Nicaragua’s Ometepe: The Island of Peace & Tranquility

Ometepe is easy to explore on two wheels, making it a great weekend getaway.

Nicaragua Ometepe Maura
PHOTO MAURA LEWANDOWSKI

While a visit to an island that is home to two volcanoes and only accessible by a large ferry may not sound like a recipe for relaxation, Nicaragua’s Isla de Ometepe is exactly that. My recent trip to the island, which is located in the middle of Lake Nicaragua, was the perfect mini-vacation before I freefell into stress-filled weeks. In between your lazy hours of sunbathing, check out a couple of these spots:

La Finca Magdalena is a parcel of land that is home to great hiking trails and petroglyphs. It is located at the bottom of the dormant Maderas volcano. If you are just looking for a quick dose of hiking, take a guided tour of the petroglyphs. If you are feeling more adventurous (and more athletic), opt for the six-hour trip to the lagoon at the top of the volcano. You can also check out the coffee and rice processing warehouses on the Finca’s property. It costs about two dollars to enter the Finca, and each tour costs some extra córdobas.

Nicaragua Ometepe Maura sunrise
PHOTO MAURA LEWANDOWSKI

If you have worked up an appetite after your visit to La Finca Magdalena, be sure to find Comedor Los Cocos. There, a woman named Manuela makes great whole-wheat pizza and bread. She is part of a network of organized women on the island, called REMO. The group is a resource of the island and is very representative of the type of people that live on Ometepe. Manuela also makes great batidos (smoothies); I recommend the piña (pineapple).

Nicaragua Ometepe Maura volcano
PHOTO MAURA LEWANDOWSKI

Should you feel the need for speed on the island, there are tons of bike rental shops. Ometepe is easy to explore on two wheels! It is a great place for a cruise because of the flat terrain and refreshing lake breeze. There are not that many cars on the island, unlike Managua, so be sure to enjoy the chance for a bike ride while you can! I would recommend going in the morning or the late afternoon to avoid the red-hot sun at midday and the pesky gnats at dusk.

Ometepe is a great weekend getaway. You will find yourself rejuvenated (and hopefully a little tan) as you cruise back to the mainland on the ferry. And while a sunbathing-filled weekend on the “island of peace” is completely understandable, Ometepe also has a lot of great sights to see and people to meet! So grab your passport, sunglasses and a swimsuit and get going!

petroglyph Nicaragua Maura Ometepe
PHOTO MAURA LEWANDOWSKI

Maura Lewandowski

Maura is from Pittsburgh, PA and loved visiting Lisbon. When it comes to traveling, she's a planner. She does research before she arrives at the destination and makes sure she can fit in as much as possible.

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