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The Island of Ometepe Nicaragua

Updated on September 25, 2014

Volcano on Ometepe

Paradise called Ometepe

My wife and I visited the island of Ometepe a few years ago. We stayed on the island for a week during a humanitarian medical aid trip we were on. The island is so beautiful and the people that live on the island are wonderful but extremely poor. The island itself is very large and sits in the great body of water called Lake Nicaragua. The island boast two large volcanoes in the middle that shoot up some 5200 feet in the air.. The island itself is 106.6 square miles with about 19 miles of beach. Some say that the island was formed from the two volcanoes rising out of the lake to form this tropical paradise.

The north half of the island has an active cone shaped volcano called Concepcion, and the south end of the island has a extinct volcano called Madera’s. The Madera’s volcano has a large crater in the center which houses a large lagoon. Both volcanoes are visible from everywhere on the island. It is so awesome to look out your window and see these large majestic volcanos casting a shadow over the island. The ash that the active volcano puts out makes the soil on the island extremely fertile and the land yields some wonderful crops of both fruit and vegetables.

To travel to this beautiful island you will have to take a ferry or other mode of water transportation from San Jorge which will bring you to either Moyogalpa or San Jose del Sur. The ride over to the island from my experience is like riding a ferry across the ocean. The day that we went on the ferry the waves were huge and water was splashing against the side of the ferry and getting people wet on the third floor deck of the boat. The trip on the ferry takes around sixty minutes. One can bring a car to the island if you make advance reservations with the ferry company. Amazingly there is an airport (not much more than an airstrip from what I could tell when I saw it) being built on the island which is supposed to be open in 2014. The island does have some public transportation and the roads are in very good shape and easy to navigate.

The island has a few small villages and a couple of larger communities and several small coffee plantations. At some of the small villages on the south end of the island some new places to stay are opening up for visitors to the island can and stay and get meals. I would not call them hotels or motels but a place to sleep and get food.

There is an abundance of wildlife on the island with a large population of Capuchin Monkeys and Mantled Howler Monkeys. The howler monkeys were all over in the area where we stayed along the shoreline. In the early morning hours each day we would be awaken to the sounds of the howler monkeys making their way through the forest to our village. They are interesting to see but are very cautious. When trying to get close to them for a photo they climb higher up in the trees for safety. We never did see an Capuchin Monkeys.

The Mantled Howler Monkeys are very loud, you can hear them several miles away when they make their “howler” sounds. They use this and a grunting sound to communicate to each other. From what I read they use a wide range of other sounds, including barks, grunts, woofs, cackles and screeches. The monkey gets pretty good size and it is said that the monkeys can weigh up to twenty two pounds. As you can see from my photos on this hub they are kind of pretty to look at.

The island for many years has been called paradise. The island is full of rich history. I have read that the island is also famous for having may rock carvings called “petroglyphs” and stone statues. There is a museum in Altagracia that houses many petroglyphs and other sculptures.

It has been a few years since I have been to this beautiful island, but it is on my bucket list to return and see this gorgeous tropical paradise again.

Mantled Howler Monkey

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Mantled Howler Monkey

GHO Medical Mission

Wife feeding the local goats

Ometepe Nicaragua

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Ometepe, Nicaragua
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Ferry Ride to Ometepe


Ometepe Island and Volcano

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