Visit the Village of Balgue
Balgue is located on the Island of Ometepe near the city of Maderas. This small village is situated on the bus route, and is the last stop from Altagracia, with the roads leading out further from Balgue being very rocky and difficult to navigate. There are, however, other smaller villages further on, and Balgue and these villages are surrounded by breathtaking forests and natural wonders. Balgue might be small in comparison to other destinations on the island and does not feature many luxuries, but visiting the village is recommended as it does have numerous attractions and activities to offer.
The village of Balgue is very small, but through the efforts of Project Bona Fide small changes have been made to improve the village, such as the installation of a library in the community centre, with volunteers assisting in the running of the community centre and library, as well as providing computer classes and other educational programs. There is also a playground for children, complete with monkey bars, see-saws and swingset. Project Bona Fide is also instrumental in development programs within the community, such as agricultural projects that work in harmony with nature, including reducing waste, as well as teaching locals how to be self reliant.
Guided tours are also offered by the foundation, educating locals and visitors on agro-forestry, wind power, solar power, and soil management, also introducing them to the animal, insect and bird life surrounding the village. The tour is approximately three hours in length and a traditional lunch is prepared for participants to taste Nicaraguan cuisine after their excursion. Visitors can easily navigate their way around the village on foot, and footpaths lead off from Balgue to other villages, allowing visitors to hike these paths and explore the natural landscapes around the village.
The Maderas Volcano and its lake is located a mere fifteen minutes walk away from Balgue, and is a popular attraction. Standing at 1 394 meters, the Maderas Volcano is the only other volcano, apart from the Mombacho Volcano, where cloud forest can be found and is blanketed is plant life, as well as animal life. Hiking up this picturesque volcano is an unforgettable experience, as prehistoric petroglyphs can also be found on the volcano. Some of the wildlife hikers can look forward to include various butterflies, mountain crabs, white-faced monkeys and howler monkeys. Accommodation is offered to visitors on an organic coffee plantation, where the farmhouse offers comfortable rooms.