Nicaragua: Best Trekking Paths
There’s something about trekking through Nicaragua’s lush forests and jungled areas that makes you think you’re the first person ever to set foot there. Of course you’re not, but the fact that you can feel that way speaks well of Nicaragua’s ability to retain a sense of “wilderness” in a region that actually still is very much untamed.
The term “trekking is traditionally applied to overland journeys made on foot, usually involving the support of a trek crew to carry personal belongings, along with any tents, food and cooking equipment that may be required. In Nicaragua you’re not going to find a whole lot of that, but you will find a vast region at your disposal that boasts endless opportunities for challenging yet recreational hiking: the tropical country is home to 73 nature reserves, which cover more than 21,000 square kilometers. Nicaragua has the largest expanse of uncut rain forest north of the Amazon Basin. The flora and fauna is as diverse as any place on the planet. The massive, exotic Lake Nicaragua, Central America’s largest body of fresh water, is home to over 425 volcanic islands, including the dual volcano, Island of Ometepe and three distinct tropical archipelagos. Nicaragua’s is also the land of dozens of jungle-lined rivers and more than 12 crater lakes.
With all that going for you, don’t you dare think that there’s not plenty of trekking opportunities in which to spend a few days, an entire week or longer.
Now that we’ve wet your appetite, consider one of the most popular trekking locations in Nicaragua: the Island of Ometepe. Formed by two volcanoes rising from Lake Nicaragua, its name derives from the Aztec words Ome which means “two” and Tepelth which means “hills”. In modern times, the locals refer to Ometepe as meaning the “two mountains”. You’ll refer to it as “one of the most challenging trekking environments you’ve ever encountered”.
The volcanoes — Concepcion and Maderas, are joined by a low isthmus to form one island, giving it the form of an hourglass. Ometepe covers an area of nearly 276 kilometers. The most popular tour on the island is a trek to the top of either of the volcanos.
To reach Ometepe island you can catch a 4-hour boat ride from Granada which will take you to the port of Altagracia. Or you can leave from San Jorge (Rivas port) and you’ll reach the port of Moyogalpa in about an hour. From there, a boat will take passengers only while a ferry will take passengers and vehicles to the island.
Check out the accommodations link on Nicaragua.com for a list of great places to stay and eat in and around Granada and the Island of Ometepe.