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The Fascinating Volcanic Island Of Ometepe Nicaragua

by Nagib Georges Araman

posted in Travel and Leisure

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Ometepe is one of the most beautiful and exciting islands in Nicaragua. Situated in Lago de Nicaragua, it is known for its iconic twin volcanic peaks, which can easily enchant anyone who is approaching the island from the lake.
The first volcano is on the northern section and is named Concepción. This volcano is truly a magnificent sight to behold because of its near perfect coned shaped structure. On the southern half of the island sits the extinct volcano of Mederas, which is adorned with a cloud forest and a stunning crater lagoon, often clouded in mist. Because of its location, being in Ometepe, gives you a feeling of isolation from the rest of the modern world. The island is truly mesmerizing that it is even called the "Oasis of Peace."
It is not surprising that Ometepe is rich in fertile volcanic soil, which paved the way for a vast area of unspoiled dense forests to grow and a healthy wildlife population to flourish. Some of the animals you may encounter while on the island include opossum, armadillo and monkeys! The fertile soul also allowed the locals to farm lands and produce abundant crops. Consequently, many of the private properties on the island are self-sustainable. Thus, if you stay in a hotel in Ometepe, this hotel may most likely serve you fruit and vegetables, grown from their own garden. This fact only makes a stay on Ometepe more distinct and memorable.
Lake Nicaragua is not only gifted with natural beauty, it is also an important archaeological site. According the scientists, there are over 1700 petroglyphs (ancient rock art) that can be found on Ometepe. On many of the basalt boulders on the island, you will most likely find stone idol carvings. The previous tribal inhabitants also left a number of pre-Columbian artefacts. If you want to marvel up close some of the petroglyphs, head over to the villages of Balque and Finca El Porvenir.
The island's gorgeous wide beaches is one of the reasons Ometepe has become a popular destination for tourists. The beach of Santo Domingo Beach is one of the sandy stretches accessible on the eastern section of the island. There are many ways to enjoy your stay in Ometepe. You can go horseback riding or hiking through the forests or just lounge around the soft sand beaches.
It is also possible to rent a motorbike and go for a scenic ride around the island. The prominent water-based activities available here include kayaking and fishing. But perhaps, the most challenging activity that you can tackle while here is to climb one or two of the volcanoes.
Because it's extinct and has a beautiful crater lake, Madera is slightly more popular to climb. While hiking to the top of Conception takes about 8 hours, hiking to Maderas' peak only takes 6 hours. If you don't want to go all the way to the top but still want a decent hike; there is an option to hike to the 35-meter waterfall on the south side of Maderas. Most visitors access the island by taking a ferry or boat to the port village of Moyogalpa.
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