Welcome to Ometepe Island
Ometepe is currently one of the destinations admired by both local and international tourists for its nature, hospitality, beautiful landscapes, the two volcanoes, a rich archeological background, relaxing beaches and its numerous natural reserves and forests that enjoy a high biodiversity.
For ages, the island has represented a paradisiacal destination. According to stories obtained by historians, indigenous tribes traveled from up north to find a paradise as foreseen in a vision by their prophets; a place formed by two hills which they found at Ometepe while traveling down south. The island consequently transformed into a sanctuary inhabited by a mix of different tribes and cultures – something that is revealed by the immense amount of petroglyphs, ceramics, and statues that can be found all throughout the island.
Ojo del Agua
Take a pleasant stroll through banana plantations to the well-signed, shady swimming hole about 1.5km north of Playa Santo Domingo. The mineral-infused water in the pool here bubbles up from 35 small underground springs; with an average temperature of 22°C to 28°C (71°F to 82°F), it makes for a refreshing dip.
This massive and active volcano is an Ometepe landmark. The seven- to 10-hour hike up loose volcanic stone to the summit of this looming peak can be tough, so be in good physical condition and bring water, snacks and real hiking shoes.
Climbing this 1394m volcano is challenging but worthwhile. Guides are required for the seven- to eight-hour round-trip trek (with four to five hours of climbing); at the top, you’ll reach cloud forest ending with a steep crater descent to a chilly jade-green lake. There are three trails to the top: the most popular at Finca Magdelena and two slightly longer trails beginning at Hacienda Mérida and Finca El Porvenir.
Rich with wildlife and fringed with black-sand beaches, this wooded ecological reserve is a quiet spot for hiking, birdwatching and taking a dip in the lake. There are three trails, totalling 4km in length; a flat one suitable for wheelchairs and two more strenuous ones. You're likely to have them mostly to yourself and are likely to spot monkeys and a plethora of birds. The enchanted city of Chico Largo is said to lie beneath the Laguna Charco Verde.
Cascada San Ramón
This stunning 40m waterfall is one of the jewels of the island. The 3.7km trail begins at the Estación Biológica de Ometepe. You can drive 2.2km up to the parking area, from where it’s a 30- to 40-minute hike up to the waterfall, with a steep scramble near the end. At the top, the cascade tumbles down a sheer, mossy rock face into a cold pool that's fabulous for a dip on a hot day.
Punta Jesús María
Just outside the town of Esquipulas, this well-signed sand spit stretches out into the lake for more than 1km at the height of the dry season, when lake levels drop to reveal what was once a natural dock for indigenous fishers. It’s still used the same way today. It's also a delightful spot for swimming.