Tours & Hikes on Ometepe Island

in Lake Nicaragua

Transportation from and to San Jorge

Hiking the Volcanoes on Ometepe Island

On Ometepe Island, you can choose between different hikes on the slopes of the two volcanoes (Concepción and Maderas. Each volcano has different characteristics and properties. We offer multiple hikes on each of them with varying grades of difficulty. Here are some of our personal favorites.

Volcano Concepción 1000m Look-out Point El Floral Hike

This hike leads us half way to the crater, starting from the small village of La Concepción which is four kilometers North of Moyogalpa. A trail between farming fields will bring us to a dense forest and eventually to the look-out point located at 1000m of altitude.
This is an easy hike for most people but still challenging. The first part is pretty level however the second part of the hike will get steeper. During this excursion, we often see monkeys, birds and a great biodiversity of plants. Once we arrive at El Floral, the actual look-out point, we will have the chance to enjoy stunning views of some parts of Ometepe Island, Lake Nicaragua, the mainland, Zapatera Island and even as far as the Pacific Ocean on a clear sunny day.

After taking a rest or a little nap (optional), we can take the same trail back to the starting point or, if you prefer, we can head back on a different trail. This second option is about two kilometers longer but is more open so you can enjoy the views. It brings us directly back into the town of Moyogalpa.
This tour takes about 7 hours roundtrip and is low to mid-grade difficulty level. You need to bring sneakers or hiking boots, a long sleeve shirt or a rain jacket, long pants, insect repellent, sun block, a hat or baseball cap, 3 liters of water and some snacks.

Volcano Concepción Crater Hike

With it's 1,610m elevation, Volcano Concepción is the higher of the two peaks on Ometepe Island. The hike starts from the small village of La Concepción on the western part of the volcano. It is considered to be the most challenging hike in all of Nicaragua.This hike is a continuation of the half day hike to El Floral look-out point. Once we get to the look-out point (1,000m), we will stop for a few minutes to recover before completing the 610m that are left to scale up and reach the summit. At this point, we will get into a more open, steeper and rougher terrain. Between here and the top of the volcano, the surface will change from solid ground to rocks and loose lava gravel. The flora gets more alpine until it disappears at an altitude of around 1,300m. Although the summit is usually covered in clouds and volcanic steam coming from small vents, you will get breathtaking views of the island and the volcano on your way up. Once closer to the crater, it can be very windy but usually you can have a look inside it. We believe that on a clear day, Volcano Concepción has the most amazing views in the entire country.Please note that this hike is an experience you will never forget but it is also very exhaustive and hard if you are not used to mountain hiking.**

Volcano Concepcion seen from Moyogalpa, Ometepe Island

This hike takes about 9 to 11 hours roundtrip and is difficult. You need to bring sneakers or hiking boots (hiking boots are preferable), a long sleeve shirt or a rain jacket, long pants, insect repellent, sun block, a hat or baseball cap, 3.5 liters of water minimum, a packed lunch and snacks.

Map Concepcion Crater Hike

**The crater hike can also be started from the village of La Sabana, which is just outside the town of Altagracia and a more convenient starting point if you stay on the other side of the island. During the windy season (January-February), we start the crater hikes from there on certain days when the winds are heavier as the path is more protected above 1000m. In months with heavy rainfalls (September-October), it may only be possible to do the 1000m Look-out Point Tour because of safety reasons.

Volcano Maderas Waterfall Hike in San Ramon

To get to the San Ramon waterfall on the southern side of volcano Maderas it is recommended to bring a vehicle to access the area. This can be a private transport in a mini bus or a motor bike (no scooter or small car!), unless you are already staying in a hotel somewhere close by. The public transport in this part of Ometepe is rather poor and not recommended if you come from another part of the island and the road to San Ramon is one of the rockiest and heaviest on Ometepe Island.
You can either leave your vehicle at the biological research station in San Ramon, which also serves as the entrance to the waterfall, and start a 3 to 4 hours roundtrip hike from there. Walking through fruit tree plantations first you will get into the forest of Volcano Maderas a little more further uphill before you get to the waterfall. The surface is solid but rocky in some parts. During the rainy months it can get muddy on the way up.
In case you do not like to walk too much and drive as close as possible to the area you can also bring your vehicle until about 1.5km close and walk only about 25 minutes to reach the waterfall area.
San Ramon waterfall on Ometepe Island
This hike is of lower difficulty. You need to bring solid shoes, mosquito repellent, sun blocker, a hat or base cap, about 1.5 liters of water and some snacks. Usually we recommend to include this hike as a part of one of our day tours of the island. Map Waterfall Hike San Ramon

Volcano Maderas Crater Lagoon Hike

Coming from the Concepción side or the isthmus, we will start this hike at El Porvenir where we will first stop to see some petroglyphs on our way up since they are found close to the hiking trail. Other starting points could be the village of Balgue on the northern part of Volcano Maderas or Merida on the western part, depending on your place of stay.
Volcano Maderas is covered by lush vegetation from its bottom to the top. Starting with a tropical dry forest, typical for Ometepe Island, in the lower areas of the volcano a transition into a more dense cloud forest starts at around 1100m of altitude and changes the landscape significantly. The existence of different types of forests is one of the reasons for the ample biodiversity that exists on this volcano, including an endemic tree and the most recently discovered variety of a salamander, not to be known anywhere else, which can be spotted in night time only.
Once we get to the top at nearly 1330m of altitude, it is about half hour walk down into the crater to reach the lagoon. Some people like to take a swim but please remember that it can be very muddy and the water is cold.
Crater lagoon hike on Volcano Maderas, Ometepe Island
This hike takes about 7 to 9 hours from El Porvenir and goes from moderate to difficult. You need to bring solid shoes, a light water and windproof jacket is recommended for the upper part of the volcano, mosquito repellent, sun block, a hat or base cap, 3 liters of water, sandwiches, snacks and fruits. Map Maderas Hike, Ometepe

Wildlife on Ometepe consists of a big variety of different animals and plants. Hiking the volcanoes gives you the opportunity to see plenty of them in a single day. You will see all kinds of tropical birds, insects like butterflies, ants, bugs etc, monkeys and reptiles. Among the plants you will find all types of variations of flowers, bushes and trees which are used in parts as ingredients in nutricion, traditional building and farming techniques, medicinal use, to spend shadow or have decorational purpose.

Tropical Flowers of Ometepe