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Ometepe Island, Nicaragua

Ometepe Island

Ometepe, literally meaning two volcanoes, is an enchanting island that time forgot.

The majestic peaks of the Concepion and Maderas volcanoes rise out of the horizon and create a spectacular approach as you cross on the time-worn ferry ride of just over an hour.

At 260 square kilometres, Ometepe is the biggest island in a freshwater lake in the world supporting a population of 42,000 who are mainly involved in agriculture – cattle ranching, plantain and coffee – and more recently tourism. The island has deep historic roots as displayed in the small but magical El Ceibo Museum which houses a curious and compelling display of pottery and petroglyphs. Much of the charm of the island lies in its spectacular setting, its flora and fauna and laidback way of life. #slowtravel

Ometepe Island, Beach at Sunset, Nicaragua
Ometepe Island, Nicaragua

About Ometepe Island

Ometepe Island thought to be more than 12,000 years old is located on Lake Nicaragua, which is affectionately referred to by the indigenous communities as Cocibolca, ‘sweet sea’. It is one of the largest freshwater lakes in Latin America (the nineteenth largest in the world). And though this vast expanse of water is some ten miles from the Pacific Ocean, beneath its surface lurks prehistoric Gaspar fish and even bull sharks. Ometepe was believed to be the Promised Land and considered a sacred island by the pre-Colombian Nahuatl Indians.


What do you really love doing? We curate your itinerary especially for you.

Ometepe Island

Ometepe Island

Visit local communities for an insight into life and work on Ometepe.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Carvings, Ometepe Island, Nicaragua

Ancient Petroglyphs

Visit Petroglyphs, showcasing ancient rock carvings dating back to 1000B.C. on Ometepe Island.

Suggested Holiday Idea

White Faced Capuchin Monkey, Ometepe Island, Nicaragua

Kayak on Lake Nicaragua

Kayak in lush wetlands on Lake Nicaragua, home to Cayman, monkey and a variety of aquatic birds.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Ometepe Island, Aerial view, Nicaragua

Maderas Volcano

Go hiking in the cloud forest on the slopes of Maderas Volcano.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

John Faithfull

This volcanic country offers an epic landscape of smoking cones, and one of John’s recommendations is to climb the young cindercone of Cerro Negro before tumbling down a vertiginous slope of light and (fairly) forgiving pumice scree.

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John’s first-hand knowledge of Nicaragua was indispensable – because of him, we visited places like Ometepe Island and San Juan del Sur that we had never considered.

Destination: Nicaragua
Travel Expert: John

Where to stay

Some of the wonderful places to stay that we frequently recommended.

Totoco Eco Lodge £££££

  • Nicaragua
  • Wilderness

Situated on the slopes of the Maderas Volcano Totoco Eco Lodge is surrounded by cloud forest with spectacular views overlooking Lake Nicaragua. Totoco has taken accommodation on Ometepe Island to another level creating a sustainable eco-lodge with renewable energy supply and the smartest compost loos you will find anywhere! For up to 30 guests, the eight individual lodges have been stylishly designed keeping guests close to nature without compromising comfort.  

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Jicaro Island Ecolodge £££££

  • Nicaragua
  • Beach and Island Escapes

Jicaro Island Ecolodge has nine identical casitas artistically created with a distinctive wooden interior, each with their own terrace, hammock and views to the lake. A canopy tower in the centre of the property offers incredible 360-degree views of the lake and the impressive Mombacho Volcano. A stylish pool and bar area provide a relaxing base to unwind. The open kitchen prepares excellent dishes to satisfy any appetite served in the airy restaurant with stunning views to the lake. While Jicaro lends itself best as a peaceful retreat, there are a number of excursions for the more active traveller. Bird watching, zip-lining, kayaking and hiking Mombacho volcano to name but a few.

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Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise set us apart. So too our curiosity. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary once again?

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