isla de ometepe
Merida Travel Blog› entry 18 of 20 › view all entries
Isla de Ometepe is an island in lake Cocibolca (lake Nicaragua) made up of 2 volcanoes Maderas and Concepcion joined by a narrow piece of land. We stayed in Merida- which is on the Maderas side. This really felt isolated. There are a few chicken buses that go back and forth on the roads around the island but not a lot of other vehicles at all. Lots of little houses with little kids, chickens, pigs, horses, you name it. The hostel we stayed at was really nice and we met lots of nice people from all over. It was on the water and we seen some great sunsets with the perfectly conical Volvan Concepcion in the background. There was lots of great hammocks to swing in. The main activity to do here is of course to climb the volcano- most people do Maderas, Concepcion is more active and is supposed to really be for those people who want to torture themselves.
We did however go on a great kayak ride to the Rio Istian- basically a nice soundning name for a swamp- but it was great! We had perfect clear views of Concepcion- which had been all clouded over till then. It took us a good hour of paddling to the opening of the swamp- and it was so shallow at the opening we just pushed ourselves in with our paddles with the bottom of the boat dragging. The water temp in hear was disturbingly hot! The swamp looked like prime alligator and snake territory- but we knew it must be perfectly safe cuz we had received no warnings from the people at the hostel. The water plants were so thick we could barely plow through them with our paddles. We paddled under one big fallen tree that had a bunch of bats hanging out underneath it. We seen tons of huge birds and a family of spider monkeys which fortunately did not through their feces at us.
We also hiked up to the 60m San Ramon waterfall- which was beautiful- though strenuous to get to. It reconfirmed that we didn´t want to do the volcano! It was a 4km walk down the road from the trailhead and then supposedly 3km uphill- more like 4 or 5 we think. We heard lots of howler monkeys on the trail. The waterfall provides the drinking water for the surrounding area. Next day we were off to San Juan (only after Wes and some tourists push started the bus).