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Ometepe is hands down my favorite part of Nicaragua. Ometepe is a small island in the southwest of Nicaragua, surrounded by Lake Nicaragua. There are two volcanoes on the island, Volcan Concepción in the north and Volcan Maderas in the south, so the land is lush and beautiful. It’s a nature lovers paradise. But, my favorite part about Ometepe is that the island is FULL of animals, it’s like one big giant farm here. We rented a car and had to be careful driving because there were always animals crossing the road. Pigs, cows, horses, you name it!
Exploring Ometepe, Nicaragua
Where to stay in Ometepe, Nicaragua
As I talked about in my last post we stayed at Little Morgan’s hostel which is an awesome hostel on the south side of the island. The ferry from San Jorge will drop you off in Moyogolpa which is a small town on the north island and from there it’s about a 45-minute drive to Little Morgan’s. There aren’t that many amenities on the south side other than a few hostels and restaurants, but there is lots of beautiful nature.
What to do in Ometepe, Nicaragua
San Ramón waterfall
To get to San Ramon Waterfall you need to hike. There is the option to drive up to a car park about half-way up, but I wouldn’t recommend it. We attempted to drive but the road was so awful it caused our poor little car tires to deflate, so we ditched it and hiked in to the waterfall. I thought this was going to be an easy hike, but it was so hot that it took us almost two hours, and many sweat and groans. It is possible to rent motorcycles in town to drive up to the waterfall entrance but it felt like a bad idea. I met two people in Ometepe who had accidents on this road, and we ran into a guy on our hike with a dislocated shoulder from crashing his motorbike! Ouch! I would just walk and avoid the broken bones. Alternatively, an ATV seems like a good option for exploring that part of the island.
Once you get to the waterfall the journey all becomes worth it. The waterfall is on the southern slope of the Maderas volcano, towering above you at a height of 50m. There is a small pool at the bottom where you can cool off and stand under its majesty. The falls weren’t that busy when we were there which was nice. I even found both sides of the rainbow under the waterfall! Hiking back down is faster than going up but still took us about an hour.
Kayak to monkey island
Another great activity to do in Ometepe is rent a kayak on the north side the island and visit monkey island. There are places to rent kayaks on the same road that goes to the waterfall. We arranged for a guided kayak tour for $15. On the tour, we saw so many different species of colorful birds and monkeys. You can’t actually visit go on monkey island because the monkeys are aggressive and might bite you, but it’s fun to watch them from the kayak and take photos.
Swim in Oja De Agua
Ojo De Agua is a pool fed by natural spring water. The water is lovely to cool off on but it felt like a tourist trap. The cost is $5 USD to get in and the place was full when we visited in the late afternoon. It would be a more pleasant experience to visit early in the morning or late in the afternoon when there are less screaming kids around.
Other activities to do in Ometepe, Nicaragua
Ometepe is beautiful to just drive around, swim in the lake, go hiking, or just relax and admire the scenery. It is possible to hike Volcan Maderas (8 hours return) but I just couldn’t face another volcano hike after Acatenango, especially in this heat. I bet the views are amazing though.
Ometepe was my favorite part of Nicaragua. It should be on every Nicaragua itinerary, especially if you love nature and wildlife.