Joined by a thin isthmus, Maderas stands 4,500 feet tall with crater replaced by a serene lagoon, while Concepción, over 5,200 feet tall, is dry and sandy, still belching puffs of volcanic smoke.
Hiking Volcano Concepción
Hiking Conception takes about 10 hours round-trip with the best overlooks of the island and its sourroundings. At dawn hiking starts with the trail in La Flor, 4 km from Moyogalpa, and near Altagracia the trail from La Sabana.
The first leg of the hike leads through farmland and jungle, then later over rocks and debris. Towards the crest, the trail becomes dangerously steep with a stiff cold wind blowing. At the top of rim you can gaze inside of the crater from where hot, sulfurous air blasts rising. Mostly shrouded in clouds, on clear sky you can enjoy from the summit of the Concepción a 360-degree view from the Pacific coast of Nicaragua to the Caribbean.
Hiking Volcano Maderas
The Maderas hike is through lush, at times muddy, rainforest terrain, through impenetrable cloud forest, with tree limbs covered with hanging bromeliads and lichens,you can hear the calls of hidden birds while greeted by distant howler monkeys and get a panoramic view of Lake Nicaragua and Ometepe's lush landscape. Hiking Maderas volcano takes about 8 hours round trip. The most popular trail starts from Balgüe in the Finca Magdalena about 5 km to the Volcanoe. Shorter trails start from Santa Cruz and from Merida with various scenic looks. Once at the top, you can go down to the crater lagoon and can swim in the cool water of the perfectly still lake, bordered by reeds but foggy with mysterious curtain of mists.
Waterfalls, Springs and Rivers
Cooling natural pools and languid rivers represent the quieter nature of water on Ometepe, while the San Ramón Waterfall speaks to its fierce and powerful side. Consider a 3-hour hike from San Ramón, south of Merida, to the falls where you'll be rewarded with a stunning 160-foot cascade shooting from the southern slope of Maderas
EL Ojo de Agua
The Ojo de Agua is a natural spring pool filled with crystal clear water from an underground river that comes from volcano Maderas. From Altagracia it's around 5 km to El Ojo de Agua "The Eye of the Water," a pair of natural spring water pools, shaded by leafy old trees. It's a perfect place to take relax, drip dry in the warm sun, to unwind and cool off after a strenuous journey or a hike on Ometepe's volcanos.
The best place to kayak is along the isthmus to Merida down Rio Istían which also features a different view of Maderas and Concepción, rising from either side of the river with a picturesque aquatic garden like carpets of floating water plants hosting birds like preening egrets flying close as you glide through, swooping herons, whistling ducks and jacanas. Tall gnarled trees root in the water, some heavily hanging with vines and mosses. The marshy isthmus is home to turtles and you can spot a shy caiman, a tiny crocodile creature native to the region.
San Ramón Waterfall
Located at the southern side of the Maderas Volcano and 4 kilometers from the small village of San Ramón, the San Ramón Waterfall is crystal-clear water that flows year-round. Halfway up the trail you will find an hydro-electric plant. The water is collected and bottle as pure 'Maderas Volcano Water'.
Getting there: From the Biological Field Station located at the border of the village of San Ramón (entrance fee US$2) and From a trail that take you to the top of the Maderas Volcano. where you can spot many animals, such as howler monkeys, different types of snakes, including boas, a wide variety of bird species, insects and bats. It takes 1.5 to 2 hours to reach the 50 meters high waterfall. Bring enough water or other drinks (this can also be bought at the Biological Field Station). Sunscreen can also be useful and bathing suits.
Protected natural reserve, Charco Verde is located downhill between the two volcanoes of Ometepe island: It has a lagoon called Laguna Verde (Green Lagoon) which provides a shelter to many birds, a quiet and isolated beach called Bancon perfect for swimming and relaxing. You can hike and enjoy the nature, observe the main land visible on the horizon from this side of the island. You can rent Kayaks, explore the coast and even enter the lagoon. If you have a fishing rod, you can also fish from your kayak!
Getting There: You can find this natural reserve about 12 kilometers of the road from Moyogalpa to Altagracia.
Chico Largo Hill
Small hill near Charco Verde famous for its legends and scary stories. As the story goes "Chico Largo", a devil descendant of the devils Rivas, made a pact with ambitious people who, desperate, came to him in search of wealth. In exchange should surrender his soul to "Chico Largo". People who did not respect the pact were transformed into cow.
Located in the region Las Cruces, municipality of Altagracia, the Charco Verde lagoon offers beautiful settings. At the top of the hill, you have a panoramic view of Charco Verde, the Green Lagoon, the small island 'Isla el Quiste' and at the horizon, see the main land looming out of the lake. You can experience one of the most special sun set and down. At sundown, at the horizon, the last sunlight bounces off on the Pacific Ocean behind a small strip of the main land. At sunset, the reflection of the nascent sunlight on the water lake turns the sky into amazing rainbow.
Getting There: From Moyogalpa take the bus and tell driver to drop you off at the entrance of the Charco Verde Natural Reserve and then walk about 500 meters towards the bottom of the hill.
Biking and Horseback Riding in Ometepe Island
For bikers Ometepe offers great possibilities. The 24 kilometers long paved road between Moyogalpa and Altagracia is the route most frequently biked. You will pass small villages, banana plantations and spectacular viewpoints specially the Concepción and Maderas Volcano. Biking around the Concepción Volcano is possible but will you will hit some dirt road after Altagracia. You can also bike to Playa Santo Domingo but the roads are in poor conditions.
Horseback Riding and Lessons
Explore Taguizapa from the Saddle.
Saddle up with an expert guide is a unique way to explore Taguizapa beach habitat. Delightful and invigorating the horseback riding will connect you with Taguizapa's beautiful and natural surroundings while experiencing a profound sense of freedom and adventure. Taguizapa Beach Resort offers tailored experiences.
Never ridden before? Not a problem. Riding lessons are available for guests of all skill levels, and special sunrise, sunset, and moonlight rides make memories to last a lifetime.