The Isla Ometepe – A Volcanic Paradise

The Isla Ometepe is a magical place in Lago Nicaragua full of animals, beautiful flowers, friendly local people, and great hiking.  Unfortunately we were only able to spend a couple days on the twin islands, but in that time we were able to see a lot.  Both volcanoes are about the same height, about 1,600 meters and 1,400 meters, and are connected by an isthmus created by previous lava flows.

We started off by taking the boat from San Jorge for 70 Cordoba per person (23 Cordoba = $1).  This we found out later was the fancy, air-conditioned ferry and on the way back we took the 35 Cordoba cheaper ride on the smaller boat.  The boat left us off at Moyogalpa, one of the islands bigger towns on the Volcán Concepcion side.  We wanted to stay on the smaller Volcaán Maderas island so we had some time to kill as the buses are few and infrequent.  We had a nice meal at a restaurant close to the dock.

Eventually we were able to get on a bus after fighting off the taxi drivers for a few hours.  The drive was hot and sticky, but the scenery was amazing.  When we got off at our hostel in Mérida, the bus guy recommended his mothers restaurant in a small unmarked shack right on the beach.  She made the best food we have had in awhile and we ended up eating there almost every meal.  Look for the small fruit stand and ask what she is serving!

That night we swam in the lake and were treated to a fantastic sunset!

On day two, after a good breakfast, we set out to climb up to the Cascada San Ramón.  Have we talked before about how hot it is in Central America?  Well, it’s hot!  We brought four liters of water for the three of us and finished it all.  About three kilometers from our hostel we came to the start of the trail where we paid the $3 each entrance fee and made our way up.

Some great views heading toward the waterfall

We saw some cool blue birds with long tails along with bunches of blue morpho butterflies.  The higher we climbed the more jungle-like the environment became.  The sign said that it was three kilometers from the start of the trail, but we thought it was more like four or five.  Just when we were running out of energy we saw the waterfall with small pool underneath. We were overjoyed.

The water was cold and SOOO refreshing.  It brought us new life for the walk down.

We had a great time chillin’ on the island.  The local people were super friendly and helpful, some of the nicest we have come across.  Too bad we didn’t have more time to stay longer!