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Ometepe Island, Nicaragua

Ometepe Island

Ometepe is an enchanting island where time forgot. The majestic peaks of the Conception and Maderas volcanoes rise out of the horizon creating a spectacular approach for visitors, especially on a clear day.

No English is spoken here and it operates quite separately from the rest of Nicaragua. Ox and cart plough the fields often unearthing pre-Colombian boulders and petroglyphs; a reminder of the islands’ deep historic roots.

1700 or so petroglyphs have been discovered and except for a few enterprising individuals who have created small museums, refreshingly so, little has been done to create the tourist attractions you might expect. Ometepe’s unique culture and the spectacular setting is a draw and it sees a big increase in visitors every year. Now there is even a small airport that receives a biweekly flight from Managua for just 12 passengers. Go now and go the old fashioned way – the choppy lake crossing by a time-worn ferry is all part of the experience.

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 reserves in Latin America. And though this vast expanse of water is some 10 miles from the Pacific Ocean, beneath its surface lurks prehistoric Gaspar fish and even sharks. Ometepe was believed to be the Promised Land and considered a sacred island by the pre-Colombian Nahuatl Indians.

Experiences

Ancient Petroglyphs

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

Kayak on Lake Nicaragua

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

Maderas Volcano

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

Ometepe Island

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

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.
Talk with our experts
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Why Steppes