Isle De Ometepe: Volcano Island

I heard there was an island here in Nicaragua made from two giant volcanoes years and years ago, situated in Lake Nicaragua. The island is loaded with cool stuff you can’t find anywhere else in the world. Let’s go!

We stayed in San Juan too long. It was time to get the heck up outta there. Naked Tiger was easily one of the best hostels I’ve ever stayed in, but it was time to move on. Ryan, Lisa, and Tyson were all headed off to new areas. Deb, Luke, and I stuck together there after. The three of us packed our bags and took a cab to the ferries near Rivas. Those ferries were our gate to Isle De Ometepe, my Volcano Island.

A map of Ometepe.
A map of Ometepe.

It was a little confusing once we got to the ferry port. There was a lot of construction and our Spanish was lacking so it was difficult to navigate. We finally found a ferry that would take is to the island.

Deb, Luke, and I.
Deb, Luke, and I.

Lisa warned us not to take the fast ferry, it was filled with intense fumes from the boars engine. She insisted that instead we should pay a few cordobas more for the slower, but bigger ferry. The bigger ferry didn’t depart until three hours later. The fast little ferry was ready then and now. So we took that one. And boy was Lisa right, the fumes were pretty nauseating. But since this was a boat, I took two motion sick pills that knocked me right out. Boats are the worst offender when it comes to my queasiness, so I had to take two. I was so out cold that I didn’t feel Luke or the ticket collector trying to wake me up to collect my money. I woke up a little later though, gave the guy my money, and climbed to the top deck. I felt great!

Captain Sellers Abroad.
Captain Sellers Abroad.

Once we finally landed, we were bombarded with taxi drivers wanting to take us all over the place. Even though the island was fairly small, it was still big enough to take a taxi or motorbike everywhere. We found a lady who would take us to the opposite side of the island for a decent price. The opposite side is where all the hostels and restaurants were that we didn’t bother to book in advance. I was lucky enough to have Luke and Deb who were fully on board with the whole winging it process. We stuffed our bags and ourselves in the woman’s jeep. Two other backpackers from Germany joined us, Leo and Anne. They squished themselves into the front seat and we were off!

The woman dropped us off at a hostel that was fairly central. Instead of looking for other places that were recommended to us by other backpackers, we just decided to stay here. Luke, Deb, and I shared a dorm with two others while Leo and Anna were put in another. The five of us decided to stick together for the remainder of our time on the island. I had a good feeling about our new German comrades. Both of them reminded me of two other German friends of mine almost down to the tee! Leo was a copy of my buddy Eric who I met in South Africa and Anne was the copy of my friend Elisa who I met in Vietnam. If you recall, I visited both Eric and Elisa in Germany last September.

We settled into our dorm and walked around the area. After several minutes, we realized that everything was spaced out and far apart. We’d need to rent motorbikes for sure, otherwise we’d die. We found a rental company just a few yards away from our hostel. The three of us decided to rent two motorbikes and split the costs. Both Luke and I had experience with motorbikes, so we’d be the main drivers with Deb riding along the back. We drove around looking for food and failed miserably when we figured that our hostel served up the best food. So we went back there. On the way back, Deb asked if she could drive a bike. There was a brief silence. Luke and I looked at each other. 

“Have you ever ridden a bike before?” I asked, not sure whether this was a good idea or not.

She mentioned she has before, but just once, for a very short time, a long time ago. Luke and I looked at each other again, thinking the exact same thing. Neither of us wanted to ride with little asian Debbie, but neither of us could say no to her. Luke hopped on the back of my bike while we let Deb ride out for herself. It was really funny looking back on it now. She did a decent job but still…I couldn’t. 

Little Debbie.
Little Debbie.

We got word that there was a pizza party happening at night a couple of kilometers down the road, with live bands, and lots of local drinks. I wasn’t too keen on the drinking aspect but still it sounded like a good time. Luke wasn’t feeling the best and went to bed early while the rest of us ventures out to the pizza party to find that it was actually a big hippie fiesta. The air was drenched in marijuana and everyone had dreadlocks and colorful loose clothing. There was no live band, but there was pizza.


One girl there said she felt a a positive aura from the bracelet I was wearing. It’s the green, yellow, and black one Quyen gave me right before I left Vietnam. 

“I like that you’re Jamaican”, she said.

“I’m from the USA”, I responded back. 

She apologized profusely but I told her not to worry about it. I get mistaken for a lot of things: South African, Moroccan, Guatemalan, a soccer player, a basketball player, even a drug dealer sometimes; it’s all good. One guy in San Juan was convinced he bought weed from me before. That’ll be the day. I take them all as compliments though.

The next day was the day we all planned to ride around the island. Leo and Anne rented themselves a bike and so we all began our custom tour together. We got word of a natural spring a few kilometers outward. We found the place, paid a small fee and entered the semi-natural pool. It was fresh water that was cool and felt great! I could have swam in there all day long! There were swings hanging off the trees where we could launch off and dive right in!


Tarzan Leo!
Tarzan Leo!

Honestly, the spot was perfect for me but there was way more of the island to see. Deb asked if she could drive again and so she did, but this time I rode on the back of Luke’s bike. We drove about a half hour west and had lunch at a small shack we found on the road. Afterwards we headed to Charco Verde, one of the best beaches in Ometepe.


We located a trail that took us around a loop up a small incline that gave us a view of an area of the island with a small lake inside.


Then we ventured further along to Charco Verde where I claimed my sixth bottle of sand on this trip. The sand here were like small dark pebbles. There was a lot of debris I had to filter out.


As I was filling up an empty bottle of sand, out of nowhere a small black horse galloped along the secluded beach with no owner in sight. It was like seeing a rare Pokemon pop up out of nowhere. I just had to catch take a picture of it!


Once we got back to our bikes, Deb, Luke, and I thought it would be a good idea to get back to the rental station to return them. We only had the bikes for 24 hours and if we were late, who knows how much they would charge us. Leo and Anne continued onto the other side of the island to watch the sunset. We returned our bikes just in time and were able to catch the sunset behind our hostel.


We were only on the island for two days because all three of us had to leave because we all had plans, all in Costa Rica. Both Deb and Luke had separate flights to catch in San Jose while I had a few friends you may remember from my blog a long time ago that I wanted to visit. Leo and Anne stayed behind to spend more time on the island while the three of us packed our stuff and headed back to the mainland first thing in the morning.

Off to Costa Rica!!

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