Another thing that was on my must see list while I am in Nicaragua was seeing Ometepe Island. It's a volcanically formed island in the middle of Lake Cocibolca (Lake Nicaragua). It's made up of one active volcano (the larger one of the left named La Concepción) and one dormant volcano (on the right named Maderas). It is a stunning island that you HAVE to see!!! Definitely one of my favorite things I've done here. When you get there, just drive around the island...the views and the constant presence of La Concepción is breathtaking.
|The view from the ferry approaching the island|
|Close-up of La Concepción. She's obviously active but truly the most beautiful volcano I've ever laid eyes on|
To get to the island you can either take a ferry from San Jorge, Rivas, or a plane from Managua that leaves twice a week. My parents were visiting and we took our rental car on the ferry. Basically, you drive the PanAmerican Hwy to Rivas and you'll see a roundabout with signs to the ferry. Just keep following the signs and you'll get there in 10-15 more minutes by car. It was a bit confusing booking the car on the ferry. DEFINITELY do this in advance and pay roundtrip. If you have no reservation for the car, YOU WON'T GET ON THE FERRY, and there's only a few ferries per day with room for maybe 9 cars on each one. Will you think the ferry will sink as you drive onto it? Absolutely.
Here's another piece of gold...instead of calling each ferry company individually trying to see if room is available, call Arnoldo at #+505 8966 4981. He'll do the reservation for you with any company for the same price as calling them directly. Roundtrip with a car is $50.
We stayed at Hefziba Bed & Breakfast in Moyogalpa, and I'm not exaggerating when I say it's the nicest hotel I've EVER stayed at in Nicaragua!! For about $60/night you get a.c., coffee maker in room, hammocks everywhere, paradise-like gardens, free breakfast, refillable filtered water, and the nicest staff you could ever find.
My favorite activity we did was go walking through Charco Verde. It's a nature reserve on the island that's maybe $2 to enter. There are various trails to take depending on the time you want to spend. It's a great example of tropical flora and fauna, is CHOCK FULL of howler monkeys, and has beautiful views of the lake and the volcanos.
|My parents at Charco Verde|
|Howler monkey...how can something so small be so loud?! A across between a pig squeal and a dog bark|
|Butterfly reserve directly next to Charco Verde. Very peaceful inside.|
And I just have to add, this very unnoticeable restaurant near the docks was one of the nicest Nicaraguan food restaurants I've ever eaten at. They serve a lot of very authentic food that you'd normally only find in homes like sopa de frijoles (bean soup). We all three loved what we ordered, easy on the budget, and no tummy problems afterwards.