Your guide to Ometepe Island, Lake Nicaragua
|Two volcanoes, Concepción and Maderas, joined by a low isthmus form Ometepe Island, the largest island in Lake Nicaragua and the largest volcanic island in a fresh water lake in the world. Ometepe is an excellent destination for tourists and adventurers interested in nature, beautiful landscapes, volcanoes, archeology, relaxing on beaches, and meeting friendly people.|
Where to stay
What to do
Moyogalpa is the largest of Ometepe Island's two main villages. A ferry terminal, hotels and hostels, restaurants and access to transportation make it an excellent base camp for exploring the island. Moyogalpa has at least 3 ATM's including a VISA/Plus. Currently it is the only village with ATM's on the Island.
Ferries between Moyogalpa and San Jorge, near Rivas, run frequently.
Altagracia is the second largest village on Ometepe Island. For visitors, the only thing missing is an ATM. There are hotels, restaurants, shops including a pharmacy, and a health center. The village was the original indigenous capital of Isla Ometepe and many visitors say it feels more authentic than Moyogalpa.
The public park in the center of the village attracts vendors who sell locally made products and food cooked on open wood fires. Petroglyphs, stone idols, and other artifacts from Ometepe's pre-Columbian past can be found at the village's archeological museum. Large stone idols can be found on the grounds of the old parochial church.
Ferries to Granada or San Carlos leave from the port located 2 km north of the village.
Hiring a qualified guide is an excellent to start your adventures on Ometepe Island. Guides know the geography of the island, are able to set up all the logistics for your stay, and provide you with a personal resource for answering your questions and suggesting things that match your interests. Guides in Nicaragua provide and excellent value to their customers for little pay; tipping your guide is appreciated
Ometepe Secret Adventures is the premier guide service on the island.
Kayaking the Rio Istián is the best way to explore the beautiful river and wet land that meanders through the isthmus between Ometepe's two volcanoes. Birds including egrets, jacanas, and whistling ducks fill this scenic aquatic garden. Floating water plants and huge gnarled trees covered with vines and mosses line the waterway.
San Ramon Waterfall is a gorgeous waterfall on the southern slope of the Maderas volcano, about 4 km from the village of Merida. Depending on the source it is 35 to 50 meters high.
There are several trails to the waterfall but the best one starts at the Biological Field Station in San Ramon where you pay a small entrance fee at the gate. The first two kilometers up to the waterfall on a road and can be made with a vehicle. Near the top of the paved road you will find a small hydro-electric plant where you get an excellent view of the Lake Nicaragua. A dirt road behind the hydro electric plant leads you to the trail. The trail quickly splits in two directions; the path to the left leads to the top of the Maderas volcano, the path to the right goes to the waterfall.
Playa Santo Domingo can be found by taking the southern road connecting Moyogalpa to Altagracia. South of Altagracia is an unpaved road that brings you to the narrow strip of land connecting the two volcanoes. Here you will find one the most beautiful beaches of Ometepe Island.
There are several activities offered by local hotels and guides in the Santo Domingo area including a small canopy-tour featuring ziplines, Kayaks and row boats, windsurfing, and kite-surfing. Hiking the tropical forest of Cabuya towards the south, or exploring the Istián River towards the east are both popular activities. There is an amazing amount of bio-diversity in this area.
Ojo de Agua is a scenic swimming hole popular with locals and tourists. On the main road 2 kilometers west of Santo Domingo a sign points down a dirt road leading to the swimming hole. Stay left on the road for approximately 20 minutes and you will reach this picturesque location. Vendors selling drinks and food are common here.
|Hotels and hostels on Ometepe Island, Nicaragua. Stay in Moyogalpa and explore Ometepe. Go on Kayak trips to monkey island and climb a volcano, guided kayak tours are available. Ometepe beaches and lake side hotels offer access to Lake Nicaragua. Beach and jungle resorts offer accommodations in unique places throughout the island. Ometepe hostels for backpackers are common.||Travel and language schools on Ometepe Island. Hotels listings on Ometepe. Rent a motorcycle and ride it around the island. Hiking is an excellent way to explore on Ometepe Island near San Ramon. Ometepe Island in Lake Nicaragua is paradise featuring volcanoes, wild animals, waterfalls, swimming holes, hiking adventures, ancient artifacts, and friendly people. Visitor and tourist information at Tour Ometepe, tourometepe.com. Ometepe Island is only a short trip from Costa Rica.|
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