OMETEPE

This island formed by two volcanoes is Nicaragua’s best known wondrous destination. Its wildlife, stunning beaches, jungle farms, clear waters & waterfalls make it an unmissable destination in Nicaragua. 

STAY... 

El Zopilote

This Italian run family hostel is located on a permaculture farm in the middle of the jungle. The scenic set up and the on-site restaurant are the best selling points. The hostel offers free activities daily such as: yoga, farm tours, massage & circus workshops. All the food served at the restaurant is made with the local produce from their farm.

 

Beware though, this is a very hippy place. The friend who recommended this place to us said someone came to him and literally asked him how percentage hippy he was? Sounds like an accountant turned hippy was questioning him…
The rooms here are pretty basic and we got woken up by a squatter in the middle of the night. Luckily this squatter was an adorable little kitten. The toilets are compost too which I don’t mind but some people might be put off by it. 

Make sure to stay here on a Wednesday or Saturday night and partake in one of their infamous pizza party, see more details in the ‘to do’ list below. 

WEBSITE

Where: Click here for directions

El Pital

Not far down the road from El Zopilote you’ll find the other hippy accommodation hot spot. It’s a little ‘bougier’ than it’s competitor, they’ve got modern toilets and a swanky food menu with indulgent Cocoa recipes. The selling point here is a direct access to the lake. You can jump in for a swim or simply enjoy a cuppa’ of hot cacao drink overlooking the stunning lake and volcano.

WEBSITE

Where: Click here for directions

DO... 

Rent a quad bike

The island may look small on a map but it’s a big one to cover by foot so the best way to get around and see the most of it is by renting quad bike. You can rent scooters but the roads are very rocky, especially in the south so expect accidents to happen on a two wheeler! We opted for the quad which are usually twice as more expensive but you can fit two people on them and share the fuel. You can rent them at various spot on the island or even through your accommodation. You won't find many petrol station but don't worry you can refill your engine at specific Pulperias. 

Kayak though Río Istián
The wildlife in Ometepe is impressive & a good to way to have a close look at it is by getting on a kayak. On our trip we encountered some Caymans, exotic birds, horses, & cows. We organise our tour through our hostel (El Zipolete) and they reserved us two spots with Caballito's Mar Kayak Tour. Our guide was amazing, very knowledgeable and wouldn’t end the tour until we saw a cayman, we ended up seeing two in the end!

 

Cost: $15

 

Partake in a Cocoa ceremony 
Immerse yourself in the local customs and participate to this indigenous ceremony. For the Mayans, cacao was one of their most precious & valuable offering to the gods. They would gather together, drink cacao and sacrifice humans sometimes too. This ceremony is not a replica of ancient times, for starters, there’s no human sacrifice. This is a spiritual encounter where people interact with one another sharing their thoughts and feelings. It may sounds a bit cringe-worthy at first but I actually ended up having a great time. People cried, some laughed and others just didn’t get it but in the end we all did this experience together. Our host was lovely as well and a great story-teller which made the ceremony come together nicely.

Cost: $15

Cost: at Zipolete on Wednesdays

Hike up a waterfall

Take your quad bike to the south bit of the island towards the direction of the Cascada de San Ramon. If you manage to bring the bike far enough the hike will only take 25 to 30minutes. Otherwise you can opt to start from the bottom and it will most likely take you 1 hour.
Prepare to sweat but don’t worry the waterfall will chill you off nicely!

Cost: A few dollars to enter the park

 

 

(Literally) swing in the sunset at Playa Mangos

This little restaurant’s got one of the best views on the island and also an actual swing. I wouldn’t personally recommend their food menu but you can’t go wrong with a bottled beer. It’s also one of the best spot to check out sunset too!

 

Where: Click here for directions

 

EAT & DRINK... 

 

El Zopilote pizza party
Even if you’re not staying here you can still swing by for a bite to eat. You should definitely come by on Tuesdays and Saturdays when they have the infamous pizza parties. We were expecting some nice chilled evening with some doughy delicacies but were surprised to find out past a certain time it becomes a mini rave. People are playing with fire, literally, there’s a fire show and some tunes are played all through the night… well until 11pm at least. Arrive early if you’re hungry or be prepared to wait an hour!

WEBSITE

Where: Click here for directions

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