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Chronic: New touristic attractions in Ometepe

Clementine Haudecoeur | Sep 30, 2015

Traditional Dance | Photographer: Sayra Jarquin

The Colonial and Volcanoes Route inaugurated three new sites to improve touristic offer in Ometepe

“Imagine a small country that has a big lake in the center, and that in this lake there is an island, and that this island has two volcanoes: one of fire and the other with a lagoon in its crater. It this incredible but this is Ometepe Island!” Those are the words my colleague, Jonathan Moreno Nuñez, proud Nicaraguan, utterly in love with his country, repeated to me all along the two days we spent in Ometepe Island.

Jonathan is right, this island is incredible and has a lot of natural treasures to offer to any tourist. It is not for nothing that Ometepe is one of the most visited touristic places of Nicaragua!
For this reason, the island was a priority area of attention for the project of the Colonial and Volcanoes Route, Project of economic development through the touristic sector, financed in a 80% by the European Union, with a total budget of 8,275,000€. In fact, three subsidized projects were implemented in the island. Jean Bourgeais, main technical advisor of the Project, explained that the subventions were given so that different dimensions of tourism would be covered: first, the welcoming of tourism to the island with Las Brisas Harbor, then, costal tourism with Punta de Jesús María, and to finish, adventure tourism with the Concepción Volcano Track.
Right after, I will give you my humble opinion as an international tourist about those three places that I was able to visit.

Las Brisas Harbor:

Las Brisas Harbor is one of the three harbor through which one can enter to Ometepe Island. The welcoming conditions when a tourist arrives for the first time to a new destinations are of high importance because they will determine the first opinion they will have of that place. Having this in mind, I think the new infrastructure of the harbor has a good potential.

Infrastructure of Las Brisas Harbor.
The facility in itself has a nice design that respect the environment of the island. It has a waiting room where tourists will be able to find lodging options, tours of quality, and buy some handicrafts from Ometepe.

The infrastructure also counts with a cultural presentation room where tourists as well as locals will be able to enjoy cultural night shows presented by traditional dance groups from the island.

I believe this infrastructure was well thought and quite practical. Moreover, I like the fact that they built this cultural presentation room because Nicaragua has a lot of original folkloric dances that are worth knowing.

Punta de Jesús María:

View of the Concepción Volcano from the Punta de Jesús María.
The Punta de Jesús María is a strait of sand that goes deep into the lake of Nicaragua. It is not only a beautiful place with a lot of natural beauty, but now it also counts with infrastructures to receive tourists properly.

Thank to this project, public toilets and small infrastructures were built in order to allow local family cooperatives to offer services of food, handicrafts, kayak rental, guided tours, boats, etc.

This place has a huge potential and I believe that the infrastructures built as part of the Project were made in an intelligent way, integrated themselves in the landscape and benefiting to needed families from the communities nearby.

The Concepción Volcano Track:

This last project considered the reconditioning of the Concepción Volcano Track. The climb of the volcano is very difficult and reserved to adventurers in good physical conditions, but allows to witness the biodiversity the Reserve has to offer.

Guard house at the entrance of the Concepción Volcano Track.
This project consisted in the construction of a guard house at the entrance of the track and a shelter house along the track, both with ecological latrines. Three critical points of the track were also improve thank to the construction of steps, banisters and the installation of benches and seats to rest.

Now you can see that the track is a product of quality that provides security for tourists. It is important to underline the big efforts made by the members of the Union of Guides of Ometepe (UGO) without whom the project would not have been possible. They realice an incredible job every day and they are the only guides in Nicaragua who are also forest rangers and thus fight to protect the environment.

Those three initiatives, which represent together a total inversion of 567,445€, offer infrastructures of quality that will improve without a doubt the conditions of tourists on the island. Hence, in my point of view, those projects are successful. The only thing is that now the beneficiaries of those projects have to maintain them in a good functioning state and keep up with their efforts, as they pointed out themselves during the interventions they had in the different inaugurations.

In order to know more about the Colonial and Volcanoes Route projects, financed by the European Union and the Government of Nicaragua, with technical support from the Cooperation Agency of Luxembourg (LuxDev), visit this webpage: RCV.