Ometepe Island

Ometepe Island, or Isla de Ometepe in Spanish, is an island located the waters of Lake Nicaragua located halfway between Costa Rica and Nicaragua. It's one of the popular Nicaragua attractions for hiking and nature enthusiasts. Hiking through dense tropical forests, touring coffee plantations, and exploring volcanoes are just some of the activities you can look forward to on a trip to Isla de Ometepe.

Although the island is considered to be one distinct piece of land, it actually consists of two volcanoes that are connected by a narrow strip of land. When visiting Nicaragua, be sure to stop by this interesting island of 35,000 residents. You'll find plenty of things to do on Nicaragua Ometepe Island, from hiking, exploring the two volcanoes, and viewing the thousands of species of birds and other wildlife that makes its home on Isla de Ometepe. You can reach the island by taking a ferry from the city from Rivas or Granada. Once there, anything is possible.

Isla de Ometepe is the perfect destination for ecological walks, volcano exploration, and all kinds of water sports such as fishing and kayaking. Lake Nicaragua is no ordinary lake. In fact, it's the only freshwater lake in the world which contains sharks. So, if you decide to go for a swim, watch out!

Two of Nicaragua's most spectacular volcanoes are situated right on Ometepe Island. Once you're there, explore the volcanoes by horse back or on foot. The first volcano, and the most popular, is the active Concepcion Volcano. The volcano is over 1500 meters high and is a beautiful sight to see when you're taking a boat ride around Lake Nicaragua. Backpackers exploring Isla de Ometepe love the challenge of climbing up the Concepcion volcano.

On a hike up Isla de Ometepe, you'll encounter a banana plantation in addition to steep and challenging terrain. Be sure you're in good shape before attempting to climb up the volcano. If you're up to the challenge and have the proper gear the views of the lake at the top along with the unique experience of being next to the rim of a volcano will be worth all of your hard work.

Head over to the southern part of the island to view the Madera Volcano, which is no longer active. You can go on a challenging hike and visit coffee plantations around the area. If you're planning on hiking, be sure you don't mind getting dirty. The trails can get extremely muddy during the rainy season. On your trek up the Madera Volacano you can even see stones that have writings from ancient civilizations, similar to Egyptian hieroglyphics or the Rosetta Stone. Experienced tour guides are available to explain the significance of the writings and possible interpretations. The walk up to the top of the volcano is perfect for people who want to be with other backpackers in the middle of a tropical forest. If you're lucky, you'll encounter species of monkies.

If you're looking for a place to stay, try staying at Charco Verde, a beautiful destination in Nicaragua Ometepe Island. This ecological area prevents any further growth and development, so you can be sure you won't see much infrastructure besides small hostels. A night at the Hospedaje Charco Verdo will set you back a mere $5 per night. The hostel offers boat trips and is located next to some great hiking trails and of course, the beach. You'll see so many types of wildlife in this lush part of Isla de Ometepe. Monkeys and large blue birds called urracas are very common. Although you may picture monkeys to be cute and friendly animals, do be careful when you encounter them. They're known to bite, scratch, and throw mud and other undesirable things at tourists.

Isla de Omotepe is truly a geologic wonder. Even though the island has been a popular stopping ground for researchers and tourists for years, it hasn"t changed much over the years and is protected from future development, making it an ideal place to view wildlife in a natural setting. Visiting Omotepe Island is one of the great things to do on a Nicaragua vacation.

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