Isla de Ometepe Nicaragua

Hiking the volcanoes of Isla de Ometepe

When you are visiting Nicaragua for some serious hiking than you can ’t skip Isla de Ometepe. This beautiful island is located in Lago Nicaragua and consists out of two sleeping volcano’s. The island is only reachable by a small ferry that goes up and down from the mainland. Don’t like the water? The shortest trip can be made from the city Rivas and will take only about one hour to reach Isla de Ometepe. It is probably one of Nicaragua’s top sightseeing destinations! Nonetheless, there aren’t many tourists visiting the island.

The two volcanoes

The sight is amazing from the mainland, two huge volcano’s surrounded with clouds just plunged into Lago Nicaragua. When you arrive on Isla de Ometepe you should directly take the bus to the other smaller volcano named Volcan Maderas. This volcano is smaller but more robust and harder to climb and hike. You can find many accommodations around the volcano of which you can plan your hike up the volcano. We stayed near the crossway of Santa Cruz since it was then possible to plan trips both ways. If you are going to hike all the way to the top you need a guide since it is a protected area. We suggest you rent a mountain bike for the first part of the trail around the volcano, since you can track all day long in a much beautiful area than on near the main road (the main road is just sand an rocks but still..).

Hiking volcano Maderas

After one-two hours of mountain biking you will find some road signs that show hiking trail up the mountain. You can leave the bikes at the start (Don’t forget to lock them). The hike up the mountain will go through dense jungle and rough paths. The path is definitely not easy and can be very slippery because of the moist from the clouds and rain. Yet, it is a beautiful way up the mountain and gives you stunning views over Lago Nicaragua and the other volcano Concepcion. You will pass small waterfalls that fall down a couple of meters and originate in Laguna Volcan Maderas, the Crater Lake. When you reach the top the views are absolutely beautiful, but you have to be lucky since it lies in the clouds most of the time.

Hiking up volcano Concepcion

Volcano Concepcion is the bigger volcano on Isla de Ometepe. You can book various hikes up the mountain with touroperators that pick you up at your accommodation. The hike up the volcano starts in the early morning so that you can see sunrise at the top of the volcano. This volcano is more accessible yet it is still a hard walk all the way up to the top. If you are lucky you can encounter lots of wildlife that follows the same trail as you do.

Review of the Isla de Ometepe trekking

Scales consist of points ranging from one to being easy or not cool to ten being awesome or very hard.

Question Answer
Elevation level 0-400 meters
Distance 2-6 miles
Difficulty level 8
Climate Hot and humid
Temperature Around 20-25 degrees Celsius
Best shoes to equip Solid hiking boots
Hike equipment Mosquito repellent, flashlight, and a simple medical kit
Kids No, the track isn’t easy at all. You can walk around the small volcano with your kids.
Worth tracking? Yes, the track is short but hard and offers great views.
Most beautiful aspect Views from the top of the volcano’s over Lago Nicaragua


loves to hike! Traveling around the world and making my way in dense forests and up high mountains. Until this day I have conquered; Mexico, Guatemala, Panama, France, Swiss, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, China, Thailand, Colombia, Costa Rica, Spain, Italy and many more countries.

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