Isla de Ometepe

Isla Ometepe

Bouncing down bumpy dirt roads past fields of banana trees and palms, a giant volcano looming overhead and the silhouette of another in the distance, parrots chattering as they dart from branch to branch and the sound of waves crashing against the shore.  This only begins to describe the experience of visiting Ometepe Island.  Formed by two volcanoes rising out of Lake Nicaragua, Ometepe is a kind of fantasy-land where the pace of life slows to a near halt and things appear as you imagine they might have many years ago. 

It’s the first place in several months that had me awake before 6:30 a.m. and reaching for my running shoes.  After a perfect night of being lulled to sleep by the rustling of palm leaves in the cool night breeze, my early morning jog on the beach led me past makeshift lakeside laundry stations where women and children were hard at work scrubbing their clothes against the smooth rocks.  We watched each other as I passed, exchanging a wave or a  friendly “Buenas Dias”, though it was pretty clear the sight of me out jogging was just as strange to them as their washing clothes in the lake was to me.

pupsAs mid-day approaches the temperature on the island climbs quickly.  Instead of cooling off in the lake we hiked for several kilometers past small coastal settlements, farms and forests.  We passed boys on bicycles carrying giant bunches of plantains, pick-up trucks jam packed with people and small homes built of concrete and aluminum, most with outhouses.  Life on the island is like nothing I’ve ever known and though Ometepe sees it’s share of visitors these days you’d never know it, especially if you stay outside of it’s two major settlements, on the beach at Santo Domingo as we did.

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1 Response to “Isla de Ometepe”


  1. 1 David Wells May 18, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    So perhaps you understand why this is one of my favorite places in the world. Did you get a chance to stay at the Finca Magdalena? If you get this in time try to find Bahia majagual or bahia maderas just north of san juan del sur. im sure you will enjoy them.


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