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Travel Guide to Pacific Coast & Ometepe Island, Nicaragua

Map of the Area

Pacific Coast & Ometepe Island, Nicaragua - Travel Guide - Tropical Discovery
  • Masaya 55.1 sq mi (142.6 km2)
  • 26.2 °C (79.16°F)
  • UTC (GMT) -6 hrs
  • The Nicaraguan Córdoba (NIO) C$30.2524 = $1 USD.
  • Spanish
  • Masaya Municipality 139,701 (2005)
  • 11°58′N 86°06′W

Ometepe Island & San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Excellent watersports and beautiful nature

The Ometepe Island is one of the most impressive sights in Nicaragua and a not-to-be-missed place to visit. An island emerging from the lake made up of two volcanoes, the Concepcion and Maderas. Adventurers can climb the Maderas volcano topped with cloud forest, a lagoon and many birds and animals. There are beautiful rivers and waterfalls to swim in and a visit to a coffee or banana plantation is worth your time. Ometepe is somewhat isolated from the rest of Nicaragua and therefore maintains its special mystery and charm. Lake Nicaragua surrounding it makes for an excellent water sports destination. Surfers and beach lovers should also take some days to visit San Juan del Sur on Nicaragua's Pacific coast.

Pacific Coast & Ometepe Island, Nicaragua - Travel Guide - Tropical Discovery

Ometepe is a heavenly island located in Lake Nicaragua across from the shores of San Jorge in the department of Rivas. It has an area of 274 sqkm (106 sqmi) and the great majority of its inhabitants are direct descendents of the indigenous people (Nahuas) that populated Nicaragua before the arrival of the Spanish colonizers.

San Juan del Sur is 30 minutes from Rivas on Nicaragua's Pacific Coast. It offers the most exclusive “port city” atmosphere and is one of the ideal spots for scuba diving enthusiasts and marine photographers because of the clarity of the water and the variety of fauna. This area has singularly beautiful coral reefs and rocky beaches, with clear warm waters, ideal for deepwater fishing. Please click on the link below to see what this region has to offer you.

Ometepe Island Main Attractions:

 

Historical

Punta Jesus Maria Beach, Charco Verde, Santo Domingo Beach and Merida.
Pacific Coast & Ometepe Island, Nicaragua - Travel Guide - Tropical Discovery

Ometepe, Nicaragua

Freshwater sharks, volcanoes, water sports

The name, Ometepe, comes from the Nahuatl word "ometepetl" which means "Two Hills", as two majestic volcanoes, Concepcion and Maderas, rise out of the island. It is the largest lake island in Central America. The lake itself is the only freshwater habitat for sharks in the world.

Ometepe is an ecotourist's jewel, with its two volcanoes, Concepcion (1,610 meters or 5,282 feet) and Maderas (1,340 meters or 4,396 feet above sea level) and their tropical dry forest. They are united by a small isthmus, Istian, giving the island the shape of an inverted eight. The Maderas Volcano has a beautiful lake at its summit.

The island is an ideal site for aquatic sports, fishing and ecological hikes which provide contact with its rich flora and fauna. You will find petroglyphs and statues on Ometepe that are an important part of Nicaragua's pre-Columbian treasure. From November 12 to 17, the island celebrates the cultural tradition of the Feast of San Diego de Alcala and a fabulous cavalcade.

The island is reached by taking the ferry departing from the port of San Jorge in the city of Rivas, or one of the boats that leave from the pier in Granada. Once there, tourists have the option of making excursions on mountain bike or horseback on the slopes of the two volcanoes, climbing to the lakes within the extinct craters.

The economy of the island is based primarily on agricultural production. Its main crops are plantains and cattle, along with rice, beans and fruits.

 

San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua - Tourist Attractions

Beaches, surfing, turtle paradise

San Juan del Sur itself is a picturesque sleepy fishing town located in a horseshoe bay on the southern Pacific coast. Although a small fishing town, San Juan del Sur is slowly transforming into one of Nicaragua´s hottest destinations. Great restaurants, hotels, fun bars and people abound.

San Juan del Sur is the surfing capital of Nicaragua and it could very well be for all of Central America. Surfers come from around the world to surf these beautiful waves. Other come for amazing scenery, private bays, great fishing and beautiful deluxe hotels nestled in the forest and private bays. It is a must visit area for all those coming to Nicaragua. Even if you are not a beach lover, its serene beauty will surely move you.

The area has warm people and a tremendously beautiful bay, perfect for fishing, sailing, scuba diving or windsurfing. The Punta La Flor Wildlife Reserve, one of the few beaches in the world where marine turtles lay their eggs, is nearby.

The region is also famous for its world class deep sea fishing. Here you can choose to chase after rooster fish and other inshore species, or run offshore in search of billfish, Wahoo and Dolphin fish.

