"Isla de Ometepe" Top 5 Page for this destination Isla de Ometepe by mircaskirca

Isla de Ometepe Travel Guide: 131 reviews and 485 photos

Unspoiled Paradise for Ecotourists

The twin-peaked Isla de Ometepe (Nahuatl for 'two hills'), the largest island in the world found in a freshwater lake, rises out of Lago de Nicaragua. In fact, Ometepe used to be two islands before eruptions and lava flow formed the isthmus Istián that now connects both volcanoes. One of them, Vulcán Concepción, is still active and the other, Vúlcan Maderas, lies dormant. Isla de Ometepe has been inhabited since pre-Columbian times by Nahuatl people and was considered a sacred place, steeped in legend and mystery. Countless petroglyphs and stone statues are scattered all over the island.

The island's inhabitants are mostly fishing and farming communities, and some of Nicaragua's kindest people. The rich volcanic soil means agriculture here has always been organic, providing abundant crops of avocados, mangoes, maize, bananas and coffee. Around 35.000 people live on Isla de Ometepe, mainly around the towns of Moyagalpa and Altagracia. Most of the roads on the island are still unpaved and buses are not frequent, so it can take hours to get from town to town.

If you want to enjoy natural beauty you'll love the island. It's an idyllic adventure spot, a rural escape and hiker's paradise. You can climb the volcanoes, cool off in some spring water pools and waterfalls, go horseback riding, kayaking, explore the island by bicycle or spend a day on a volcanic grey sand beach. Howler monkeys are commonly seen and you'll be amazed by colourful birds, butterflies and beautiful tropical flowers. Isla de Ometepe retains natural feel and should be consciously preserved.

  • Last visit to Isla de Ometepe: Dec 2010
  • Intro Updated May 20, 2011
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Reviews (17)

Comments (7)

  • atufft's Profile Photo
    Sep 9, 2012 at 11:11 PM

    Thanks Mira for the details provided here, including the excellent travelogues. This could be the highpoint of a visit to Nicaragua in some visitors minds?

    • mircaskirca's Profile Photo
      Sep 10, 2012 at 9:25 PM

      Thanks Alan! Yes, it was certainly one of the highlights of my visit to Nicaragua!

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Jun 13, 2011 at 4:04 AM

    Is this paradise? Must be! I love these cute auraca birds and am amazed about the high number of organic farms! Why can't we here learn from them??? I'd stay in El Zopilote :-) And hop into the ponds :-) After having done riding :-)

  • Elisabcn's Profile Photo
    Jun 10, 2011 at 1:54 PM

    Fantastic page with terrific views, Mira! You did not the vulcanos hike?

  • picek's Profile Photo
    May 27, 2011 at 5:03 AM

    Zelo ocarljivo, vabljivo, skrivnostno in polno zivljena... magicne barve vode in... bananin kis (ne dvomim, da mora biti zelo zanimivega okusa?). Skratka, ne morem reci drugega, kot da si spet enkratno napisala in poslikala. Ja, z uzitkom prebrano :)

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo
    May 24, 2011 at 9:36 PM

    El Porvenir is a lovely place to stay in, and I hope to come back one day. Reading your tips brought back great memories!

  • May 23, 2011 at 8:57 PM

    those petroglyphs look exactly like the ones in quiriguia in guatemala. i would love to explore further south of what i've already done so far. looks like it has alot to offer!

  • Gili_S's Profile Photo
    May 15, 2011 at 8:56 AM

    Very nice and interesting site with a beautiful volcano landscape. Then if you can relax with a cold “Victoria beer” it seems almost like heaven :)

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