Ometepe Island is a volcanic formed island on Lake Nicaragua. It’s formed by two volcanoes; Concepcion, still active and Maderas, dormant. The people of Ometepe have an “evacuation plan” set up in case Concepcion chooses to erupt one day… this evacuation plan consists of moving over to the other side of the island and taking a ferry to the mainland if the worse comes to worst.
Ometepe Island – Transportation
It is a 1 hour ferry ride to get to the town of Moyogalpa on Ometepe from San Jorge, Nicaragua.
If you are visiting Nicaragua and get the chance to visit Ometepe I would highly recommend taking it! Even if you choose to use your time relaxing it is a very calm & beautiful place. If you would be going more so for active activities climb one of the two volcanoes on the island. Visiting Ometepe is a win regardless of what you are looking for while traveling!
I had the pleasure of visiting Ometepe Island while I was traveling through Central America in October last year. We stayed at a homestay that was organized by the Planeterra Foundation; it was a really great experience and a great way to take in the local culture! We stayed with an older lady; her daughter and granddaughter came to visit often. The little girl was super excited to see us there, it was overall a wonderful experience! While we were on the island the Planeterra Foundation put together a presentation with the locals for us; it was an informative presentation telling us the legend of how the island of Ometepe was created.
We had many options for activities while we were staying on Ometepe Island… Hiking Concepcion (12 hours), Hiking Maderas (8 hours), an island tour or a trip to the hot springs, horseback riding and lunch.
**A few notes: If you do decide to hike Concepcion while you are on Ometepe Island just be aware that once you get to the top of the volcano you are only recommended to stay there for about 10 minutes because of the gases released by the volcano, sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide. If you are hiking and it starts to rain there is a possibility that you may have to turn around and start hiking back down. A few friends from the tour I was on had to turn around before reaching the top because the rocks had become so slippery from the rain.**
As much as I wanted to hike a volcano and I don’t think I would have survived an 8-12 hour hike up either of the volcanoes! We ended up doing the Island Tour which included lunch, swimming in the hot springs, a hike through the natural reserve Charco Verde, a visit to a local church and viewing petroglyphs that were discovered around the island.
The hike through Charco Verde was beautiful, we heard the call of the Howler monkey’s, seen amazing views of both volcanoes, tried the smallest yet spiciest little peppers, saw many different species of butterflies, dragonflies, lizards and more!
Hiking up a small hill to get to the view-point, while gasping for air at the top, made me realize not hiking the volcanoes was a good idea!
My favorite experiences on Ometepe Island were seeing the amazingly beautiful sunsets, the fireflies and seeing petroglyphs for the first time!
Sometimes while traveling things may not be very clear, for example;
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Have you been to Ometepe Island? What were your favorite experiences while on the island?
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