This is the first in a series of brief travel bites. I’ll aim to add one from every Latin American country I’ve visited.
Isla de Ometepe rises majestically from Central America’s largest lake in Central America’s largest country-Nicaragua. Ometepe is reached by ferry which leaves port six kilometres from the township of Rivas.
The voyage across the lake is enjoyable but the real joy comes once you are on the island proper- an authentic slice of rural Nicaragua with some of the friendliest people you will encounter anywhere in Latin America.
This double-humped wonder is formed by two volcanoes – Concepción and Maderas, both of which can be climbed. The ascent through thick, dripping jungle to the peak of Maderas before descending to a fog shrouded crater lake is dazzling.
The great joys of Ometepe are simple; hiking the quiet roads picking and eating the ubiquitous fresh and succulent mangoes along the way, watching and listening to birds and monkeys frolicking above, diving into the waters to escape the searing heat and chatting to the friendly locals.
If you hunger to experience Central American rural authenticity coupled with breathtaking natural beauty then Ometepe will satiate you. Enjoy!
In mango high season, make sure to check the abundance of mangoes lying on the ground; many will be bruised, squashed or even fermenting in the heat BUT in amongst them all you will invariably find one (or more) succulent mango(s), ripened to perfection to tantalise your taste buds. Then you bite in…..bliss.