There are many ways to get to Isla de Ometepe, and many options for lodging/transport. If you want to book it yourself, you can read below and get the info you need. If you want the trip taken care of for you, contact Gemma Cope with Green Pathways Travel and let her do the work for you.
Flights are now available to/from the island to/from San Jose Costa Rica and Managua, these options can also be booked with Green Pathways Travel. If you are interested in a rental vehicle, our sponsor Easy Rental Car gives a discount and can be booked through Green Pathways Travel.
We have some general information on travel on the site HERE but see below for more information.
Good resources for Isla de Ometepe information are:
- Green Pathways Travel - Managua based tour operator (Spanish & English Spoken)
- The Lonely Planet - recently updated
- The Rough Guide - recently updated
- www.ometepenicaragua.com - great ferry schedule and other info.
- Wikitravel - the Ometepe expat community has worked hard on this site for Ometepe. You'll find lots of information there too.
- TripAdvisor - lots of information and hotel listings there.
Here is a list of accommodation on Isla de Ometepe near the race venue, it is by no means comprehensive. We are not offering any opinion on the accommodations offered, for that please look elsewhere. Please find contact information for the hotels in the links above.
Our main hotel (Start/Finish) is Hotel Villa Paraiso, but it fills up extremely fast and may already be full.
Here is a guide to price;
$ = cheap/economic (the 2 things aren't the same you know)
$$ = mid range
$$$ = top end
$ prices are from $2 through to $20ish
$$ prices are from $20 through $50ish
$$$ prices are $50 and up
Prices are based on shared occupancy (except for hammock), are approximate and should be used as a rough guide. Please research these reccomendations yourself online, via a guidebook or direct with the place of stay or talk with Green Pathways for spot on information. We are not making reservations so please don't ask us to handle this for you. However, we are very happy to try and answer questions and provide information.
Zoning the accommodation with the start/finish line (Distances are approximate)
- "Zone A" is within 0km - 2km of the start/finish.
- "Zone B" will be 2km to 5km from the start/finish.
- "Zone C" will be 5km to 10km from the start/finish.
- "Zone D" is everything outside of that.
Zone A - Playa Santa Domingo
Santa Domingo is the main beach on Ometepe. Between here and Balgue (Zone B) is the greatest number of places to stay. Santa Domingo also has a number of restaurants and local eateries (comedores) but is the highest priced area because of its popularity, though it does offer a number of services and is closer to the towns of Altagracia and Moyogalpa, which have the islands only banking facilities and are where the best shops are, making Santa Domingo an altogether very convenient place to stay.
- $ - $$ - Buena Vista
- $ - $$ - Finca Santa Domingo
- $ - $$$ - Hotel Villa Paraiso Our Sponsor Hotel!
- $$ - $$$ - Costa Azul
- $$$ - Xalli
Zone B - Santa Cruz to Balgue
Santa Cruz is very popular and approx 3km from Santa Domingo which you can walk to along the beach. Balgue is 2km further on making it approx 5km from the start/finish. Between Balgue and Santa Cruz is Madronal, good for backpackers. However, a number of the accommodations are set back from the road making the total distance greater (I have put an '*' by these) and meaning a significant walk to facilities. This area has the greatest number of eateries and Balgue has the most facilities on this side of the island.
- $ - $$ - Istiam hotel
- $ - $$ - Hotel Santa Cruz
- $$ - Hotel Por Venir*
- $ - $$ - Little Morgans
- $$ - Finca Del Sol
- $ - Finca Zopilote* (camping available)
- $ - La Brisa*
- $$ - Via Verde
- $$$ - Totoco Eco-Lodge* (also has house to rent)
- $ - Cafe Campestre
- $ - Asi es mi Tierra
- $$ - Lynn and Toni (house let via Airbnb)
- $ - $$ - Finca Magdalena* (camping available)
Mostly within the sleepy town of Altagracia. Frequent buses move between Balgue and Altagracia with Santa Domingo being in the middle, so transport is relatively easy though buses dont run into the evening. Altagracia has a cash point. Remember this small factoid.
- $$$ - Finca San Juan de la Isla
- $ - $$ - Hotel Central
- $ - Kenko
There is at least one other forgettable hotel in Altagracia. (Finca San Juan de la Isla is actually 3km walking distance from Santa Domingo on the beach, but MUCH further by car. It's a good place to stay).
Around and in Moyogalpa are a number of places to stay. Here is a selection of the worthwhile ones. Worth mentioning it is difficult to arrange public transport from here to the start/finish line. Taxis can be quite pricey. Moyogalpa is where the majority of the ferries arrive on island.
- $$ - The Cornerhouse
- $ - $$ - Soma
- $ - Central
- $$ - Charcoal Verde
- $$ - Finca Venecia
Zone D (Merida)
There are also a number of places to stay on the Merida side of the island. While technically much closer to Santa Domingo than Moyogalpa it is on a horrible road poorly supported by buses and expensive to get to by taxi. But there are some good places to stay there. Services are limited this side.
- $$ - Finca Mystica
- $$ - El Sagrado
- $ - $$ - Hacienda Merida
- $ - $$ - La Omaja
- The race start times for the 25km, 50km and 100km races will be announced in advance and will be adhered to.
- The race start time for the Survival Run is spurious at best and not to be trusted. So be close to the start/finish line if you are racing in the SR.
- Besides Moyogalpa, ferries also arrive at San Jose del Sur. This is a better ferry but with fewer sailing times. It is a lot closer to the start/finish line than Moyogalpa.
- Motorbikes make a good way to get around and can be rented easily. Allow $25-$30 per day for a motorbike.
- Bicycles are also easy to rent. They are Chinese, heavy and completely crap compared to your favourite titanium framed beauty from back home. However, the roads in the area between Balgue and Santa Domingo are paved so getting about by bike is a good cost effective option and will help work the final vestiges of lactate from your limbs prior to racing.
- There is an airport on Ometepe which receives 2 flights per week from Managua for approx $50 each way. It takes 20 minutes and saves a very long journey. They also have a flight to/from San Jose, Costa Rica avaiable for booking. Contact Gemma Cope with Green Pathways for booking.
Credit cards/Debit cards
- Chances are unless you're staying at a $$$ place you won't be able to use it, not to pay for food, hotel or taxi. Bring cash. Bring small bills. Break your money into local currency. Bring small bills in local currency.
- If you do want to use your credit card be prepared to pay a 5% commission. This is standard and bank imposed, do not blame the locals, blame the bastard bankers.
Finally, before coming please remember this: Nicaragua is a developing country. It is the 2nd poorest country in the Northern Hemisphere after Haiti.
Absorb that fact for a moment....
Sudan is richer.
Ethiopia is richer.
Even Leicester is richer.
It does not have all the creature comforts or services of your home country (unless you are from Haiti or Nicaragua). That is a VERY BIG part of its appeal and a big part
There is a mobile phone network.
We do have Internet.
The power is mostly on.
But they do not sell 'Goo' and underwear is made of polyester, so make sure you bring spare.
Ometepe is a wonderful, exciting, fascinating, beautiful place to visit with gentle people and incredible landscape. It is rural, relaxed and charming. Come prepared for an adventure!