Ometepe - islands of volcanoes

Written by Nadine Zangerle on . Posted in Nicaragua

Looking for a taxi we carried our 25kg gear through the heat. How comes that you don’t find a taxi when you need one? Forget about the taxi, after 20 minutes and a few calories less we reached the harbor.

The Customer Service inspected all luggage for drugs since we are close to the Costa Rican boarder and this seems to be one of these areas. After a 4 hours ferry ride we arrived Altagracia with a spectacular view of the two volcanoes.

Since the harbor is 3 km out of the city we jumped in a minibus which brought us to the Hospedaje Ortiz. We were surely surprised when we received “muchas informaciones” what we can do on the island. Well organized I have to say. For the next day we booked us in for a volcano tour. Let’s try the smaller one with the lagoon, Madera.

The island Ometepe is situated in the biggest lake in Central America and was formed from two volcanoes. The Volcano Concepcion is 1610 m and still active. Last eruption was 1957. The Volcano Madera with its 1371 m has a small lagoon on top. The way up there is muddy and slippery.

At 4 o’clock (muy temprano) we got up to meet our guide and started with the autobus to the Finca Magdalena. Our group of 3 started with a quick ascend but Claudio (from Madrid) turned around after 1 hours. The way was tough and the humidity was insane.

After a 3 hours crazy ascend we finally arrived at the lagoon which was halfway covered in clouds. But from time to time the wind pushed them away and we glimpsed the whole crater lake. It seemed like paradise, this crater lake surrounded by lush jungle, only birds, frogs and monkeys up here. And us!

If you thought the descent would be easier the knees and muscles where telling you another story. The feet didn’t find a stable grip which made it so much harder to get down. The cries of the howler monkeys and parrots followed us down. Guess what, Spielberg used the cries of the howler monkeys for its dinosaurs in Jurassic Park.

Suddenly a family of Capuchin monkeys jumped above our heads. It was fun to watch them and they as well observed us curiously. After a total of 6 ½ hours mud fight and muscle punch we treated ourselves with an organic coffee and a coke.

The next day we rented bikes to explore a bit of the island. With sore muscles we drove to the mineral waters of Ojo de Agua und paddled in the healing, volcanic waters. Afterwards we wandered around the beautiful, black sandy beach of Santo Domingo.

Since we are stuck here on the 1st May we decided to keep up with our reports and pictures. Too bad we have no internet but the preparation is the hard work.

On the 2nd we started towards Costa Rica. Let’s see how far we get. We really liked the island of Ometepe, especially Altagracia. The people here are super friendly. It’s less touristy than Moyogalpa and it is fun to watch all the animals wondering around the street. Cows, pigs, ducks, chickens, dogs, this is live in its origin.

Accommodation: Hospedaje Ortiz, Isla de Ometepe

Price: NIO 400, private room, shared bathroom

Comment: family run, very friendly and helpful people, awesome information
                 about the island