Overnight to Ometepe Island Nicaragua

To break up my time in Granada, I rode to Ometepe Island.

Wikipedia Ometepe

This is what Wikipedia says about Ometepe:

Ometepe is an island formed by two volcanoes rising out of Lake Nicaragua in the Republic of Nicaragua. Its name derives from the Nahuatl words ome (two) and tepetl (mountain), meaning “two mountains”. It is the largest island in Lake Nicaragua. The two volcanoes (known as Volcán Concepción and Volcán Maderas) are joined by a low isthmus to form one island in the shape of an hourglass, dumbbell or peanut. . . . The island first became inhabited during the Dinarte phase (c. 2000 BC – 500 BC), although evidence is questionable. The first known inhabitants were speakers of Macro-Chibchan languages. Traces of this past can still be found in petroglyphs and stone idols on the northern slopes of the Maderas volcano. The oldest date from 300 BC. Several centuries later, Chorotega natives created statues on Ometepe carved from basalt rock. After the Spaniards conquered the Central American region in the 16th century, pirates began prowling Lake Nicaragua. They came in from the Caribbean Sea via the San Juan River. The inhabitants of Ometepe were hard hit. The pirates kidnapped women, stole the inhabitants’ animals, possessions, and harvest, and erected settlements on the shore, making it their refuge. This made the local population move to higher grounds on the volcanoes in search of shelter. The island was finally settled by the Spanish conquistadors at the end of the 16th century.

Pretty Cool.

The Ride to Ometepe

It isn’t a long ride to Ometepe. However, there is a ferry, and the afternoon rains to consider.

I got to the ferry terminal and went to the ticket booth. They said I needed to go to another booth. What?! I went there and paid 25 Cordobas. Nothing. Then it was just waiting.

Ometepe Ferry

Ometepe Ferry 3

One ferry was loading but not taking vehicles.

Ometepe Ferry 2

Unlike the ferries I’m use to where you ride on and ride off the opposite end, this one you had to back on.

Ometepe Ferry 6

This made the loading take a long time.

Ometepe Ferry 8

Ometepe Ferry 7

Finally on our way.

Ometepe Ferry 9

On the way a person came around to collect our tickets. I gave him mine and he said that that was just the tax for my motorcycle. Tax?! So I had to pay another 150 Cordobas. I thought it was pretty cheap.

It is a hour and a half ferry ride. I passed the time talking to a nice lady from the Netherlands who was exploring Nicaragua on her own. She wished she had a motorcycle as she found it quite the pain to figure out buses to take. She was planning on spending 3 nights on Ometepe and doing a hike. After a year of riding and having a hernia operation I am in much too poor of shape to do a big hike 🙁 I did a short hour long one at Lanquin and I was hurting afterwards.

As we arrived it started to drizzle.

Ometepe Ferry 12

Ometepe Hotel

I stayed at the Hotel Villa Paraiso in Santo Domingo. I got a pretty cool little cabin.

Ometepe Hotel

It is right on the beach so I went exploring.

Ometepe Beach 3

Ometepe Beach 6

Weird looking bird … but beautiful.

Ometepe Beach 10

Ometepe Beach 12

Ometepe Beach

Heading Back to Granada

Yes, it was a short trip to Ometepe. Before heading back to the ferry I explored a bit of the small island.

Ometepe island

If it had been a nice day I may have stayed longer. But it wasn’t.

Getting back to the terminal was a bit confusing for some reason. There are 2 entrances into it. Of course I took the one just for passengers. There I saw another couple that I met in Leon.

Eventually, after opposite instructions from people around me, I made it to the vehicle entrance. The ferry was just about to leave but they waited for me and rushed me through the ticketing process.

Back on the ferry to head to Granada.

Ometepe Ferring coming 2

Omeptepe Ferry coming 8

Ometepe Ferry coming 7

Ometepe Ferry Coming 9

Ometepe Ferry coming 10

My Route for July 31 and August 1, 2017


Granada Nicaragua

From Leon I rode to Granada, Nicaragua. The two cities are historic rivals. Leon has been leftist and prides itself as the home of the revolution. Granda is conservative and sees itself as the more beautiful city. I was really interested to compare the two for myself.

Masaya Volcano

On my ride to Granada I stopped at the Masaya Volcano. It is one of the few active volcanos that you can ride to the top of and look down the mouth of the beast :-).

Volcano Me

Volcano 12 Good

Wikipedia says:

Although the recent activity of Masaya has largely been dominated by continuous degassing from an occasionally lava-filled pit crater, a number of discrete explosive events have occurred in the last 50 years. One such event occurred on November 22, 1999, which was recognised from satellite data. A hot spot appeared on satellite imagery, and there was a possible explosion. On April 23, 2001 the crater exploded and formed a new vent in the bottom of the crater. The explosion sent rocks with diameters up to 60 cm which travelled up to 500 m from the crater. Vehicles in the visitors area were damaged and one person was injured. On October 4, 2003 an eruption cloud was reported at Masaya. The plume rose to a height of ~4.6 km. In 2008, the mountain erupted spewing ash and steam.

Nothing happened while I was there 🙁

Granada Stay #1

I actually stayed in Granada twice. In between I went overnight to Ometepe. I’ll blog about that in a separate post.

On my first stay I stayed at Charly’s Guesthouse. It was a ways out of town but still walkable. I didn’t feel comfortable walking it at night though. So my exploring was limited to daytime walking around.

Granada 1

Granada 2

Granada 5

Granada 4

Granada 7

Granada 15

Granada 19

The art on the ceiling of this church was spectacular.

Granada 22

Granada 24

Granada 26

Granada 29

Granada 30

My go to cafe in Granada. Really good salads!

Granada 17

I also went to the Garden Cafe a couple of times.

Garden Cafe

And the Cafe de Arte.

cafe de arte

But I liked the Pan de Vida best. The owners were from Austin, Texas and really friendly. And the prices were cheaper.

Of course every town has a main plaza.

Granada 33

Granada 35

Granada 37

I watched them paint the curbs. Obviously they don’t suffer from perfectionism here!

Granada 40

As I walked around I just felt like something was missing from the city. It was beautiful, but sooooo quiet and subdued, especially in the tourist areas. There was more action in the markets outside of the main streets.

Granada Stay #2

On my second stay in Granada I picked a place downtown, Hospedaje Valeria. An interesting place to stay ha ha. The staff were very friendly and great promoters of the services offered by the hotel. I didn’t eat there though because I would have been the only one. As a single I need a place where I can people watch. Although they did offer to get me some company ha ha ha.

The good thing about staying downtown was that I could explore at night.

Granada night 2

Granada night 3

Definitely more action at night than during the day.

Leon versus Granada

Granada for sure is more beautiful than Leon. But there is just more action and personality in Leon. A Lonely Planet post says it best.

[Leon is] intensely political, buzzing with energy and, at times, drop-dead gorgeous (in a crumbling, colonial kind of way), León is what Managua should be – a city of awe-inspiring churches, fabulous art collections, stunning streetscapes, cosmopolitan eateries, fiery intellectualism, and all-week, walk-everywhere, happening nightlife. Many people fall in love with Granada, but most of them leave their heart in León”

My Route on July 26, 2017

Leon Granada

My Location from July 27 to 30, and August 2 to 5, 2017


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