We were told that he’s called Pedro. He was apparently the designated representative to greet our boat when we stopped by Monkey Island. This island is very small, only about a hop, skip and small jump to get across it. We’re told that this is the only island out of the 360 small islands which dot this part of Lake Nicaragua to have monkeys and that there are 4 who live here.
These islands, simply referred to as Las Isletas, were formed around 10,000 years ago from an eruption of nearby Volcan Mombacho which blew the cone into many pieces and sent them flying. Some of the islands are quite large and are host to many human inhabitants. Others are quite small and provide a space for a single private residence. Some of the homes are quite large and appear luxurious. The guide named some of the homeowners as being from the US, others as some of Nicaragua’s business elite.
The islands can be accessed from the coastline near Granada. (We arrived here on Friday, July 22, 2011, from Managua.) On our tour of the islands, our first stop was to a small fortress that dates back to the 1700’s Castillo de San Pablo. It was the first line of defense from the pirates which could reach Lake Nicaragua from the Caribbean via the San Juan River which flows along the border between Nicaragua and Costa Rica. We then cruised among some of the private islands before stopping at Monkey Island and seeing Pedro. Later we landed on a small island which hosts a small bar and restaurant to have a cold beverage and relax by the lake.
It was a very nice 2 hour tour which gave us a small glimpse into life on the water among Las Isletas.