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Where to Stay in Ometepe (and why this matters!)

Where to Stay in Ometepe (and why this matters!)

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Ometepe is an amazing place to visit, but in order to enjoy your time the most, it’s important to stay in the right place (the island is much bigger than it looks!) In this blog, I explain all of the best places to stay on Ometepe and why!

In Nicaragua, there is a massive lake in the middle of the country, and in that lake, there is an island made from two volcanoes – this island is called Ometepe.

It truly is something that is hard to imagine, and once I saw it with my own eyes I was shocked at its beauty. The best thing about Ometepe is the unique landscape. This is why choosing where to stay in Ometepe is so important.

So many people stay in the main town of Moyogalpa just for convenience. These people miss the beautiful nature, incredible sunsets, and unique community cultures of Ometepe.

This blog is my advice on how to get the most out of a visit to this beautiful island simply by picking the best place to stay.

Which Area Should I Stay in on Ometepe Island?

Choose wisely where to stay in Ometepe to get this view
The view from our balcony where we stayed in Ometepe – Totoco Ecolodge

If you have been browsing on Hostelworld or you would’ve noticed that accommodation options are spread out over the entire island.

It is important to know that although the island looks small on a map, it is actually very large and takes a long time to get around. It is important to choose the area wisely so you get the most out of your trip and don’t spend all of your time getting around. Believe me, there are a ton of fun things to do in Ometepe!

With so many options how do you know which area is best in terms of where to stay in Ometepe?

To me, it depends on what you are looking for but basically, there are a couple of options either stay in the main town of Moyogalpa, stay in the central village of Balgue, or get out into nature and stay elsewhere. Below are the different options described in depth.


Bailey swimming at Ojo de Agua, Ometepe!
Bailey going for a dip in Ojo de Agua.

Moyogalpa is where you will arrive by ferry (there is one other ferry port but the boats are much less frequent.) The benefit of staying here is that you will be within walking distance of the accommodations, restaurants, and shops from the ferry port. The downside is that there is no real view of the volcanos and isn’t too different from most mainland towns in Nicaragua.

The town seems a bit rundown and every person you walk past is trying to sell you something. It is just another tourist town really and doesn’t have anything in particular to offer. In Moyogalpa, you will need to hire transport whenever you want to go and actually visit any of the attractions.

Although it isn’t the most beautiful, Moyogalpa is the most convenient and budget-friendly place to stay. It could be a good base for exploring the rest of the island.

Where to stay in Moyogalpa

  • Hospedaje Siero – (low budget)- $7 USD for a dorm bed in a simple-looking room. This hotel offers a garden and a terrace with a view of the Conception Volcano and is only around the corner from stores and shops. Breakfast can be added on for $3 USD and you can sit and enjoy it from the garden. The staff can also help you rent a scooter if you need one. You can book Hospedaje Siero on either or Hostelworld.
  • Hostel Casa Moreno (mid-range budget)- $35 USD for a double private room. This hotel is only 200 m from the town center and offers WiFi throughout the property. Breakfast is also included and there are lots of nice amenities including a pool, a rooftop terrace with a view of the volcano, hammocks, a lounge, and more. You can book Hostel Casa Moreno on either or Hostelworld.
  • Hospedaje Soma Ometepe Hotel (moderate-budget) – As close to luxury as you will find in the center of Moyogalpa. For $35 USD you can get a spacious and clean private double room. There is a swimming pool, a shared lounge, a restaurant, and a bar on the property. For just a $3 USD upcharge you can have a daily breakfast that offers à la carte, continental or vegetarian options. You can book Hospedaje Soma Ometepe Hotel on

Related Read: Leon, Nicaragua is another awesome destination in Nicaragua.


Monkeys playing on Ometepe island
If you are lucky, you might even see some monkeys as we did in Balgue!

Balgue is a small village with only about three restaurants, a handful of hostels, one eco-lodge, and a couple of small tiendas (tiny convenience stores.) Balgue is surrounded by nature but still accessible with a paved road and has everything you could need (Café Campestre in Balgue has great food for reasonable prices.)

