Why Visit Ometepe Island
Ometepe is an enchanting island where time forgot. The majestic peaks of the Conceptión 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 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.
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.
- Visit ancient Petroglyphs
- Go hiking in the cloud forest on the slopes of Maderas Volcano
- Kayak in lush wetlands on Lake Nicaragua home to Cayman, monkey and a variety of aquatic birds
- Visit local communities for an insight into life and work on Ometepe
Beyond the Ordinary
Hike Conceptión Volcano. The almost perfectly symmetrical peak towers 1600m above Lake Nicaragua. It is possible to reach the edge of the crater and peer into the abyss. The barren summit is evidence of its active state.