Between the volcanoes that overlook Ometepe island, Nicaragua paints an idyllic portrait, where tranquility and nature convene in the central isthmus. At the heart of lago Nicaragua, the third-largest lake in Latin America, this eight-shaped oasis is undoubtedly the most charming destination of the bustling country.
Going to Ometepe Island
Ometepe’s natural haven can be reached by ferry from Granada or San Jorge/Rivas. Upon arrival, don’t linger in the small uninteresting cities, but rather move on to the centre of the two islets, near the shores of Santo Domingo beach.
This vast empty strand of volcanic sand is a great destination to view spectacular sunset walks or enjoy horseback rides guided by the friendly owners of the neighbouring inns. For those seeking thrilling experiences, the kitesurf schools nearby teach visitors of all levels how to master waves and wind!
In this natural paradise, a traveller’s pace is automatically slowed down to make room for relaxation and contemplation. The days will unknowingly roll by… Order a fruit juice and a plate of grilled fish accompanied by gallo pinto (rice and beans) to taste the local delicacies. With singing cicadas and multicoloured birds as backdrop, you’ll never want to leave your hammock, although the variety of activities in Ometepe are also sure please those who wish to burn some energy.
What to do on Ometepe Island
As for history buffs, they’ll head out in search of the few local pre-Columbian ruins while the more active sightseers opt for an energetic hike. Ometepe does not lack options! The main incline is the active Concepción volcano, the highest peak on the island and the second-largest volcano in the country. In addition, the trails along the Maderas volcano offer an exceptional diversity fauna and flora, with many monkeys as well as flamboyant butterflies and birds.
During the wet season, one of the most popular adventures to explore Nicaraguan nature takes place on a kayak in the shadow of the volcanic twins. Between these two summits lies the river Istián, ideal for a leisurely outing in the middle of a lush ecosystem.
After its volcanoes, Ojo de agua is the main attraction of the island of Ometepe. Described as a refreshing shelter from the Nicaraguan heat, it can be found in a small tropical forest that contrasts with the surrounding ochre plains. Soak in refreshing clear waters while indulging in the nectar of a freshly fallen coconut!
To reach the falls, villages and tourist attractions of Ometepe, public taxis and old school buses transport travellers and Nicaraguans from one point to another at irregular intervals. Rental cars, bicycles and motorcycles are also available if you prefer to explore the island at your own pace.
No matter your interests, a trip to Ometepe will remain among your most memorable travel memories. Book a flight to Nicaragua now! By landing in Managua, you can easily reach the island and continue your discovery of the country in the beautiful colonial towns of Granada and León as well as the surf mecca of San Juan del Sur, to only name a few popular destinations.
Have a nice trip to Ometepe!
All photo credits: Jennifer Doré Dallas