In the middle of Nicaragua, there’s a huge lake. In the middle of the huge lake, there’s Ometepe. This island is a fun little island to hang out, rent motorbikes, hike to waterfalls, eat homemade chocolate, and see volcanoes.
Getting to the Island
There’s a ferry that leaves from San Jorge about every hour or so… Just go to the dock and ask and they’ll point you in the right direction. Tickets are about $1.63 one way.
Where to Stay
There are a few hostels and hotels on the island. I stayed at the Lazy Crab, which was $7.83 per night and really cute. It was “rasta” themed, with 3 levels – the top level was a small hang out nook that had an amazing view of the volcano.
The island is shaped kind of like a figure-8… I would recommend staying somewhere in the middle of the island – towards the middle of the “8.”
Rent a Motorbike
Most hostels have motorcycles and scooters for rent (and if they don’t, the person at the desk can call someone to bring some bikes for you, I’m sure). Scooters cost about 540 Cordoba (which is about US$17.50) per scooter – not per person, so if you have an extra person and you feel comfortable driving with a passenger on the back, then obviously it’ll be cheaper.
CAUTION: Half of the island’s roads are paved, but the others are really really bumpy. See the map below of which roads are hazardous (marked in red).
Ojo de Agua » Waterhole for a swim. There’s a rope to swing from, if you’re in a Tarzan-type of mood. Things you can buy there: cheap and delicious empanadas homemade from a local woman… “Coco Loco” (crazy coconuts) which is a coconut with a hole in the top with rum and a straw… & handmade jewelry.
San Ramon Waterfall » On the south end of the island. This hike is pretty moderate: about 1.5 hour hike in with a minor rock scramble at the end. The view is worth it!
The road is steep, rocky, and very bumpy, so your vehicle probably won’t make it all the way there. There’s a gate right off the entrance to the road, so you can park and start there for free. Or, if your car/bike can make it, you can drive all the way to the second parking lot and pay a small fee to park.
If you don’t want to deal with any of that, but still want to see the waterfall, then you can arrange a pickup truck to come and pick you up. Your hostel and call to set this up, or you can just flag one down if you see one on the road. It help if you have a large group of people (they don’t want to make the trip for just 2 people – they said it’s not worth their gas). Expect to pay about $10 per person for the lift to the falls.
El Pital Chocolate Paradise » Chocolate Factory! This is a really awesome place to check out. Everything is homemade – even the chocolate and ice cream! The chocolate balls that they make are really delicious and you should definitely try one (or share one) – they’re kind of expensive in comparison to everything else in Nicaragua (~US$8), but they are really good. There’s a Happy Hour each night and Wednesday night I believe is Thai food and live Raggae music!
Café Campestre » Restaurant with really good food!
Altagracia » Not a bad town for a quick stop. There a really good smoothie place on the side of the road… Pick any fruits at all for custom juice!
I Want To Hear From You!
Are you planning on going here? Did this post help with planning? Let me know! =)