Lake Nicaragua, Large as an Ocean

Have you ever taken a look to a map of Nicaragua?. If you have, you probably can't help to notice that there is a hughe lake in the south-west part of the country. Well, this is Nicaragua Lake, and it is hughe indeed!. From one shore you can not see the other shore in the horizon, it looks more like an ocean, with waves, tides, archipelagos of islands, but the water is not salty, it is fresh water. Did you know that this is the 2nd largest lake in Latin America?. Only Lake Titikaka in Bolivia-Peru is larger.

There is something else you should know, as far as I know this lake is the only one in the world that has sharks............can you believe that?. Yes, sharks living in fresh water, not salty water like in the oceans.

The Nicaraguans brag about having their own private sea, and it is a jewel of nature. The beauties it possesses have surprised visitors who have come to know this lake.

If you ever travel Nicaragua, you have to visit Lake Nicaragua, it's not only hughe as I said, but it is beautiful as well, it is a very interesting travel destination. Let me give you some basic information that may be useful:

Facts and history
The lake is connected with the Caribbean Sea by the navigable San Juan River, historically making the lakeside city of Granada, Nicaragua an Atlantic port. The lake even had a history of Caribbean pirates. However, despite draining into the Caribbean Sea, the Pacific Ocean is near enough to be easily seen from the mountains on the lake's Island of Ometepe. Before construction of the Panama Canal, a stagecoach line connected the lake with the Pacific across the low hills of the narrow Isthmus of Rivas. Plans were made to take advantage of this route to build an interoceanic canal, the Nicaragua Canal, but the Panama Canal was built instead. In order to have competition with the Panama Canal, the U.S. secured all rights to a canal along this route in some kind of a Treaty back in 1916. However, the idea of another canal in Nicaragua still periodically resurfaces, you never know!

The Islets
Near to the Port of Granada one finds an archipelago of more than 350 islets, which form a true tropical paradise. In Puerto Asese, 3 Km from Granada one can rent a small boat to cruise among the Islets. It's a labyrinth in the exuberant vegetation. The majority of the Islets have one or several small houses, usually under the shade of large mango trees. You can linger in one of the numerous country restaurants on the isles to savor the guapote, a fish found in the Lake. You can also spend an afternoon at an island beach, swimming and tanning yourself.

Zapatera Island
This large island which can be seen from the Islets is almost uninhabited. On this island one finds pre-Colombian statues which are now exhibited in the museum of the Convent of Saint Francis of Granada.

Ometepe Island
This is one of the favorite touristic destinations in Nicaragua. It is almost 300 km2 large, and it has enormous potential for tourism. Ometepe has two volcanoes, one active, El Concepción (1610 m), and the other dormant, El Maderas (1394 m). The volcanic ash has made the soil of this island extremely fertile, allowing continuous planting without fallowing. The volcanoes are visible from everywhere on the island, and life on Ometepe revolves closely around them. They also play an important part in the myths and legends of the island, which once served as an Indian burial ground

In Ometepe, you can rent horses, bicycles, or cars. It has attractive beaches and a tropical jungle for people with adventurer spirits.

You can climb the Concepción volcano, if you're in good physical condition though. The effort of the climb will be rewarded by a spectacular view from the crater. The crater itself is quite impressive and cannot always be seen because about half the time clouds cover the volcano’s summit. You can find guides for the climb at the Castillo de Altagracia Lodge.

If you don't have the spirit for a climb to the top of Concepción, perhaps you'll find Maderas more to your liking. The climb is easier, and a thick tropical jungle rich in fauna covers this volcano. It has numerous monkeys, boas, jaguars etc... In the crater you will see the mysterious cold lagoon of Maderas. You can camp by the shore of the lagoon if you aren't afraid to spend the night in a real tropical jungle. It is never a good idea to climb Maderas without a guide because it is easy to get lost in the jungle.

You can't go to Nicaragua without getting to know Ometepe Island. One embarks for Ometepe from the Puerto de San Jorge, 3 miles from Rivas. Launches leave each day in the morning. Be careful, because the boats don't leave at the announced times, and they tend to sail earlier!.

Solentiname Archipelago
These precious virginal islands are found in the south of the Lake, near to Costa Rica. Ideal for playing Robinson Crusoe. A community of primitive painters is installed in the archipelago, whose portraits are internationally famous. The Island of Mancarón boasts a comfortable hotel. You can embark for Solentiname at San Carlos

Well, hopefully you found this information useful and interesting, and don't miss the opportunity to visit this lake if you ever travel Nicaragua.

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