Pacific Coast & Ometepe Island, Nicaragua - Travel Guide - Tropical Discovery

Day Tours in Nicaragua

Adventure - Nature - Culture – Wellness

 

All our half or full day tours and activities are private and specially designed to cater to the groups specific needs and wants, enabling you to enjoy Nicaragua's beauty. They range from Nicaraguan culture and traditions, exotic plants and animals, volcanic wonders, sightseeing, a variety of art exhibits, shopping, and plenty of beautiful photos to take home with you. Our tour guides will accompany you throughout the day and share the secrets of each destination. Unless listed otherwise, each excursion departs daily. These are also only a sample of our most popular day tours, please contact us should you be interested in something specific.

*Recommended gear for all these tours: comfortable walking or hiking shoes, light clothing, bathing suite, sunscreen, sunglasses, drinking water.

  • The oldest city in the western hemisphere of the Americas, Granada was founded in 1524 by the conquistador Hernández de Cordoba. Once the business and shipping capital for the entire region, today Granada proudly remains as one of the last and truly colonial cities: an undiscovered jewel. On this excursion, we will visit the Casa de los Leones, San Francisco Convent and its Museum, with its vast exposition of pre-Columbian statutes and pottery, the colorful market, the charming cobblestone streets, and numerous architecturally significant churches and monuments. During our horse-carriage drive, your guide will not only focus on the rich and exiting history but also on the today's daily life of the "Granadinos". Tour includes: Land and boat transportation, horse carriage, entrance fee at monuments, English speaking tour guide (German / French / Other on request)
  • The oldest city in the western hemisphere of the Americas, Granada was founded in 1524 by the conquistador Hernández de Cordoba. Once the business and shipping capital for the entire region, today Granada proudly remains as one of the last and truly colonial cities: an undiscovered jewel. On this excursion, we will visit the Casa de los Leones, San Francisco Convent and its Museum, with its vast exposition of pre-Columbian statutes and pottery, the colorful market, the charming cobblestone streets, and numerous architecturally significant churches and monuments. Following our appetizing lunch in a colonial style house, we'll embark on a boat tour of Granada's famous Isletas, an archipelago of inhabited islands formed by an ancient volcanic explosion, just off the shore of Lake Nicaragua.* Available from Granada or Managua: Please inquire for details and pricing Tour includes: Land and boat transportation, horse carriage, entrance fee at monuments, lunch, English speaking tour guide (German / French / Other on request)
  • This is an unforgettable day in rural Nicaragua. We begin the day by visiting the Masaya Volcano National Park, with the stunning and active Santiago crater. It's one of the few places in the world where such an active volcano can be observed up close. We will also visit the ecological museum, here our tour-guide will explain various details: geology, history, vulcanology and ecology. Next, we will visit Nicaragua's most popular open-air handcraft market located in Masaya, where Nicaraguan handicrafts can be purchased at exceptionally low prices. At lunch time, we will drive to Catarina one of the famous traditional towns, where ornamental plants and flowers are grown. Here we will taste the traditional food (bocadillos) at a typical restaurant, while enjoying the impressive panoramic views, over the Apoyo Lagoon and the region. Before returning to your departure point we'll pass by San Juan de Oriente and observe artisans making the famous and beautiful potteries.* Tour available from Granada, Managua or Montelimar: Please inquire for details and pricing Tour includes: Land transportation, entrance fees at National Park and monuments, lunch, English speaking tour guide (German / French / other on request ).
  • We will start our day by visiting the first city of Leónbuilt in 1524 by Francisco Hernandez de Córdoba and abandoned by its inhabitants 60 years later, because of scaring activities caused by the Volcano Momotombo. León Viejo has been declared in the year 2000 by UNESCO a "heritage site of humanity" as a symbol of Spanish conquest. Following that, we will discover the charms of the actual León, enjoying the attractions of this cultural city, its churches, monuments, markets, and learn about its rich history, including its most famous former resident Rubén Darío, Father of Nicaraguan poetry. After enjoying a pleasant walk through the colonial streets, we will enjoy our lunch at a typical restaurant in the second largest city of Nicaragua.Departure: Daily from Tuesday to Sunday * Tour available from Granada, Managua or Montelimar: Please inquire for details and pricing Tour includes: Land transportation, entrance fees at monuments and museum, lunch, English speaking tour guide (German / French / Other on request)
  • Managua has been Nicaragua's capital since 1851 and today more than 1/3 of the country's population lives there. During this half-day excursion we will witness the evidence of the 1972 earthquake on old Managua, as well as the emerging new Managua city, product of a rapid growth. We will visit its both Cathedrals, Lake Managua, the recently renovated National Palace (containing most of Nicaraguan culture and history), and a thriving market. This tour also presents the dramatic differences of the two societies, between the rich and poor and the contrasts that exist in many other ways as well and shows the visitors urban daily life in an unforgettable way. Departure: Daily from Tuesday to Saturday * Tour available from Granada or Managua: Please inquire for details and pricing Tour includes: Land transportation, entrance fees at National Palast, Foot Springs museum, Lomas de Tiscapa, lunch, English speaking tour guide (German / French / Other on request)
