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Cheap Thrills in Ometepe, Nicaragua

In Nicaragua and looking for some cheap thrills? Visit Omentepe; an island in the middle of lake Nicaragua. This is a great place to really stretch your money. Make your way to the small town of Meridia and you could easily rough it like a king for next to nothing.

Highlights:
There are so many things to do in Ometepe. It’s a haven for budget adventerers. You can hike to a waterfall, bike to beautiful beaches, kayak to see monkeys, or hike up to see a volcano. The people here are amazing. Always willing to help you out and not asking for money in return. I have more conversations here with locals than anywhere else in Central America. Granted, the conversations consisted of passing the Spanish-English dictionary back and forth, but it was fun nonetheless. I had conversations with teenage girls a number of times, and that was always fun. The first thing they always asked me was if I had a girlfriend! They loved the pictures I had to share of my family and girlfriend.

Quick Tips/Suggestions:

When coming into Nicaragua from another country, make sure you have $8 ready for the border. There is a tax for almost everyone to enter the country. Make sure you have your plane ticket or proof of onward travel as well.

The bus rides are bumpy and long, so I suggest some sort of pillow for sleeping or to put under your butt. I brought along a fleece jacket just to use for those reasons. I also brought an inflatable Thermarest to use as a cushion on the bus and as a float for pools and lakes.

Equipment rentals are all for the duration of your stay and are available from the only place to stay in Merdia, Hacienda Merdia. Kayaks $5, bikes $8, and horses $2 per horse.

Best Way to Get Around:

The roads are pretty much nonexistent here. The bikes you can rent work well enough on the rocky roads, but there are a few hills you have to walk your bikes up. There aren’t really towns here, so there are no taxis. The “town” of Merdia has only two stores, which are parts of locals houses. Your best options depend on where you want to go walking and biking.