Balgue is a good option for an area to stay on Ometepe if you want to get out of the main town but still have some amenities around.

Dan and I stayed in Balgue. In Balgue, we were still able to rent a motorbike for one day to explore the whole island. And on the other days, we could enjoy the village and go on nature walks around the area.

Getting around from Balgue

Balgue is about 40 minutes driving from Moyogalpa but it is also very central in terms of exploring the island. It is 20 minutes to the natural springs “Ojo de Agua”, 30 minutes to Merida or the kayaking locations, 40 minutes to “Salto San Ramon” waterfall, and within walking distance to the chocolate factory “El Pital Chocolate Paradise”.

In Balgue you can rent a motorbike (or scooter or ATV) from Hospedaje Asi Es Mi Tierra.  With a motorbike, it is possible to get to all of the attractions I mentioned in one day.

San Ramon Waterfall, Ometepe
San Ramon Waterfall, Ometepe

Where to stay in Balgue

  • El Güis Hostel (low budget)- About $28 USD per night for a room or $16 USD for a dorm bed. Located right in Balgue village this cozy guesthouse is centrally located with some shops, restaurants, and the bus stop nearby. Plus, it’s also close to the Maderas Volcano hike. The property has free parking, a terrace, a garden, and a restaurant! The rooms are cleaned daily and the front desk can help arrange tours and scooters. You can book El Güis Hostel on
  • La Bambouseraie (mid-range budget) – All rooms are set up in the trees with bamboo decor, a private balcony, and mosquito nets. The hotel is located on a farm so expect fresh fruit for breakfast! They also cater to vegans and those who are gluten intolerant. The cost is $56 USD for a private studio room and bathroom. This is a unique accommodation with incredible views you don’t want to miss out on! You can book La Bambouseraie on
  • Totoco Eco-lodge (luxury) – $79 USD for a private cabin. The eco-friendly lodge is located in the middle of the jungle up on a hill giving it some of the best views on the entire island. There is an onsite restaurant serving local and international food and an infinity pool. This lodge uses renewable energy so some of the toilets are flush while others are dry compost toilets. The business makes a lot of effort towards helping the local village! The cons are that it’s on a long rough road and the wifi is spotty. You can book Totoco Eco-lodge on
pool totoco
The luxury pool with a view at Totoco Eco-Lodge!

We stayed at Totoco Eco-Lodge and I couldn’t recommend it more! It was located about one kilometer up a hill from the main road in Balgue, accessible by foot (20 minutes) but also surrounded by nature. Totoco is very environmentally friendly and they actually have various programs to help the local communities (you can read all about it on their website!)

The best part though is the amazing view! From our balcony, we watched the most incredible sunset every single night. It is more expensive than a hostel, but worth every penny and still really affordable for the value offered. We spent one entire day just enjoying our surroundings in nature and then cooling off in the infinity pool.

This is where to stay in Ometepe – the best choice hands down!

Related Read: There are lots of other things to do in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua besides surfing!

Remote Places to Stay in Ometepe

Where to stay in ometepe is important to get this sunset view
The view from our room at Totoco Eco-Lodge!

If you really want to relax and enjoy some peace and quiet then you will have to go remote – which isn’t very hard to do in Ometepe! Much of the island is connected with gravel roads and hotels and hostels can be found in isolated locations surrounded by jungle!

If you do plan on spending a couple of nights in a remote area, make sure you have transport or bring anything you need with you as shops can be far away. Also, bring plenty of cash as ATMs are only found in Moyogalpa.

