Getting here is the beginning of your adventure!
Please be aware, there is only one cash machine on Ometepe. It is located in Moyogalpa and only works with Visa friendly cards. If you have Mastercard the nearest cash point is in Rivas.
Keep in mind that buses run less frequently on Sundays and holidays.
If you want support with travel arrangements, please contact us well in advance by email, as we are not always available by phone.
Weekends here are relaxed and open, with fewer people around onsite. If you prefer getting settled into a tranquil environment with a lot of freedom and more limited orientation support, consider arriving during a weekend. If you are someone who would enjoy receiving an in-depth orientation upon your arrival, consider arriving during the week.
There are buses from the Huembes terminal (going southbound) that go to the town of Rivas. You can get a bus from there (they come every hour), or you can take a taxi to the town of San Jorge (not very expensive, should be about $1.50 if you are alone, less for a full taxi) where the ferries run to the island. You can also get a bus straight from Managua to San Jorge at 9AM, and it should arrive to San Jorge at around 11AM.
You can also take a taxi directly from the airport to San Jorge. The cost should be around $50. If you plan to take a taxi, let us know, as we can most likely arrange for one to pick you up.
The San José International Airport (SJO) is located about 20 minutes by car from downtown San José, which is where you will need to go in order to catch the bus to Nicaragua. If you arrive late the day, it may be best to stay the night in San José and leave on the first bus in the morning. We recommend Casa Ridgway, a clean, quiet hostel run by Quakers, which is located downtown not too far from the Tica Bus Terminal. http://www.amigosparalapaz.org/en/casaridgway
You can take a local bus that leaves from the airport and takes you to downtown San José for about $1. From there you will want to go to the Transportes Deldú bus station, which is located on Av. 1 y 3, Calle 22 (A taxi to get there costs about $4). The trip to Peñas Blancas (the border with Nicaragua) is about 5 hours and will cost you $9. Their bus schedule is located online here (http://www.transportesdeldu.com/horariostarifas.html).
At the border, you will need to get your passport stamped on the Costa Rican side and then walk about 1km to the Nicaraguan side and get it stamped again. Allow yourself at least 90 minutes for border formalities. After crossing, you can take a local bus to Rivas for about $1 (1 hour), and then a taxi to San Jorge for $1.50 (15 minutes).
A taxi into San José from the airport will cost you $25. You will want to go to the Tica Bus station and buy a ticket to Rivas, Nicaragua, which will cost about $22. Tica buses often sell out, so it’s best to buy your ticket ahead of time. The full trip to Rivas, including border formalities, will take 7-9 hours, depending on how busy the border is. From Rivas, you can take a taxi to San Jorge, which is 15 minutes away, for $1.50.
At the ferry dock in San Jorge, you will find that there are a variety of boats that can take you to and from the island. Some are small wooden boats (lancha), and then there are also the larger ferryboats. They run almost every hour starting at 7:00AM until noon, then there is a ferry at 2:30, lancha at 3:00, lancha at 4:00, and the final ferry at 5:40. Minor changes to the schedule happen frequently, so check online if you can. Otherwise be sure that until around 5:30 there is always one coming .
There are two ports to land at on Isla de Ometepe. One is Moyogalpa, with a village and cash machine. The other is San Jose del Sur, which is near Moyogalpa, and is where you will dock if you take the large ferry. Once you get to the island, there is the option of either taking buses or a taxi.
Currently, the last bus to this side of the island leaves at 3:30, but you can always stay over in Moyogalpa for the night if you miss it. Take the bus either to Balgüe or Merida, but the Merida bus is better because it gets you closer. If you take the Merida bus, get off at Bello Horizonte. If you take the Balgüe bus, get off at Santa Cruz. From either location, call us at 8909-5653 and we’ll arrange for someone to come get you, or we’ll help find a local to bring you up. (Be aware, the locals know us as Finca de Paulo y Gaia, not InanItah).
A taxi costs $25-$30. Many of the taxi drivers on the island don’t know where we are located, so to avoid complications it is best contact us and we can arrange a taxi for you from the ferry. You can also call Norvin directly at 8831-6309 and he will bring you here for $30. If you decide to arrange your own taxi from Moyogalpa, have the taxi driver call us for directions.
Use this InanItah Map! Going south on the bus towards Merida, get off at the road marked with the large white stone that looks like a chair (the first wide road on the left after Bello Horizonte, 2.3 km from Santa Cruz). The bus driver may know it as the Entrada de Valencia. Head up the hill, passing by two houses. The road will make a sharp turn to the right and you will find us at the end of the road! The walk takes about 20 minutes.
Cross the fence at the Mirador and turn left, heading straight up the hill and keeping the barbed wire fence on the left. After you pass the house on your left and come out into an open clearing, make a 45-degree turn to your right and go through the first Y shaped walk through. Cross through the field and then across the first cattle road. Cross another field to the second cattle road, which has a wooden sign with blue lettering. Cross through the Y behind the sign and continue through the field to the third cattle road, keeping left where the path forks. Walk 100m up the hill and turn right at the first path on the right. After the second Y take a left up the hill and ask for the Finca de Gaia y Paulo at the houses. We are about 2 minutes just past the houses! The walk takes about 30 minutes. The InanItah Map also has directions from El Zopilote.