Nicaragua is a land of immense natural beauty. It features jungles, forests, hills, flatlands, volcanoes, lakes and, of course, many, many beaches. For those seeking to soak up one of the most magnificent natural attractions in Nicaragua, Ometepe Island, located inside of the massive Lake Nicaragua, is the perfect destination for you.
Ometepe Island is located inside of Lake Nicaragua, which is in the southern part of the country. The nearest town to Ometepe on the mainland would be Rivas. From here, it is a short drive to the port of San Jorge, where a ferry will take you to Ometepe, either to the town of Moyogalpa or San José. The ferry runs about every half-hour, 7am-5pm. Tickets are between 5 and 10 dollars.
In addition to the ferry, a new airport has been opened on Ometepe. One can get a plane to Ometepe from either Managua or San Carlos. It runs much less frequently than the ferry, usually only a few days a week. A plane ticket will cost around $50. Despite the added cost and less frequent departures, the plane ride offers a stunning view of the island that one cannot get with the ferry ride alone.
Ometepe is probably most famous for the two volcanoes that led to its creation. Concepción and Maderas are the two volcanoes which shoot out of Ometepe. The larger, Concepción, is an almost perfectly shaped cone, and rises to an astounding 1610 meters (5282 feet) above the lake. That’s an entire vertical mile! The smaller, Maderas, is covered in forests, and rises to the still impressive height of 1394 meters (4575 feet).
Hiking up Maderas is a popular activity for visitors to the island. The climb up is exceptionally beautiful due to the unique “cloud forests” that grow on the sides of the volcano. And once you reach the summit, the view is breathtaking. Not only can you see much of the island as well as the lake in fading away in the horizon, but a spectacular view of Concepción is yours as well from the peak of Maderas.
So Much to Do
Ometepe is home to many, many activities for tourists. Kayaking around Lake Nicaragua is a great way to explore and get some exercise. Horseback and motorbike rides around the island are another great way to explore.
Ometepe is also home to an organic coffee farm, which grows some of the best coffee you will ever have the joy of sipping on. Accommodations run the range of hostels to high-end hotels. Ometepe is also home to some magnificent eco-hotels for those visitors interested in eco-tourism.
Nicaragua is a land of immense natural beauty, and abundant in adventures. The incredibly unique, island-within-a-lake of Ometepe Island is one of the most popular natural attractions in Nicaragua. Whether you’re kayaking around Lake Nicaragua or you’re climbing up the side of Maderas, there is much adventure to be had on Ometepe.