Ometepe is an island in Lago de Nicaragua. Its comprised of two volcanoes, the active Volcan Concepcion and the inactive Volcan Maderas. We caught a bus out of Granada to the town of Rivas, and then a cab to San Jorge, a small town on the shore of Lago de Nicaragua and the location of the ferry to Ometepe.
For me, the 1 1/2 hour ferry ride to the island was horrible. The lake is quite windy, whipping up waves that caused our ferry to slosh about. I was very thankful when the ferry docked on the island and I was able to stagger onto firm ground again. Our destination on the island was Playa San Domingo, home to the best beaches on the island and a strong sea breeze (according to Lonely Planet), also conveniently located near the trail head for Maderas, the volcano hike we’d decided on. Two buses later we were standing in front of the Casa Hotel Isiam staring at the beach. And having sand whipped into our faces by the very strong sea breeze. The beach itself was not a thing of beauty, but the water was warm and if you ignored the cattle drinking out of the lake (or the tanker parked on the shore) it was alright.
The next morning we met at 7 am, loaded into the back of a pickup truck and headed to Maderas. Our group was joined by the interesting Igor as well as our guide, Alan. The hike started off fairly easy, wandering through scrubby brush but soon turned into a muddy uphill climb through a cool cloud forest.
Four hours later, we reached the peak of the volcano, looked out into the mist and headed down again into the crater lake for lunch. It was too misty to see the lake, except for a brief moment. Soon it was time to turn around and we headed back into the forest for the decent down. The return trip was un-remarkable until we neared the bottom of the trail and were treated to a troop of monkeys playing in the trees.
We returned to our hotel in time to have a quick swim before the sun set. Exhausted from our hiking it was an early night, since we had plans of catching the first bus out of there the next morning.