If you want to go for a short walk in the middle of a tropical forest, listening to birds singing and monkeys chattering, you have to go to the Peña Inculta Trail! The Peña Inculta Ecotouristic Trail is located in the community of Santo Domingo, near the beach with the same name, in the municipality of Altagracia, Ometepe Island, specifically in the wetlands of Istián.
The name "inculta" (uncultured) comes from the fact that the area is uncultivable due to the volcanic stones that can be found in the site.
It is important to mention that the trail was remodeled by a project called “Establishing bridges between Biodiversity and People”, initiated by Flora y Fauna Internacional. The trail received some maintenance through this initiative, helping finding the access to trail and getting useful information on the walk. Today, the trail is administered by the Cooperative of women Sendero Peña Inculta, made up of 20 women with limited resources, who are fighting to protect the biodiversity of the area.
The climate in the area is known to be quite hot but the type of woodland present in that forest provides shade and home to around 48 species of migratory and resident birds, as well as other animals such as: Capuchin monkeys, Congo monkeys, wild rats, snakes, lizards, bats, sloths and armadillos.
The trail has a length of 1.5 kilometers and the walk takes approximately 1 hour. There are two resting areas in a distance of 15 minutes from one another. The first area is located under a hundred-year-old tree and is ideal to observe the diversity of the flora. The second stop, known as “área Mosi”, is the best point to observe all kinds of birds.
Throughout the walk, tourists will be able to enjoy Nature in all its splendor. You might be able to see monkeys eating in a tree or listen to the different birds singing. It is important to mention that from November to December is the best period to watch Loras babies, a very common specie of parrot in that area. Visitors will also be able to hear about different existing legends on that place.
The entrance to the trail costs US$2 per person. That will have to be paid at the information office located in the entrance of the site, which is opened every day from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm.
We advise you to go with a guide because the area does not possess a lot of sign posts. In order to contract the services of a guide, you can go directly to the office of the trail, administered by the cooperative of women, which has a bilingual guide Spanish-English. They offer daily tours for US$5 and a night tour for US$10 (including loaning of boots and flashlights, prior reservation necessary). You can also call the Touristic Information Office UGO (Union of Guides from Ometepe) but the prices of this service depend a lot on the kind of activities you want to realize.
Being in Moyogalpa, you can take any bus going in the direction of Altagracia and ask them to stop in front of the office of the Peña Inculta trail (Sendero de la Peña Inculta), in Santo Domingo. Buses go on from Monday to Friday, every 30 minutes approximately. The cost per person is C$25.
Being in Altagracia, you can take any bus going in the direction of Mayogalpa and ask them to stop in front of the office of the Peña Inculta trail (Sendero de la Peña Inculta), in Santo Domingo. Buses go on from Monday to Friday, every 30 minutes approximately. The cost per person is C$10.
Another option is to go to the UGO office in the main Street of Moyogalpa, next to the Hotel Ometepetl, on the right side of the street, and contract the services of a guide including transport.
Santo Domingo Beach is located at 26 km from Moyogalpa Harbour, hence it takes roughly an hour to get there.
If you want to bring your own vehicule to the Island, you can do so with the ferry. The cost of that service will depend on the type of car you have and on the number of passengers. In order to get more information, you can call the different ferry companies (Ferry Ometepe, Ferry Cocibolca and Ferry Che Guevarra). When arriving to the harbor, you have to take the road in direction of Altagracia, and turn right when you see the signs indicating Santo Domingo Beach. Once you are in the road to Santo Domingo, you will see the small office with a sign indicating the entrance of the Peña Inculta Trail at some point.