  • The Mombacho Volcano is known as the guard of the colonial city of Granada. The high point measures over 1,300 meters and is a unique microclimate for the region, because of its altitude and frequent thick cloud covered forest. This impressive forest is protected and since 1999 part of the Natural Reserves of Nicaragua. We will drive from the savanna dry region at the volcano's base up, driving through coffee farms, into cloud forest humid conditions. Arriving at the top, the self-guided tour will bring you into the 2.5 km path with descriptive panels and information about the area, the fauna, the flora, and the volcanic activities. Along this path we will discover an unusual collection of orchids, ferns, butterflies, birds, and, when the weather is right, we will enjoy fantastic views of Granada and the surrounding countryside. * Tour available from Granada or Managua: Please inquire for details and pricing Tour includes: 4x4 transportation from departure point, entrance fee at the reserve, documentation with translation of explanation panels. Please note: Mombacho Cloud Forest is a self-guided tour. For more flexibility we use our own 4x4 transportation to drive until the summit of the volcano.
  • We will start our day by visiting the mysterious Mombacho Vulcano Natural Reserve. Here we will enjoy the impressive and unique fauna and flora of the area (see tour before). After this visit we will continue our day stopping by the "Canopy" installations. After receiving our gear and carefully listening to the instructions about our next exciting tour, we will begin to glide safely the 17 platforms located in the tree tops. During our trip, we will enjoy at the same time the forest, coffee plantations, great surrounding panoramic views and lots of fun!! Departure: Daily from Wednesday to Sunday (Mon-Tue on request & with additional costs) * Tour available from Granada or Managua: Please inquire for details and pricing Tour includes: Land and 4x4 transportation, entrance fee at the Reserve, Canopy Tour with professional instructors and equipment, translation of explanation panels. Please Note: Self-guided Tour at Mombacho Cloud Forest / Canopy Tour with English speaking instructors
  • Born in 1850, the Cerro Negro volcano (Black mountain) is one of the youngest volcanoes in the world. During the last 9 years its violent activity has left permanent marks on the region. In 1992, lava ash completely covered León, the second largest city of Nicaragua. The last eruption was in August 1999, when two new craters were formed. Hiking the lunar landscape of the volcano, descending its crater, and admiring the surrounding landscape are an unforgettable and exciting experience. Medium to good physical condition is required by all participants. This tour will be combined with a lunch stop at the Pacific beach of Las Peñitas where we will enjoy a succulent fresh fish in front of the ocean.* Tour available from Granada, Managua or Leon: Please inquire for details and pricing Tour includes: Land and 4x4 transportation, entrance fee at the reserve and to the hot springs, Lunch, English speaking tour guide (German / French / Other on request) Please note: Medium to good physical condition is required.
  • Born in 1850, the Cerro Negro volcano (Black mountain) is one of the youngest volcanoes in the world. During the last 9 years its violent activity has left permanent marks on the region. In 1992, lava ash completely covered León, the second largest city of Nicaragua. The last eruption was in August 1999, when two new craters were formed. Hiking the lunar landscape of the volcano, descending its crater, and admiring the surrounding landscape are an unforgettable and exciting experience. Medium to good physical condition is required by all participants. This will be combined with a visit to the San Jacinto boiling soils, testimony of the large and constant activity of the area.* Tour available from Granada, Managua or Leon: Please inquire for details and pricing Tour includes: Land and 4x4 transportation, entrance fee at the reserve and to the hot springs, Lunch, English speaking tour guide (German / French / Other on request) Please note: Medium to good physical condition is required.
  • The early start in the morning will certainly to be compensated by this full day excursion, exploring the world biggest volcanic island in a fresh water lake. We will drive first to the little port of San Jorge and enjoy a one hour smooth ferry ride on the great Lake Nicaragua. At Moyogalpa, Ometepe's main town, we will continue our trip by land passing several villages, observing the rural daily life of the inhabitants with sceneries reminiscent of the middle age!! At Altagracia, we will stop, visit the museum and learn about the rich Pre-Columbian past of the island, major encounter place by the Indian tribes. At Playa Santo Domingo, we will not only be able to enjoy a nice swim in the fresh waters of the lake, but also have a delicious meal served in front of this huge extension, second biggest lake in Latin America. In the afternoon, on the way back to Moyogalpa, we will stop at the legendary "Charco Verde" and observe some of the rich bird life of the area. Then we will return to the mainland and take you back to your hotel. * Tour available from Granada, Managua or Leon: Please inquire for details and pricing Tour includes: Land and water transportation, entrance fee at Natural Reserve, lunch, English speaking tour guide (German / French / Other on request)

* Please note: Information on this page is believed to be correct but not guaranteed

* Inquire for recent prices and schedule

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Hotel Los Robles Pacific Coast & Ometepe Island Nicaragua

Hotel Los Robles is a beautiful boutique hotel built inside a distinctive colonial Nicaraguan home. Furnished with antiquities from the colonial time, creates for a charming and relaxing environment.

avg/night$95.00 SELECT

Morgan’s Rock Hacienda & Ecolodge Pacific Coast & Ometepe Island Nicaragua

Morgan’s Rock Hacienda & Ecolodge is more than just a hotel. It is a unique and natural haven for the true traveler who is looking for a touch of luxury while enjoying the adventure and excitement of an exotic and tropical destination.

avg/night$265.00 SELECT

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