roped railings, certain ones are better suited for children under 4. Please notify us in your reservation request if you are bringing kids.

HOW DOES MONEY WORK ON THE ISLAND? The national unit of currency is the Cordoba, 22.8 of which equal a dollar (March, 2011). U.S. dollars are accepted EVERYWHERE in Nicaragua, especially in the islands. Many people make this trip without ever exchanging money. ATM machines are growing more common in Nicaragua, but can still be difficult to find. Our hotel is one of the few places in the islands where credit cards are excepted (we do charge a 4% internet fee), and probably the ONLY place in the entire country that will take a personal (pre-approved) check. It can be difficult to find businesses that accept traveler's checks. A wad of US fives and tens can be handy. It should be noted that U.S. dollars in GOOD CONDITION are accepted on the island. We have bills rejected because they are worn or have marks or tiny tears on them.

IS IT SAFE? This depends on what you call safe. Compared to small towns in Iowa---no. Compared to any major city in the U.S. ---yes. Violent crime is very rare on Little Corn Island. Petty theft has become more common is the last several years. For this reason Casa Iguana has two guards walking the grounds every night, unlike most hotels on the island. Our only overt precaution is that we discourage our single women guests from walking alone at night from the village to the hotel. (We have employees that can escort them.)

In the summer of 2003, a community initiative hired three Tourist Police to provide assistance, offer protection and serve as deterrents. Heretofore the island has had the ambivalent blessing of no resident law enforcement officials at all. FACT: There is still an element of the frontier on this remote island. Since September of 2005, we have had three resident police on the island. This had been long awaited, and has been a huge help. Keep in mind that Nicaragua is the safest country in Central America (far safer than Costa Rica), and the 8th safest out of 22 countries in the Western hemisphere-minus the Caribbean. -According to INTERPOL.

WHERE IS THE NEAREST RECOMPRESSION CHAMBER? Puerto Cabezas (around a 4-5 hour "fast" panga ride away), within reach for a serious case of decompression illness, though in the ten plus years of operation, we have never had a case. However, we still practice good procedures just in case. Also, our dives are mainly shallow and we have long intervals between, highly reducing the possibilities. All of our dive masters, instructors and skippers are trained in First Aid (Emergency First Response), Oxygen administration and rescue procedures with a well-designed EAP (Emergency Action Plan).

WHAT IS CASA IGUANA'S ARRANGEMENT WITH CAMINO REAL IN MANAGUA? We recommend the Camino Real, which is located less than 1 mile from the airport. They will meet you at the airport upon your arrival to the country, and are usually a big help with both your luggage AND getting you quickly through customs and immigration. They have a van that transports you to the hotel. We have a special "Casa Iguana Rate" with them of $70 single occupancy and $75 double per night. To book your reservation there, send e-mail to Danfer Escobar - Gerente de Mercadeo y Ventas. Be sure to tell them you are a Casa Iguana guest and that you would like both the Casa Iguana rate AND their services upon your arrival at the airport. Just give them your flight information. Be sure to ask for a confirmation.