San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Ometepe Island: Info for Travelers

How to Get There: Boats and ferries depart from San Jorge, Rivas, to Moyogalpa (one hour) at 9, 9:30, 10:30 (ferry)and 11:30 a.m., and 1:30, 2:30 (ferry), 3:30, 4:30 and 5:30 (ferry) p.m. Boats depart from Granada to Altagracia (threehours) at noon on Saturday and at 1 p.m. on Monday and Thursday. Boats and ferries cost less than $2.Where to Stay: In a league of its own, Hotel Villa Paraíso (, 563-4675), on Playa SantoDomingo, in Altagracia, is by far the nicest place to stay on Ometepe, with beautiful rooms, an open-air restaurant, abeach and pleasant landscaping. Rates range from $21-46, with air-conditioning and private terrace. On Playa Istian,Casa Hotel Istian (569-4276) has simple, overpriced rooms ($35), some with air-conditioning, and a decent restaurant.In Balgüe, Finca Magdalena (, 880-2041) is a rustic farmhouse ecolodge set on a nicelylandscaped finca overlooking Lake Nicaragua. The hotel has several pleasant, private cabinas for $40, and a campingarea for $1.50. In Moyogalpa, Hotel Ometepetl (569-4276), across from the ferry, has a pool, restaurant and simple doublerooms for $35.Tour Guides: Highly recommended Exploring Ometepe (, 895-5521) offers bikerentals and guided tours. Ask for Horacio Galán (speaks English and very helpful). Roberto Hernández of CooperativaTransporte Turístico Ometepe (887-4209) offers transportation and guided tours.

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