Isla de Ometepe is a unique destination in the immense Lake Nicaragua. The island was formed by two large volcanoes; La Concepción and Madera. Ometepe has a turbulent history. The first inhabitants were Nahua Indians from Mexico, followed by the Niquirano Indians who built an important settlement. When visiting the island, do go and see these remains because they are truly impressive. In addition, the island offers beautiful nature to explore, either by foot, bike or scooter!
After the Spaniards settled in Central America in the 16th century, the islands in Lake Nicaragua were plagued by pirates, who entered the lake via the San Juan River. Nowadays, the two most important villages on the island are Altagracia and Moyogalpa. Many traditions are still honoured here and nowhere else in Nicaragua people celebrate so many religious and cultural festivals.
You will be picked up and taken to the ferry of Isla de Ometepe. On the other side of the ferry, someone will welcome you to go to the hotel. You stay in a simple but comfortable hotel. Relax in a hammock on your balcony or rent bicycles to explore the area.
Take a tour with a guide on the island, see the lifestyle of the residents, visit the museum, the petroglyphs and the beach of Santo Domingo. Also visit the Magdalena farm, a beautiful old farm where organic coffee is grown.
When staying on Ometepe Island, we climbed the volcano Maderas, a rather intensive hike! However it was a great challenge that we would not have wanted to miss for the world. Our guide Erik was very friendly and explained a lot to us along the way.
We only had one full day at Ometepe, but spent it well! We arrived without a plan, but after a nice chat with the driver from the hotel we went on tour with him and he showed us around all day. That was a great experience! He lived in Algeciras himself and showed us different places. We drove around the volcano Concepcion and went to Punto Jesus et Maria. Ojos de Aqua was a bit disappointing to us, a nice spring, but not as beautiful as we expected after reading about it. Our driver was very proud of the old Dutch ferry “De Brakzand” that served as a ferry to Schiermonnikoog in the Netherlands. Together with him we visited the boat and were allowed to look around.
In Moyagalpa there was going to be a rodeo that evening and so the driver brought us there in the afternoon. We had a fantastic evening together with the villagers, sitting on a rickety tribune enjoying all the action! We had dinner there and eventually were brought home in a pick-up truck because there were no more taxies after 21.30…..What an evening!
On Ometepe, we went to the natural spring of Ojo de Agua. We biked all the way there and were ready for a refreshing dive upon arrival. Very refreshing! We can truly recommend visiting Ometepe, the island is really nice and not overflowing with tourists.
Being Dutch like I am, I sometimes want nothing more than just jump on my bike to explore my surroundings. Ometepe is great for biking. From your hotel you can easily rent a bike and make nice trips in the area. For example, some 3.5 km from the hotel you find the springs of Ojo de Agua, where you can take a refreshing dive.