Posted by: vivalatinamerica | April 18, 2011

San Juan del Sur to Ometepe and the Islands themselves – Part 1

Ometepe means “between two hills” in Nahautl, the indigenous language of Nicaragua. It is an island full of forests, archaeological treasures, mangroves, wildlife and culture so we certainly had no opportunity to be bored.

When we looked at the distances on a map it was a relatively short journey from San Juan del Sur to Ometepe. Unfortunately, when we put all of the individual elements of the trip together it wasn’t quite that simple. Nothing too complicated, but it involved a bus from San Juan to the outskirts of San Jorge, a taxi to the ferry port in San Jorge, a ferry across Lago Nicaragua and then a final bus ride from Moyogalpa (Ometepe) to Charco Verde. All the transport was very cheap, even the taxi as we joined up with a German traveller who was heading in our direction (only US$5 total).

The walk to Charco Verde from the road is about ten minutes along a dusty track and then you glimpse the lake through the trees. It is a wonderful spot and has nice trails to potter around in a nice relaxed manner. For more hectic hiking you need to head to the volcanoes. We checked in to our hotel and then went to explore the dark sandy beaches of Lago Nicaragua. Later that evening we headed off into the forest and saw two local boys waist-deep in the waters of the Charco Verde throwing out their nets, just so much harder than going down to Sainsbury’s. The next day we ventured further on the trails and saw some very pretty birds and scenery.

Alice Bevan

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