Isla de Ometepe Day Trip from Granada, Nicaragua

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Ometepe Concepcion Volcano

When approaching Ometepe on the ferry, you get a great view of Concepción, one of the island’s two imposing volcanos. Image credit: Stoschmidt

Located just 50 kilometers south from Managua, Nicaragua, the colonial city of Granada is a popular international tourist destination. Granada, the oldest city in the New World, is the perfect place to set up base camp to explore this beautiful country. One popular day trip is to Isla de Ometepe, a 276- square kilometer island flanked by two volcanoes with virgin forests and white sand beaches in between. Although a four-hour ferry ride from Granada, it can be reached faster by driving south to San Jorge and catching the ferry from there.

How to get there:

From Granada, drive southwest on NIC 4, then south on the Pan American Highway to Rivas. Turn east to San Jorge where you can catch the ferry for the one-hour ride across Lake Nicaragua to Moyogalpa. The trip from Granada to the ferry landing in San Jorge should take about an hour and 15 minutes. Be sure to arrive at least a half hour before your scheduled launch. The ferry schedule is subject to change, but generally runs from 7:45 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Reservations should be made at least 72 hours in advance (277 5354, 278 8190).

Cascada San Ramon hike:

Located about one-third of the way up the Maderas Vocano sits the breathtaking San Ramon waterfall. This 52-meter tall waterfall cascades into a small refreshing pool where weary hikers can take a break from the heat and humidity of the forest. To reach the trailhead, drive to the Ometepe Biological Field Station just outside the village of San Ramon. From there it is a moderately-difficult hike to the falls, taking between one and two hours, depending on your pace. Debris slides are common on the trails, and can change the landscape dramatically. Be sure to check with local officials before heading out on your own. Along the trail you can expect to see a variety of wildlife, including various reptiles, amphibians and howler monkeys.

Other things to do and see on Ometepe:
Additional Tips:
  • If you are planning to explore the island in your own vehicle, you will need a 4-wheel drive.
  • Be sure you have plenty of water and are well protected against mosquitoes.
  • There are no banks on Ometepe, so hit the ATM before boarding the ferry in San Jorge.
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27 thoughts on “Isla de Ometepe Day Trip from Granada, Nicaragua

    1. Cherri M Post author

      Leann – Although we didn’t visit any beaches while there, you can enter the water from the beach and swim. The best one is evidently Playa Santo Domingo, which is a 4-km-long sand beach on the north-east side of the island.

  1. Greg

    I really enjoy exploring volcanoes. I used to live in the northwest United States, and Mount Rainier National Park and Mount St. Helens National Monument were two of my favorite places to go hiking.

  2. Bonnie @ wemake7

    Thanks for the additional tips. Those will definitely come in handy if I visit there. Great picture by the way. =)

  3. Alysia from My Domestic Dish

    Wow, it sounds like there’s a lot of history/culture to check out. Gah, I would be so nervous to attempt that volcano trek 😛 Great points about the lack of banks. I know that it wouldn’t be something I would think of normally and, when I come across a tip like this, it can be incredibly useful.

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