Isla de Ometepe–Logistics

Great view of the Volcano

An island formed by twin volcanos, side by side, rises out of Lake Nicaragua.  The two volcanoes are Concepcion which rises 1610 meters above the lake in an almost perfect cone and Maderas at 1394 meters.  Lava flows created the isthmus which joins the two volcanoes to form the island.  Ometepe is a ecological jewel that is still very unspoiled, a rough and ready sort of place with shocking roads and lots of plant and animal diversity.

View from our room, flowers, fruit trees, butterflies, dragonflies & hummingbirdsOn the Maderas side of the island we stayed at Finca el Porvenir, a very charming place with 3 or 4 separate buildings set among a stunning garden with lush flowering plants, mango trees, shrubs and coconut palms.  Mixed in is a variety of wildlife including an abundance of butterflies, several types of birds, squirrels, pigs, lizards, dogs and plenty of insects.  Our room, which has a front porch with rocking chars and hammocks is small but nicely appointed with a sturdy wooden frame bed and a bathroom with walls covered in smooth river rocks.

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Volcan Mombacho

Volcan Mombacho, great views from the top

The Mombacho volcano towers over the city of Granada along the shores of Lake Nicaragua.  It tops out at 1345 meters, dwarfed by the volcano peaks we saw along the Andes in Ecuador.  However, the steep slopes form an island of biodiversity.  Vegetation and wildlife vary with elevation and above 800 meters the volcano becomes a cloud forest with bromeliads, ferns and mosses clinging to the trees.  Most days the upper reaches of the volcano are obscured by cloud cover but on the day we visited, we had cloud free views from the mountain.

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Las Isletas–Lake Nicaragua

Our boat ride around Las Isletes

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.

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