The second week of my Nicaragua trip was spent on Isla de Ometepe, a beautiful island formed by two volcanoes in the heart of Lake Nicaragua. From San Juan del Sur, you can reach Ometepe by taking a bus to Rivas and then catching a ride to the ferry in San Jorge.
I highly recommend a trip to Ometepe, simply for a chance to experience the incredible landscape and agriculture on the island.
My week in Ometepe offered the perfect balance of active and downtime. Here were some of my favorite activities:
Hike to San Ramon Waterfall
Hiking to San Ramon waterfall is a long, slippery trek but fortunately, it’s not too steep or challenging. Once you reach the hike’s entrance, it takes about two hours to reach the waterfall and is well worth the effort. Something about hearing the waterfall is incredibly soothing, and taking a dip in the water is super refreshing.
There are lots of opportunities to rent kayaks across the island, and most are less than $5/hour. One of the best places to explore on kayak is Rio Istián, which is the river swampland found between the island’s two volcanos. Rio Istián features amazing wildlife, including birds, lizards, and monkeys. On quieter days you can also see caimans, which are smaller, less aggressive crocodiles.
For only $25, you can sling yourself from this incredible zip-line with over one dozen wires and rappels. The course features amazing island views and descends from one of the highest peaks on the island. I’m a bit of a zip-line snob, and this was one of my favorites in the region. You can learn more or schedule a reservation here.
Seeing as Ometepe is an island consisting of two large volcanos, hiking at least one of the island’s volcanos is a must! Both hikes are challenging, so if you are looking for something less strenuous, you might want to consider some of the island’s other hikes. Each volcano has several unique hikes with various levels of difficulty and visibility.
Ojo de Agua
This hidden oasis was the perfect answer to Nicaragua’s oppressive July heat. The pool can be found behind lush greenery near a banana plantation off a main road, and is well worth the 40 cordoba ($2) entry fee.
As bad as it may sound, one of my favorite things to do in Nicaragua was read or relax in a hammock with a nice view. The laid-back Ometepe vibe was perfect for relaxing, and I even ended up purchasing a hammock to take home with me.
If you’ve visited Isla de Ometepe, what were the the highlights of your visit!?