Stay on the island – useful information & tips for your trip to Ometepe
Admittedly, I was very happy that I was in contact with Vik and Lucie from Finca del Sol on Ometepe before I left, so that I was able to prepare a little for my trip to Ometepe. In addition to all the helpful tips, I found one to be particularly important: bring enough cash in dollars! But what else you need for your trip to Ometepe, what you have in your luggage and what you should consider on site, I will tell you in this post – my tips for your trip to Ometepe.
Arrival on Ometepe by ferry
Getting to Ometepe is practically a breeze if you know what to do. It takes around 2 to 3 hours from Managua, but only between 30 and 60 minutes from Granada to arrive at the port of San Jorge. From there you get on the ferry, which takes an hour to Moyogalpa. Once there, you can continue by taxi, shuttle or scooter. You can find the details for your journey, costs, etc. in this blog post.
ATMs on Ometepe
There are two ATMs on Ometepe. These are in Moyogalpa on Calle Sta Anna. Two of my three credit cards that I tried there worked well. Both VISA cards – both Guatemalan and German – allowed cash withdrawals. However, my Mastercard went on strike.
I heard about it in the Hotel Finca Santa Domingo I was not able to convince myself of the possibility of withdrawing money. I looked in San Marcos on the main street a pharmacy, which offered to be able to withdraw cash from them. But I wasn’t convinced of that either. And if you are not driving the side of the Concepcion volcano with a scooter, you are unlikely to come to San Marcos. 😉
Payment on Ometepe
On Ometepe, you cannot pay by credit card in 99% of all cases. Which is quite understandable if you think about the fact that the operators of accommodations, restaurants or cafés have to go to Moyogalpa every time they need money to go to the ATMs there.
It doesn’t matter whether you pay in US dollars or Cordoba. You can even pay from a combination of both. In any case, you will get Cordobas back as change.
Scooter rental on Ometepe
Scooter rental opportunities there are an awful lot on Ometepe – both in Moyogalpa, as well as in Santo Domingo and Santa Cruz.
The prices of USD 12, which you can find on the Internet on various blog posts from 5 years ago, are no longer up to date, because for a scooter you should assume a rental fee of USD 20 per day.
From a rental of more than 4 days, the price increases $ 15 down. You also need to leave a deposit of USD 50 or your passport as a deposit. But don’t forget to take pictures of the scooter before departure.
Climbing volcanoes on Ometepe
In contrast to various volcanoes in Guatemala, you can climb volcanoes on Ometepe not without a guide do. For this reason, you should plan a larger budget for a volcano climb. A tour of Maderas volcano costs about $ 28 (2 people: $ 38 total), the trek on Concepcion volcano costs $ 33 (2 people: $ 40 total). The more people, the cheaper of course.
Ometepe and the garbage
Ometepe is a biosphere reserve. There is no garbage disposal there, and there is no possibility to dispose of garbage. For this reason – at least the majority of the residents – place great value on the fact that recyclable things are sold. Aside from the tiendas, you will rarely see cans.
Nocturnal activities on Ometepe
I found Ometepe by day to be safe in principle. At night, however, the situation looks a little different. If it is unavoidable that you will be outside after dark, you should take a taxi – especially as a woman traveling alone.
Pack one in any case flashlight a, because here it is really dark night after dark!
Food situation on the island
While you can buy essentials in the small tiendas, such as cold drinks, water, a little fruit and vegetables, there are only two larger supermarkets in Moyogalpa. So if you need special foods, you should bring them from the mainland.
Medical care on Ometepe
The same applies to medical care on Ometepe. Somewhere between Santa Cruz and Santo Domingo I discovered a kind of hospital, a small house that always looked closed when I drove several times with the scooter. There is a doctor in Moyogalpa.
In acute situations this may be enough for first aid. However, the trip to Moyogalpa also takes 40 to 45 minutes. The next real medical care is finally in Rivas – another hour by ferry and 20 minutes by taxi from Moyogalpa.
Accommodation on the island
I didn’t find Moyogalpa to be particularly beautiful. Under no circumstances would I want to spend my vacation there. Moyogalpa is loud, dirty, hectic and chaotic. Otherwise, the possibilities for accommodation on the side of the volcano Concepcion are clearly limited. There are a couple of farms you can stay at, but you are completely out of the woods because I didn’t find many restaurants and cafes on my drive over the side of the Concepcion volcano. Otherwise, this side of the island doesn’t have that much to offer.
On the side of the Madera volcano, the villages are suitable Santo Domingo and Santa Cruz very good for overnight. Santa Cruz is significantly larger than Santo Domingo. Ergo, there are also more options in terms of accommodation. Above all, I can of course recommend that you book a bungalow on the Finca del Sol. 😉
The public beaches on Ometepe
In principle, the beaches are all public. You have a particularly nice access to the beach at Comedor Mirador del Cocibolca in Santo Domingo. The beach section from the is also beautiful Restaurante Vegetariana. You will find very quiet beach sections – without the possibility of a restaurant, café and therefore without the possibility of a toilet Exit from Santo Domingo to Santa Cruz.
The Playa de Santa Cruz on the other hand, it is pretty crowded with locals in the afternoon, because here the younger people are meeting more and more, sometimes starting in the afternoon. I found this part to be rather uncomfortable and noisy and therefore refrained from lying on the beach here.
The somewhat more remote one is also quite beautiful El Pital beach. The way there is definitely worth it. You will find a lot of forest, hammocks and some nice people there. Although I consider the coffee there to be overpriced and not particularly tasty for $ 3.50, I would kill for the brownies ($ 1.50). ;-D
Would you like more information about my stay on Ometepe? Are you interested in visiting Granada, Masaya or Managua? Or are you interested in how my personal Nica conclusion turns out? During my stay on Ometepe, I was always keen to get in touch with the locals and talk to them as much as possible (here is the interview with a Nicaraguan woman). My personal highlight was the visit of Rosa’s family in Trapiche.
In addition to all the information that I would like to give you on this page about my trip to Ometepe, you will also find a blog post here about things that you should definitely do in Ometepe. Furthermore, during my stay on Ometepe, I asked in my Insta stories what my readers would like to know about Ometepe.
By the way, you can travel around the country easily and safely with public transport – Chicken Bus and Colectivo! For my travel stations from I only drove Ometepe by public transport!