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Isla Ometepe was the final destination for me in Nicaragua; it turned out to be the most special place. When people ask me my favourite destination in Central America, Nicaragua is nearly always my answer and mainly because of this island. Formed of two volcanoes which rise out of the middle of the enormous Lake Nicaragua.
Arrival to Isla Ometepe
To get out to the island you can either take a ferry, or fly. I caught the ferry from Moyogalpha and it is about one hours ride onto the island.
If you choose to fly, take a look at the timings very carefully, as believe about two planes a week land on the air strip!
Arriving to the island by ferry across Lake Nicaragua you can see the two amazing volcanoes that form the island rising in front of you, it really is quite a special moment.
You can buy delicious, local Tona beer on the ferry itself which makes the journey that little bit more special. I definitely enjoyed that as we crossed the lake!
Where to stay
While staying on the island we were staying with local families as part of the Puesta del Sol Homestays and arrived to the communal area. This was covered in hammocks with a gorgeous view over the water, essentially total paradise. Watching the sunset in this perfect place, I knew I was in love.
We met our family and were taken to the house we would be staying in. We ended up staying with the people who set up the initiative and it was wonderful. The father was French Canadian and the mother born on the island. Their daughter, an enchanting 8 year old, spoke fluent French, Spanish and English. They had cooked dinner for us, rice, beans, veg and deep fried…fish. For those that know me, and my dislike of fish, this was a quite a challenge for me. However I ate it out of politeness and, even more surprisingly, enjoyed it!
Instead of sleeping in their actual house, we had a room out the back which they also rent out via Airbnb. The perfect hosts, and perfectly comfortable accommodation, if a little hot. If you are interested in visiting the island, definitely check this place out as somewhere to stay.
What to do
To make the most of the my time on the island I decided to take a ‘culture’ tour of the island. The other popular thing to do on Ometepe is to hike the 10 hours up the Concepcion volcano, this was not for me, hence the tour.
First stop was Laguna Charco Verde. Lovely walk through the jungle and saw lizards, bugs, so many butterflies and also howler monkeys! Moving on we went to see Petroglyph carvings made 1400 years ago and again a lovely stop with a view point of Concepcion.
One of the highlights of the day was lunch. Just before we stopped on the side of the road, to see loads of baby monkeys playing in the trees. Up so close and personal!
After the photo op we sat down for lunch on the beach. Absolutely delicious – meat, plantain, chips, salsa and sauces. Sitting there enjoying the view and two horses galloped past, totally beautiful.
Ojo de agua
The final stop was the Ojo de Agua swimming pools, pools created from natural springs. It was a little touristy, but lovely to chill out at the end of the day. Plus they served Coco Loco’s – fresh coconut water, condensed milk and white and dark rum. We were offered the choice of light, medium, strong or extra strong. Naturally went for extra and almost immediately felt quite tipsy.
Headed back the homestay for a group home cooked dinner by the ladies. Delicious again, rice, beans, chicken and plantain and ended the evening with the most intense rain I have ever heard.
I fell quite a bit in love with this little island, made of two volcanoes in the middle of a lake. Such an unusual place, so beautiful and met some really lovely people. I feel honoured to have been able to visit.
If you are interested in visiting Nicaragua check out my other posts:
Have you been to this part of the world? What was your favourite place to visit? I would love to hear your thoughts!
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