Things to do on Ometepe Island in Nicaragua (Nicaraguas Hidden Gem)
- by Ariahna Sotiriades
Ometepe Island is Nicaragua’s hidden gem that you need to check out if you plan on heading to Central America. I had no idea it even existed until my friends and I went on a backpacking trip here and a buddy at our hotel told us we needed to go!
We set off on a weekend trip and let me tell you, this island reminds me of Jurassic Park. There are two active volcanoes, lakes, hiking, rope swings & more to make for a perfect, yet affordable adventure. If you want to know more about traveling throughout Central America or Nicaragua in particular, you can book a call with me and I will answer all your questions.
How to get to Ometepe Island
The only way to get here is to take a ferry boat from the San Jorge Port. It only costs about $1.50 USD one way and its a beautiful ride there.
To get to the San Jorge Port to Ometepe Island you can either
1) Take the bus from San Juan Del Sur to Rivias and from Rivias, Taxi to San Jorge Port where you will take a ferry to the island
2) Take a taxi from San Juan Del Sur (or anywhere else) directly to the San Jorge Port.
Of course the bus option is a lot cheaper, but if you have a group, a taxi can be very affordable. Do not pay more than $30 USD for one way there.
Where to Stay on Ometepe Island
The best hostel on the Island is called El Pital Chocoalte Paradise. I highly recommend you stay here because its very affordable and the property is breathtaking. The rooms are like treehouse so you really get a secluded feel, plus you can meet up with other backpackers along the way.
This hostel does fill up fast, so you’ll want to book in advance if you plan on staying here.
Accommodation is very affordable on Ometepe Island. I always recommend booking.com for the best prices.
I have linked affordable accommodation on Ometepe Island here.
What to do on Ometepe Island
First off, when getting off the ferry, make sure to rent an ATV. This is by far the fun and affordable way to explore what the entire island has to offer. Cruising around here feels like you’re in a movie! There are ATV rental places right when you exit the ferry.
Pro tip: Don’t book an ATV in advance before you get on the ferry. There will be vendors trying to sell ATV’s but its much more affordable to get one when you get off the boat. There are plenty of places within a 1 minute walk to book one once you get off the ferry. Also, don’t forget your license, passport and cash (they mainly take cash, paying in USD is fine).
Make sure to have data on your phone and use Google Maps (not Apple maps) to get around the island. If you need an affordable data plan, consider downloading Airalo which is an affordable online sim card that allows you to use use your phone without Wifi. Use my code ARIAHN516 for $3 off your first sim card!
Playa Mangos (Click the link for GPS coordinates)
Playa Mangos is a great area to eat, chill, kayak, hammock and relax on the lake with beautiful volcano views. They have a great menu with a fun beach swing. It’s a great stop to charge up before you head off to your afternoon adventures!
You take a long dirt path to get here. I thought we were lost at first, but if you follow Google Maps precisely, you will make it!
It’s not a trip to Ometepe Island without hiking the famous volcano. I have linked an affordable guided tour here. I found doing a guided tour a lot easier to access the most beautiful viewpoints.
Ojo De Agua is a great place for swimming! It’s full of friendly locals, a fun rope swing and an overall great place to hangout with your squad. Enjoy a fresh coconut or a margarita if you’re in the party mood! They have food here as well if you need a snack!
This sandbar has some of the most famous photo spots taken on Ometepe island. If you are looking for a spot to watch the sunset, look no further than chilling here. The sunset was by far one of my top 3 most beautiful sunsets I have seen throughout my years of travel. Locals here will also start a fire and people will all gather around to enjoy it together. On top of seeing the colorful skies, you can enjoy interacting with other tourists and locals. This was probably one of the highlights of our time here just because of how insane this sunset really was.
I hope this guide was helpful! Please feel free to comment or ask me any questions regarding your upcoming trip. For more information about traveling to Nicaragua, you can book a consultation call with me or request a custom itinerary by heading to this page. Happy traveling!