Lake Cocibolca in Nicaragua, Travel Destinations
Lake Cocibolca, otherwise known as Lake Nicaragua, is the second largest lake in Latin America. The lake's surface is so vast that one cannot see one side from the other. Apart from its size, Lake Cocibolca is famous for its many lake islands. One of these islands – Ometepe – is the largest of its kind in the world. If you visit Lake Cocibolca, you will likely enjoy spending some time on one or more of these islands.
The name Cocibolca means ‘sweet sea’ and it isn’t difficult to figure out why early peoples thought that this large body of water was a sea. Besides having sandy shores, lots of water and its own little islets, Cocibolca also has one of the only species of freshwater sharks in the world. Unfortunately the numbers of these sharks have dwindled in recent years, but locals believe that their activity is now more concentrated in the deeper areas of the lake. The lake is also subject to fierce storms from time to time which not even the locals will dare to sail in.
The lake shore is also home to three of Nicaragua’s cities – Granada, Rivas and S. Carlos. These are linked together by ferry which makes for a pleasant change from the bus rides that one usually takes in this country. The Cocibolca Lake is linked to the Caribbean Sea by means of the San Juan River, so if you feel like a trip with a difference you can take a boat cruise down this tributary and see some of the amazing plant and animal life on the banks of the river.
Ometepe is a great place to head if you are in the area for a holiday. Here you can sun bathe, swim, rent horses, bicycles or cars and enjoy good meals at the many restaurants. Some of the restaurants specialize in guapote, a fish found in the lake that is popular for consumption. You can also rent a small boat and make your way about between the Islets. If you are physically fit, you can climb El Concepción – the largest and only active volcano on Ometepe. The view from the crater can be quite rewarding but is often clouded over. El Maderas, the other volcano, is dormant. If you prefer to keep your distance from these dragons of the earth, you can head for the jungle. The jungles offer incredible animal spotting opportunities but are not to be undertaken without the wise assistance of a local guide.
Whatever you choose to do on Lake Cocibolca, you can be sure that you’ll be able to treasure the memories that you create here.