Out of the midst of the beautiful Lake Nicaragua spring two magnificent pyramids, clad in the softest and richest green, all flecked with shadow and sunshine, whose summits pierce the billowy clouds. They look so isolated from the world and its turmoil—so tranquil, so dreamy, so steeped in slumber and eternal repose. What a home one might make among their shady forests, their sunny slopes, their breezy dells, after he had grown weary of the toil, anxiety and unrest of the bustling, driving world. These mountains seem to have no level ground at their bases, but rise abruptly from the water. There is nothing rugged about them they are shapely and symmetrical, and all their outlines are soft, rounded and regular.
This is how Mark Twain himself described his impressions after experiencing the beauty of Ometepe Island! And I have read the author didn’t even enjoy travelling much!
While eating my late dinner I realised that I was shivering. Although it was a warm evening. I was blaming the wind that, although not cold, was rather strong.
I came back to the room and went straight to bed. After all, I had a volcano to climb the next day! :)
I rented a dorm, meaning a room with multiple beds, but fortunately, there were only 2 other girls that night so it was calm. But that didn’t help much as I started to sweat. I definitely had a very high temperature. I realised that climbing that volcano in a couple of hours was impossible. The only thing I could do was to get up early in the morning, as the departure was scheduled around 6 am, speak with the guide, explain myself and excuse. I managed to pay 50 not 100 % of the price of the trip. But honestly, I didn’t care much about the money at that time. I was super disappointed that I got sick!
I came back to bed. I only got some basic, anti-flu & -fever pills. I spent the whole time in the room, was sweating like crazy and I felt terribly weak. Once I started to feel better it was time for me to leave the Island and surf for the last time. But I plan to travel more in Central America one day soon as it is stunning and relatively not expensive., it is definitely my must go destination. Therefore I will definitely come back to Ometepe and this time I will climb the Concepción volcano and I will enjoy other breath-taking places!
Ometepe Island is a home of not one, but two volcanoes: higher Concepción and smaller – Maderas. Although on the same island they couldn’t be less alike.
Volcano Concepción (1610 m)
This volcano is not only the second highest in Nicaragua! It is also active! Apparently, it’s also important how symmetrical it is. Concepción’s last eruption took place in 1957, and its last activity in 2010, when it spited out a huge ash cloud.
Volcano Maderas (1394 m)
This smaller volcano is also a must see! It is extinct, some say ‘prehistoric’, and is covered in cloud forest! The trail is shorter but more muddy and slippery as it is very humid. But the reward is outstanding – you get the possibility to swim in its crater lagoon on the summit!
What else can you do while on Ometepe Island? Well, let’s take a look!
Kayaking the Istian River
The river is situated between the two volcanoes and offers a possibility to observe birds, turtles, and if you are lucky, caimans.
This should cost around 25 $ (USD) per person for a 3 hour’s tour and should be done in the morning in order to avoid winds. As well, at that time chances are bigger to enjoy wildlife. Unfortunately during the dry season, from February to April, the way may be too shallow to pass through. In October on the other hand, the rain may get too heavy for kayaking.
Swimming in the Lagoons
Ometepe is known for its Crystal Clear Lagoons that offers safe swim! Apparently one of the most recommended is Ojo de Agua natural spring. In order to enjoy it you have to buy the entrance to the reserve, which should be around 4 $. But I also have read that the spot is already very much prepared to please the tourists, with fine restaurant etc. so personally I will probably seek for something wilder.
Enjoy the archaeological paradise
The Island is also an Archaeological paradise, as it is rich in the pre-Columbian history. You can admire its rock art, which is one of the most noteworthy in the world. The Ancient petroglyphs (rock carvings) have been found all over the island.
The early Indians considered the island of Ometepe as their promised land. The Maderas was the sacred place of the sun, while the Concepcion was the brother of the moon. (…) Archeologists refer to Ometepe as the Island of circles and spirals due to the abstract curvilinear motifs carved on the basalt boulders.
Dear Steemians, make sure you don’t miss Ometepe Island during your travel throughout Central America! It is definitely worth your time!
More about me here :)
Some of my recent stories from South America:
Reaching San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
Reaching Ometepe Island, Nicaragua
Kasia and the death road - la ruta de la muerte - Bolivia (part 1)
Kasia and the death road - la ruta de la muerte - Bolivia (part 2)