10 Fun Things to Do on Ometepe Island (+Photos)

Brimming with natural beauty and boasting a vibrant local culture, Nicaragua’s idyllic Ometepe Island is one of the Central American nation’s crown jewels.

My visit to this dreamy island amid the expansive Lake Cocibolca was the highlight of my Nicaraguan expedition. Between the striking vistas of Ometepe’s two resident volcanos and the pristine beaches, this spectacular island is packed with exciting things to see and do.

Below is a rundown of my must-see spots and bucket list experiences from Ometepe Island!

Explore the Island by Motorbike

Ometepe Island Road

Ometepe is much larger than I’d anticipated, and I quickly understood why motorbike rental is so commonplace here. It can be tricky to get around without a set of wheels.

Provided you’re confident operating a motorcycle, this is an incredible way to discover the island, and I loved having complete freedom over my itinerary.

Ometepe Island

Pro tip: Rentals typically start from around €14 (550 NIO) daily, and numerous companies operate in tourist hubs like Moyogalpa.

Gaze at the Soaring Volcanos

Ometepe Volcano

Ometepe is home to two awe-inspiring volcanos, Concepción and Maderas. Both are visible from various pockets of Ometepe and make for an extraordinary backdrop to the island.


Concepción is arguably the best-known of the two and certainly the one I found myself most impressed by. It’s among the most symmetrical volcanoes I’ve ever seen, and it towers above Ometepe at over 1,600 metres tall.

Maderas is around 200 metres smaller, and unlike Concepción, it’s been inactive for some time now.

Take on One of the Island’s Many Hiking Trails

Concepción Hike

If you’re a keen hiker, you might be wondering if trekking to the summit of Concepción or Maderas is possible, and it absolutely is!

Despite my reservations, I opted to tackle the 8-hour hike to Concepción. Thanks to the relentless steep incline the entire way up, this was one of the most challenging treks I’ve ever completed!

I quickly forgot about this as soon as I took in the panoramic views over Ometepe from above. That being said, I don’t advise embarking on this hike unless you’re at a reasonable fitness level.

Pro-tip: Travelling with a guide is mandatory, and tours set off in the early hours as the sun rises.

Stroll Around Charco Verde Lake

Charco Verde

For a much less strenuous walk, head towards Charco Verde, a small lake in the south, and enjoy a leisurely gander along the waterside.

The area is almost entirely flat, and the trees play host to diverse and intriguing wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled for the exotic birds, turtles, and lizards that frequent the area, and if you’re lucky, you’ll catch a glimpse of the howler monkeys swinging between the branches.

As adorable as they are, these little guys can be territorial, so be careful not to get too close!

Stop by the Butterfly Aviary

Butterfly Aviary

I initially came to Charco Verde Lake to do some monkey-watching, but I spotted a little butterfly aviary right after the entrance.

Access to this reserve is included in the entry fee, and it’s worth stopping by for a few minutes before you set off on the path encircling the lake.

Butterfly Aviary

If you happen to be visiting with kids in tow, this is a must, as the huge, brightly-coloured butterflies are fascinating to watch.

Take a Dip at Ojo de Agua

Ojo de Agua

Ometepe turned out to be one of the hottest and most humid spots I’ve visited in Central America, so I ended up spending quite a bit of time cooling off at Ojo de Agua.

Ojo de Agua

These natural springs are tucked away in the jungle in the island’s centre and provide some much-needed respite from the scorching temperatures. The water is on the chilly side, and the area is hidden under the shade of the surrounding trees, making it an ideal location for a swim.

Entry is a little over €9 (360 NIO), and you can redeem some of this at the on-site restaurant.

Join a Chocolate Tour at El Pital

El Pital

Ometepe’s mineral-rich volcanic soil makes it a stellar area for growing cacao beans, and the locally produced chocolate is drool-worthy.

Any fellow chocoholics must add a chocolate tour at El Pital to their can’t-miss list. El Pital is a small factory, cafe, and hostel on the water’s edge, specialising in vegan chocolate. Their curated outings run for around three hours and include farm visits, factory tours, and most importantly, tasting sessions!

Pro-tip: There’s just one tour daily, so book a few days in advance to secure your place.

Catch the Sunset at Punta Jesus Maria

Punta Jesus Maria

Ometepe has its fair share of sunset vantage points, but Punta Jesus Maria is among the best of the bunch.

This is a gorgeous black sand beach on the western corner of the island. Its signature sand spit gives unspoiled views of the orange, pink, and purple-hued skies at dusk, and I came here almost every evening during my stay.

Several small restaurants and bars are nearby if you fancy a snack or beer while you watch the sun go down.

Spend an Evening at Playa Mangos

Playa Mangos

Another remarkable spot for sundown is Playa Mangos. A little more developed and noticeably busier than Punta Jesus Maria, Playa Mangos is a massive hit with visitors to Ometepe.

Every evening, this beach and its accompanying restaurant fill up with tourists hoping to witness the sun gradually set behind Concepción.

Unsurprisingly, Playa Mangos can get quite crowded, but the astounding views and laid back atmosphere more than makeup for it.

Pro-tip: Playa Mangos also offer kayak tours if you’re eager to get out on the water.

Catch Some Rays at Playa Santo Domingo

Playa Santo Domingo

Although Ometepe is somewhat of an adventure-lovers paradise, there are plenty of tranquil spots to retreat to when you need to unwind. Playa Santo Domingo was my favourite place to do just that.

Despite the powder-white sand and lush jungle surroundings, this beach was startlingly quiet whenever I visited. If you’re looking for a postcard-perfect escape, it doesn’t get much better than here.

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