Where to stay in the remote areas of Ometepe

  • El Zopilote (low budget) – $20 USD for a double room and only $8 USD for a dorm. This unique hostel with a farm-to-table restaurant is located on a farm and as such, is one of the most popular places to stay on Ometepe!  It is located on the jungle slopes of the volcano Maderas and not too far from Santa Cruz or Balgue. The staff often ranges a lot of free activities such as yoga or hiking. You need to book it in advance to secure your room on either Hostelworld or
  • Finca Mystica (low budget) – $30 USD for a double room. This guesthouse is located in the area of Merida which is remote and close to both San Ramon waterfall and places to kayak. It’s a beautiful property with a view of the beach, an array of native plants and trees, a pool, a restaurant, and a hammock! You can book Finca Mystica on
  • Selvista Guesthouse (mid-range budget) – Selvista Guesthouse is located in the jungle, and for a very reasonable price of around $57 USD, you can stay in a tranquil place with spectacular views. All rooms have balconies except for those on the ground floor. Breakfast is included in the cost and you will be offered fresh fruits, fresh Nicaragua coffee, and natural juice plus a cooked option. The hotel is located in Balgue which is the best area to stay in Ometepe in my opinion. You can check availability on book Selvistia Guesthouse on

Related Read: Interested in traveling by road from Nicaragua to explore nearby countries? Find out here what crossing the Costa Rica border is like.

Getting Around Ometepe Island

Motorbike rental ometepe
Daniel on his motorbike that we rented to get around Ometepe with!

It is important to note that although Ometepe looks small on a map, it takes hours to get around the island in a vehicle. It is actually a very large island and some of the roads are in bad condition which will really slow you down.

Choosing where to stay in Ometepe is important so you don’t spend all of your time in a car.

There are five options for getting around the island:

  • By Taxi – This is only for those with a high budget as taxis are overpriced on Ometepe. I wouldn’t recommend using taxis as it will be expensive. However, there are plenty of them and they are more comfortable than other modes of transportation.
  • By Shuttle – There are some minivans that do certain routes around the island for about $5-$10 USD per person. Shuttles are a good option once you arrive at Ometepe to get to your accommodation. There aren’t many though so I wouldn’t rely on shuttles for daily transport to tourist spots.
  • By Motorbike – The cheapest and best mode of transport for exploring the island, but not great for arriving with luggage. Expect to pay between $20-$30 USD for 24 hours rental of a motorbike. Some people will try and rent you a scooter, keep in mind scooters will only get you to a select few locations on the island. This is due to bad road conditions and steep hills.
  • Push Bike/Bicycle – Many blogs I have read said to rent a push/peddle bike to get around. Unless you are going to one specific place close to where you are staying, I don’t recommend this. The roads are rough and hills are frequent. I can’t imagine a bicycle will be of much use on this massive island.
  • Local Chicken BusChicken buses are frequent on the island but not to all areas. The schedule seems to change depending on who you talk to and when. These buses also take forever. I would only recommend taking a chicken bus if you have time to spare and can communicate well in Spanish. Otherwise, you may end up on the wrong route and in the middle of nowhere.

My best advice would be to barter with a shuttle/mini-van driver upon your arrival to get to your accommodation. Then, rent a motorbike from near your accommodation for a day or two to explore the island.

Thanks for reading!

Sitting at a pool on ometepe island
Thanks for reading our blog – and I hope you find a wonderful place to stay on Ometepe Island!

I know that when I was researching my trip to the island, deciding where to stay in Ometepe was the hardest part. I really hope this post helps you and my recommendations are useful.

If you have been to Ometepe before I would love to hear from you. Tell me where you stayed and what you thought below in the comments.

If you are still traveling after Ometepe there are some other great places to visit in Nicaragua. check out the rest of our Nicaragua blog, in some of our favorite blogs below:

Best things to do in Granada, Nicaragua

Amazing things to do in Ometepe

Guide to surfing in San Juan del Sur

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where to stay in opetepe

Oswaldo Lynn

Wednesday 22nd of March 2023

I have been to Ometepe many times since 2010. It's my favorite place to visit and rest because it is all nature and night life there doesn't exist. Beautiful place where God took His time to work it out to give Nicaragua such an important reward. I should have been living in that beautiful island but just because of my medical history I can't decide. I was born in Puerto Rico but mostly I have been living in New York City for 60 years. God bless Ometepe and inhabitants.