Ometepe Island

Posted: October 7, 2014 by Central America Overland Expeditions in Expedition/Travel

Isla de Ometepe

We put the trucks on a ferry today for an hour ride across Lake Nicaragua to Ometepe. Not sure what it’s about?

Isla de Ometepe is made of twin volcanoes that rise dramatically from Lake Nicaragua. Lava flows created a base that joins them. Local legend would have you believe that the volcanoes were formed from the breasts of Ometeptl, a daughter of the Niquirano tribe who fell in love with Nagrando from the rival tribe, Nagrandando. In that time, the area was a dry and fertile valley. When the lovers decided the only way they could live in peace together was to die together, they slit their wrists. As Ometepl died she arched her back in pain and despair, her breasts swelling to form the twin peaks, and the valley flooded, forming Lake Nicaragua.
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The northernmost volcano, Concepción, is a near-perfect cone rising to an altitude of 1,610m above the lake. It is still active and emergency evacuation routes are signposts around the island, although the last major eruption was in 1957. To the south, less-impressive Maderas reaches a height of 1,394m. Its slopes are covered in cloud forest and there is a popular hiking route to the top for the view of Concepción.

The volcanoes are ringed by a rough road that is only paved in parts and plied by slow buses or expensive taxis, horses, bicycles, mopeds and cattle. Small villages are dotted around the island. Locals make a living from farming, fishing and tourism. It’s a simple, highly infectious way of life, and we plan to explore it all. More coming soon.

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