Ometepe is the world’s largest volcanic island within a lake. A visit to Ometepe is one of the “must-dos” in Nicaragua. Visiting an island with two volcanoes, one of which is still active, is definitely something special. Of course we did not want to miss this experience and we went from Granada to Ometepe.
How to get to OmetepeAccomodation on OmetepeOjo de AguaThe island of OmetepeCharco VerdePunta Jesús MariaDinner in MoyogalpaOmetepe – Our conclusion
Arrival in Ometepe
We booked a private shuttle to Rivas through our hostel in Granada. In fact, it was a private taxi that drove us to the jetties in Rivas for $ 30. There it went for about $ 2.7 by ferry to Ometepe in Moyogalpa. Since our accommodation was located in the middle of the island, we had to take a taxi from there to get to our accommodation. A local bus actually runs there, but since it was Sunday, the buses ran very limited. The taxi driver was of course aware of this and asked for $ 25. We were ripped off quite a bit here, because you can actually go there and back for this price …
Accommodation on Ometepe
As so often, we booked our accommodation through Airbnb. After we were greeted warmly, our room was shown to us. It was teeming with tiny flies. They were comparable in size to fruit flies. These were really everywhere and there were countless, real swarms. It was so disgusting!
Our hostess said that this was a problem here at the time of year and that there was nothing she could do about it. But she offered us to change rooms because there were a little less flies in the other room. Our original room hadn’t been cleaned until the day we arrived, which left the door open and all the critters in. There were actually a few fewer flies in the new room, but still an abnormal number. Unfortunately it was also not really clean there and the critters had already left their mark on the bed sheets. That’s why I only slept there on my inlet sleeping bag.
The worst accommodation on our trip so far …
It was also super hot and our room had two very, very loud fans that we had to run all night to be able to sleep halfway. As you can see, we were very dissatisfied and unhappy with the situation. This was by far the worst accommodation on our trip so far and we had already booked three nights in advance. We still stayed there, as there were only a few alternatives and our hosts were ultimately unable to cope with the pests.
The next morning we started the day with a traditional breakfast from our hostess. There was rice, beans, egg and fried plantain. Since we don’t drink coffee, we were given coconut water as an alternative. We also got to know her husband, who spoke good English. He gave us some tips and recommended what we could look at.
We were able to rent a scooter from our accommodation (for $ 15 a day), which allowed us to explore the island for the next two days. We love to ride together on a scooter and explore the surrounding area.
Ojo de Agua
On the first day we drove to a natural pool called the Ojo de Agua. This is really beautifully situated between trees and resembles an outdoor pool. It wasn’t really natural anymore, as a lot was done to make it more accessible. You could swim long lengths or jump into the water with a liana. We also had the pool almost to ourselves, as there were only two other guests there. Around noon we drove on and continued exploring the island for the rest of the day.
Ojo de Agua – a natural pool on Ometepe
The island of Ometepe
The island has approximately the shape of an eight. There is a volcano in the middle of each ring. The only roads on the island are therefore around the volcanoes. While the Maderas volcano has gone out, the Concepción volcano is one of the most active in Nicaragua. The last eruption was in 2010 and it gives you a queasy feeling to know that you can erupt at any time. That is why there are signs for evacuations all over the island.
View of one of the two volcanoes on Ometepe
The people on Ometepe really live very simple. We suspect that some of them have no access to running water. We saw women on the way who washed their laundry in a river. In addition, many houses had an extra toilet house on the property.
We encountered many animals on the way. Cows, horses, pigs, chickens and of course cats and dogs ran freely around Ometepe. You really have to be careful with a scooter or a car, because suddenly a horse or a cow can stand on the street.
We originally planned to take a scooter around the northern volcano. However, the paved road ends at some point and there is only a gravel road with large stones and many potholes. The risk of getting a flat tire there was too great for us and we turned around after a short time. It might be more possible with a motorcycle.
The next morning we went back to Moyogalpa, the only major city on Ometepe, and had breakfast at The Cornerhouse. The “Eggs Benedict” are a dream ;-)! Then we drove to the Charco Verde park. There was a butterfly farm and a small national park. Admission to both was $ 5 per person.
The Charco Verde lake
There were a lot of really beautiful colorful butterflies in the butterfly house. However, we seemed to be out of luck as none of the butterflies landed on us. The park started right behind the butterfly farm and went around a small lake. We were also directly on the beach on one side.
In the butterfly house we could see many beautiful butterflies.
However, it was a little scary for us to hike there, as we were the only people far and wide again. There was rustling everywhere and we prefer not to know how many snakes were watching us. We then relaxed on the beach in the shade until we suddenly heard a really loud roar.
It sounded like a cougar or something like that and we (mainly me, Michi made more fun of it :-P) were immediately on alert. We left quickly to complete our hike around the lake. I was really scared and first took a large stick to defend myself. After a few meters, the roar resounded, but we saw those responsible. They were just howler monkeys!
The culprit: howler monkeys
For the first time we heard them roaring there. After that I luckily didn’t need my stick anymore and the laughter was of course great 🙂 On our way back we could see many more monkeys.
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Punta Jesús Maria
Our host recommended that we watch the sunset at Punta Jesús Maria. This is a small stretch of beach that runs out into the lake. There you can hardly believe that it is really just a lake, because you cannot see the mainland at all. Unfortunately it was too cloudy that evening and the sun didn’t show up at all. If you’re lucky, you can definitely watch a great sunset there.
Unfortunately, the clouds blocked our view of the sunset …
Dinner in Moyogalpa
We also had dinner in Moyogalpa. With Mar Dulce we found a really tasty Mexican / Italian. For starters, we shared a quesadilla, which was huge and would have been more than enough as a main course. Then came my main course: fajitas. Since Michi’s main course was a long time coming and we were not sure whether it would come at all, he ate with me. Because my portion was so much that I would never have made it on my own. After Michi had eaten almost half of my fajitas and I was already full, his pesto noodles came. It was way too much food! But it still tasted 🙂
Ometepe – our conclusion
Although we were far from satisfied with our accommodation, we were nevertheless glad to have traveled to Ometepe. An island with two volcanoes on a lake is something special and we found it exciting. It was also great to be able to roll again and explore the island in this way.
Looking back, however, we would say that two nights on Ometepe are enough, because there is simply not much to do there. Unless you are super fit and crazy about hiking. There is the possibility to climb the volcanoes. In particular, the hike to the Concepción volcano is said to be very, very strenuous. It is probably an eight-hour hike, which is also said to be very exhausting. Because of the heat and the length of the hike, we decided against it.
Ometepe – Nice to explore by scooter
Have you ever been to Ometepe? What was your impression of the volcanic island?
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