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Published: March 26th 2020
Ometepe island was one of my top 2 places to visit in Nicaragua, and I wasn't deceived!!
First thing is to get there. Although there are a few flights a week to get there from Managua, it's more fun and exotic to take the boat to reach it. :-)
One important thing about the ferry. If you don't have a car or other transportation, you can take the ferry or smaller boat at any time without any preparation. But if you have a car or a truck, it would be very wise to reserve in advance!!! Reason is that not only tourists go to the island, but also many delivery trucks, and ferries are not that big. To give you an idea, on one ferry you can put: one long 53 feet truck, another truck less than half that length, 2 small cars and 3-4 motos. My hotel asked me in advance if I wanted to reserve my place on the ferry , and I was very glad I did!! I saw many others waiting on the dock for hours because they were not prepared.
The ride to the island was bumpy. The wind was very strong all
the trip and waves very high, so it's important to take pills for sea sickness if it's your problem!!!
About the road on the island now. I did drive all around the island during my stay with my small rented car. Road is in much better condition around Concepcion volcano, (North part of the island). And on this northern part of the island, from Moyagalpa, it's much faster and road is really much better going on south side of it, through San Jose del Sur, rather than Altagracia. The worst part of roads on all the island, is around Madera volcano, close to San Pedro. But overall, road is very scenic and quiet, so it's relaxing to stop almost anywhere!!
My hotel was Ananda's guesthouse in Balgue. This was a condo rather than an hotel with all commodities and a kitchen. Employees are very helpful. The view from the balcony is very stunning, and I really enjoyed spending evenings there!! It's a place I totally recommend!! Hotel is surrounded by gardens and forest.
Check this video showing howler monkeys jumping between branches:
To finish that blog, I took a guided tour to nearby Maderas volcano.
I took the half day as I didn't want to climb it completely, but rather to go in the reserve, look for animals, get good views of surroundings + look for petroglyphs. I wnet up to the mirador of the volcano, check video:
My guide spoke english but we switched between english and spanish all the time. We ended up the tour a finca down the road. Lots of variety of landscape as utilization of land is different according to altitude and rights on that biosphere reserve: low elevation: full usage, mid elevation: mix of forests and cultivation, high elevation: only forests and no hunting. It was a real pleasant hike. Next blog, will continue on Ometepe.
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