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Dining in Nicaragua's La Isla de Ometepe, or Ometepe Island

By Kristi Robles

Dining in Nicaragua's La Isla de Ometepe, or Ometepe Island
Arriving on Ometepe Island
Photo taken by Alan/Moment Open/Getty Images
Ometepe Island is an emerging destination for tourists. Located in the center of Lake Nicaragua, Ometepe Island is formed by two volcanoes, Concepción and Maderas, which are the central features of the island. Many tourists come to Ometepe to tackle one of the grueling volcano hikes, but other attractions include the San Ramón Waterfalls, the Charco Verde nature preserve, swimming holes and kayaking.

The port city of Moyogalpa, which is where most tourists arrive via ferry, does not have much to offer in terms of quality food, but The Cornerhouse B&B/restaurant/coffee shop is the best restaurant in town. The menu is designed around locally-sourced ingredients to support the community, including organic lettuce greens, cacao, sesame, peanuts, and honey from cloud forest bees on Maderas, and features fresh smoothies, sandwiches and baked goods.

Over a delicious steak sandwich with caramelized onions, organic lettuce, cucumber, tomato and herb mayo on fresh baked whole-grain bread, one of the owners, Sarah helped me arrange a hike on Volcano Concepción. She found me a guide, and packed an insulated bag with a delicious lunch for my hike, complete with a chicken salad sandwich, fresh squeezed papaya-grapefruit juice and a cranberry orange scone. And I wasn’t even staying in her B&B, although I did pay about $8 for my packed lunch.

If you are planning to hike one of Ometepe’s volcanoes, or otherwise explore the island with a guide, try UGO Guides. The UGO is the Unión de Guías de Ometepe (Union of Ometepe Guides). These guides are INTUR-licensed (Institute of Tourism of Nicaragua) and specialize in the nature, culture, history, and geography of Ometepe. And they happen to be some of the nicest people around.

For a more typical Nica meal than you’ll find at The Cornerhouse, try Hotel Ometepetl’s restaurant in Moyogalpa. (It’s the first hotel on the right coming off the ferry in Moyogalpa.) Here you’ll enjoy traditional Nica cuisine on its open, outdoor dining space. The breakfast here was satisfying – salty and sweet, but heavy. Not exactly what you’d want to eat before climbing one of the island’s volcanoes, but perfect for the morning after a volcano hike.

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