You know when you find a place that’s so special it sucks you in and you feel like you can never leave?
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.
Mystical Fire of the Nahuatl
Unique island in the world with two volcanoes in the middle of a freshwater lake attracts year to year to more and more visitors, definitely a natural wonder, this marvel of lush nature, rich in history and friendly people is called Isla de Ometepe. Composed of two imposing volcanoes, Concepcion (1,610 m.s.n.m) and Maderas (1,394 m.s.n.m.) has much to offer visitors.
From Lake Nicaragua, the same lake that the Spanish conquerors called the ‘fresh water sea’ because of its sheer size, rises the island Ometepe. The name Ometepe means ‘two hills’ in the native ‘náhuatl’ language. The island measures 276 square kilometers and it houses two majestic volcanoes connected through a small strip of land
Ometepe Island is generally included within the archaeological area of “Greater Nicoya,” which also encompasses the Rivas area on the lake shore and descends into Costa Rican Nicoya Peninsula. Due to deposits of volcanic ash over millennia, the soil is very fertile, allowing constant planting without fallowing. This rich environment has allowed the island to be continuously inhabited since the Dinarte phase (c. 2000 BC – 500 BC). There is a classified “Ometepe period” (AD 1350 – 1550) Greater Nicoyan Period, which corresponds to Mesoamerican Postclassic period. This period is associated with the migration of the Nicarao (Nahua speakers) into the area of Greater Nicoya (McCafferty & Steinbrenner, 2005).
A recently paved road connects Moyogalpa with the city of Altagracia, located at the other side of the Concepción volcano. This road also connects other streets and unpaved roads that lead to other interesting areas. There is some quite good signage that makes it easy to find the destinations.
By following this main road that start at Moyogalpa, you can visit Punta Jesús María, located five kilometers from the city. Punta Jesús María is a narrow tip located at the most western point of the island. It is about twenty meters wide and 200 meters long, and it enjoys a lot of shade from leafy trees that surround the area. This point ends with a sand bar that stretches into the lake for more than one kilometer during the dry season. Water from the lake washes ashore at both sides of this sand bar, which has a width of about five meters. From this point, you can watch a great sunset and there is also a possibility of camping here.
At the reserve you can explore the lagoon or the lake from a kayak, you can walk around or horseback ride within the reserve, up the hill, or towards neighboring communities. Furthermore, Charco Verde is a great place to swim or sunbathe and enjoy the beach.
At Charco Verde as well as at any other place on Ometepe you can ask the people about the myth of Chico Largo. This was supposedly a very big guy who owned Charco Verde and who turned into this possessed character after making a treaty with the devil. Or you can learn more about Mama Bucha, who is the mother of Chico Largo. Mama Bucha comes backs from death during the Holy Week (Easter) and strolls looking for pumpkins to carry water, impregnating the surroundings with the smell of cigar.
Another reason to visit Nicaragua and its natural wonders And the question is always: WHY NOT NICARAGUA?