Travel Guide to the Ometepe Island with detailed Maps, Hotels and Tourist Information

Charco Verde Area

In Charco Verde and surrounding areas you find many quiet and scenic beaches shaded by big, old trees and with the ever changing but always dramatic backdrop of the volcano Concepción. The beaches are made up of dark volcanic sand and swimming is safe as there aren't any big waves and the ground drops very gently. Be prepared however that the water of Lake Nicaragua is pretty murky - not dirty but mixed up with sediments stirred up from the bottom of the lake.
For a beach vacation you can stay in a lakeside hotel, or in one of the charming Fincas Verdes which offer rooms in traditional haciendas with the authentic flair of Nicaraguan farm life.

Pictures of the Charco Verde Area

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    Beach at a hotel in Charco Verde

    Charco Verde Ometepe
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    View from a beachfront cabin

    Charco Verde Ometepe
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    Fishermen in the sunset

    Charco Verde Ometepe
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    Some beaches are shaded by huge old trees

    Charco Verde Ometepe
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    The lagoon of Charco Verde

    Charco Verde Ometepe
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    View to Isla de Quiste and the Maderas volcano beyond

    Charco Verde Ometepe
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    Tour by boat around Isla de Quiste

    Charco Verde Ometepe
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    The ferry in San Jose

    Charco Verde Ometepe
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    Views of the Concepción volcano change by the minute

    Charco Verde Ometepe
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    The small church in Los Angeles de Ometepe

    Charco Verde Ometepe
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    Horses on a beach

    Charco Verde Ometepe
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    Lakeside scenery

    Charco Verde Ometepe
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    A visit to the El Ceiba archeological museum should not be missed

    Charco Verde Ometepe


From San José, a ferry boat connects two times per day to San Jorge, Rivas, on the mainland of Nicaragua.

Ometepe pre-Columbian Art

If you are interested in history you can visit the La Ceiba Museum which exhibits a large collection of pre-Columbian artefacts found on Ometepe. The private collection shows many urns, ceramics and other utensils from all generations of the island's settlements. The entrance and guided tour costs $12 /person. On the same premises is the Numismatic Museum, Nicaragua's most comprehensive collection of bills and coins reaching back until pre-Columbian times.

Other nearby sites to check out are the view point on the land spit of Punta Jesus Maria and the Mirador del Diablo, a lookout point on a small hill above the Charco Verde Reserve.

The Reserve and Lagoon of Charco Verde

The Ecological Reserve of Charco Verde covers 20 hectares of tropical dry forest which is home to many animals. Within the reserve is the mystical pond of Charco Verde with its emerald green waters. The lagoon owes its peculiar color to abundant algae. In earlier times the Indians used to make sacrifices and supplications to their gods here. Today it's just a tranquil piece of woodland where you can admire flora and fauna. A trail around the lagoon leads to the beach where you have view to Isla de Quiste and the Maderas volcano beyond. The hotels in Charco Verde can arrange tours by boat to Isla de Quiste. You can also rent a kayak to paddle to the island and further around the headland of Punta Gorda to Sinacapa where you find a patch of primary forest that touches down to the lake.

The Legend of Charco Verde

The islanders tell many legends about the lagoon of Charco Verde and its surroundings. The most popular story is about the demonic figure of Chico Largo, who dwells at the bottom of the green pond. Chico Largo materializes on the lonely roads surrounding Hacienda Venecia. Not everybody is able to see him, but those who do are lured into making an evil pact.
It is also said that on the bottom of the lagoon is a village called "El Encanto" which is populated by people who picked fruits and hunted in Charco Verde. For punishment they were turned into cows, pigs, crocodiles or turtles. Butchers in the area claim that they found calfs and cows who had gold teeth like humans.