Ometepe Island, Lake Nicaragua, Sunset

Destination Guide | Ometepe Island, Nicaragua

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 offers the best sunsets.

Ometepe Island offers the best sunsets.

Ometepe Island – Transportation

It is a 1 hour ferry ride to get to the town of Moyogalpa on Ometepe from San Jorge, Nicaragua.

Ometepe ferry times & pricing.


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.

Optional Activities:

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.**

Volcanoes Concepcion (left) Maderas (right)

Volcanoes Concepcion (left) Maderas (right)… View from the ferry

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!

Stone statues in Altagracia (left) Martynia Annua (top right) Pequin Pepper (bottom right)

Stone statues in Altagracia (left) Martynia Annua (top right) Pequin Pepper (bottom right)

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;

Ometepe Island, Ometepe Ferry, Destination Guide, Nicaragua

Ometepe ferry bathroom signs… Which one do I use??

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Ometepe Island, Nicaragua, Destination Guide

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Have you been to Ometepe Island? What were your favorite experiences while on the island?

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Dawn Kealing

Travel Blogger at Life, Love and Adventure
Hey! I'm a 20 something Canadian with backgrounds in Photography and Art. I'm here to bring you the most current information on travel and keep you up to date on the best adventure destinations around the world!

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20 Responses to “Destination Guide | Ometepe Island, Nicaragua”

  1. The Educational Tourist August 8, 2015 at 12:19 pm #

    LOL! Had to laugh at the restroom signs. What did you decide? LOL! What gorgeous photos! The sunset is nothing short of amazing. LOVE! LOVE!
    Natalie, The Educational Tourist

  2. Elaine J. Masters August 8, 2015 at 12:26 pm #

    Love your level-headed writing and discovering the island. Staying near an active volcano is always a thrill. I’ve been to the big island of Hawaii and watched the lava flow into the sea. Extraordinary power.
    Elaine J. Masters recently posted…Swept away – A close call and new diver tipsMy Profile

  3. Stacey Valle August 8, 2015 at 9:08 pm #

    Wow! I would love to hike the volcanoes! I’m hoping to have that experience at least once – because 8 – 12 hours is sure a long hike! It looks absolutely beautiful! I also heard something about sledding down the volcano, haha, I really want to do that too!

    Since you suggested these optional activities, would you have gone to the hot springs if you had the time? I wonder what it would be like there.
    Stacey Valle recently posted…Meeting Deaf People in Other Countries – 2014My Profile

  4. I would love to hike to the top of both volcanos. The hot springs sound very nice. I love finding signs like those restroom signs. Its like they couldn’t make up their mind.
    Jennifer @ Made all the Difference Travel Blog recently posted…Paddling the Nine Mile Pond Canoe TrailMy Profile

  5. Tanya Parks August 9, 2015 at 9:34 pm #

    You are amazing Dawn

  6. Erika (Erika's Travels) August 18, 2015 at 6:16 pm #

    he picture you took of the sunset says it all. Ometepe is definitely a budget-friendly gem that I would love to return to. I did a very similar tour of Ometepe Island and loved it! My highlights included swimming in Ojo de Agua and hiking around Charco Verde. And the sunsets from Punta Jesus Maria! Just stunning!
    Erika (Erika’s Travels) recently posted…Day Trip to Tetiaroa AtollMy Profile

  7. Majesta Zea September 26, 2015 at 2:04 am #

    Beautiful location. The volcano is so cool! Those signs are a little misleading though ;)

    • Dawn Kealing September 27, 2015 at 5:15 pm #

      Haha, the signs certainly are a little misleading. I’m really uncertain as to what the person was thinking while putting the new ones up, haha.

  8. Jackie | The Globetrotting Teacher September 26, 2015 at 1:02 pm #

    The sunsets are stunning! I’d love to explore this island and the country as a whole, as well. I had to laugh at the bathroom signs. It reminded me of being in Thailand and seeing bathroom signs that said “Men” and the other said “Monks.” I’m standing there thinking…Okay, what about the ladies?!?
    Jackie | The Globetrotting Teacher recently posted…6 Travel Hacking MythsMy Profile

    • Dawn Kealing September 27, 2015 at 5:16 pm #

      Hahahaha, what is it with bathrooms around the world? You would think it should be the clearest thing, haha. Nicaragua is a truly stunning country, I hope you get the chance to explore it! :)

  9. Erica September 27, 2015 at 2:50 am #

    Oh my goodness, that sunset picture is beyond majestic!
    Erica recently posted…A Balinese New YearMy Profile

    • Dawn Kealing September 27, 2015 at 5:26 pm #

      It really was an amazing sight! It was literally dancing in the sky, a truly memorable sight. :)

  10. travelling chingrita September 27, 2015 at 10:35 am #

    Nicaragua is on top of my list to backpack. I have heard so many wonderful things about the landscapes, sunsets and beaches! I totally want to do your trek and hike of the volcanoes. It looks amazing!
    travelling chingrita recently posted…All Aboard, Bota Bota (Spa) by Old MontréalMy Profile

    • Dawn Kealing September 27, 2015 at 5:32 pm #

      It has ever right to be up there! I absolutely loved by adventures through Nicaragua, a truly stunning country! ^_^ Visiting the top of the Masaya Volcano was so epic, a pretty cool experience! :)

  11. Tim September 30, 2015 at 10:01 am #

    Nothing better than hot springs and throw a volcano into the mix and that is pretty amazing. I have never traveled to Nicaragua and have no idea why not…luckily it’s not going anywhere :)
    Tim recently posted…Adventure BotswanaMy Profile

  12. Gemma October 28, 2015 at 12:29 am #

    We are currently looking at Workaway in Nicaragua (February), would you suggest Ometepe as a location to stay and work for say a month? It’s always nerve wracking making these decisions when you’ve never been to the country!

    • Dawn Kealing October 28, 2015 at 12:36 am #

      I’m certain your one month will almost feel too short by the time you get to Ometepe! There were plenty of people on Ometepe working for a company called Planeterra while we were there; they had been on the island for 2-6 months and absolutely loved it! We did a home-stay for a few nights and I truly wish we could have stayed longer! There’s plenty to do in your spare time, maybe you’ll be lucky enough to see the whole island for yourselves! :) Regardless of where you choose to stay in Nicaragua you won’t be disappointed. I absolutely LOVED the country and the people make it a place you’ll never want to leave! :)

      • Gemma October 28, 2015 at 12:41 am #

        That’s reassuring (and exciting!) I don’t think I’ll make the 12 hour hike though!

      • Dawn Kealing October 28, 2015 at 12:44 am #

        Hehehe, if I had more time I definitely would have signed myself up for it! Maybe once you’re there for awhile and you see Volcan Concepcion in all its glory you’ll just have to climb it? Haha. It’s a bit of a commitment though, and slightly tasking, to say the least. :)

  13. Gemma December 13, 2015 at 9:21 pm #

    Dawn! I am very excited about our trip to Nic in March. I will be definitely be spending time in Ometepe, which tour did you use for the day tour? Thanks for sharing!
    Gemma recently posted…Three Weeks in PeruMy Profile

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