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Overview

This isolated island in the middle of Lake Nicaragua is the perfect place to experience the country’s scenic beauty and culture, far from the tourist hordes. Life here is quiet and slow-paced. The few inhabitants spend their time fishing, farming and making traditional handicrafts. The island is dominated by a pair of volcanoes — one dormant, one active — which were considered sacred by the ancient Nahuatl people. The towns of Moyogalpa and more picturesque Altagracia each have small museums, but the main attractions are the lush tropical forests, home to howler monkeys and flocks of gaudy birds and butterflies. Hikes to the summits of the ...

This isolated island in the middle of Lake Nicaragua is the perfect place to experience the country’s scenic beauty and culture, far from the tourist hordes. Life here is quiet and slow-paced. The few inhabitants spend their time fishing, farming and making traditional handicrafts. The island is dominated by a pair of volcanoes — one dormant, one active — which were considered sacred by the ancient Nahuatl people. The towns of Moyogalpa and more picturesque Altagracia each have small museums, but the main attractions are the lush tropical forests, home to howler monkeys and flocks of gaudy birds and butterflies. Hikes to the summits of the Concepcion and Maderas volcanoes are spectacular, but are only for the very fit, and views depend on the weather. Charco Verde offers an easy hike with wonderful vistas and a sandy beach. Visiting Ometepe requires travel skills and advance planning — there are several charming hotels and B&Bs, but transport and banking facilities are limited. A guided tour can smooth the way, and offer interesting local commentary. Homestays with local families get rave reviews. Horseback riding, mountain biking and kayaking are popular ways to see the sights.

Charlie Morris
About the Expert

Charlie Morris is the author of the Open Road guidebooks Best of Honduras, Best of Costa Rica, Best of Belize, and Switzerland Guide.

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Charlie Morris for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: An island formed by two volcanoes rising from Lake Nicaragua in the Republic of Nicaragua.
  • Language: Spanish
  • Currency: Nicaragua Cordoba
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    December through April (the dry season)