Four people staying in Granada want to go to Ometepe for a day trip. Possible? Is it best to hire a guide or can we get to the ferry and make our way around the island on our own?
It is possible, but it would make for a long and rushed day, as others suggested. My family and I hired a driver to take us to the ferry. Because we were on Ometepe for several days, we did not hire a guide. Ometepe, although lots of amazing things to attract tourist, still had a very rural feel and we were lucky that we had someone in my family who speaks fluent Spanish. If you have no small children, then if you don't hire a guide, rent bikes or mopeds. The island is very easily navigatable since there is only 1 major road. I would highly recommend more than 1 day. While We liked Granada, we thoroughly enjoyed our time in Ometepe and would love to return!
We got a guide and prepaid before getting onto the fairy. I suggest making not getting a guide but ask and negotiate with many hotels and taxis, or rent a moped and get a map to tour the island.
You definitely need a guide if you are going to walk up the volcano ( would be dangerous and life threatening otherwise)
You can easily take a taxi from Granada to Rivas where you catch the Ferry (about $1.50/pp). I would also second the suggestion to stay on the island for at least a couple days. I would also suggest going away from Moyagalpa and heading to some of the other places on the island (Santa Cruz, Balgue, Santo Domingo).There are taxis on the island that can take you around. And yes, if you go this route best if you speak/understand Spanish and understand the cord conversion.
The ferry goes only twice a day, so for the car you should reserve, guides are available everywhere, from Grenada to The Ferry is .5 hour by car.
i would suggest to go on the ferrry by foot and take a day taxi in ometepe to drive around. Taxi is very cheap.
Hi, technicaly possible but in my opinion you won't enjoy the trip. Since there is no ferry this year from Granada to Ometepe (I was there and asked last week) you'll need a lot of time just to arrive on Ometepe. With public transport: min. 1,5hour from Granada to habour in San Jorge. Then 1h by ferry /boat to Moyogalpa (or San Jose). In Moyogalpa you can rent some Motorbikes (don't take the scooter if you want to drive around the hole island - the western party has no good roads). A complete tour took us around 4-5hours (with several stops for dinner etc.) and it wasone of the best days we had so far. Lots of nature, locals and fun by riding motorbike a bit offroad. If you want ro see the "Ojo de agua" as well you should plan 1-2hours more, it's nice there and you might want to swim.
I would suggest to share a Taxi or shuttle which gets you directly from Granada to the habour in San Jorge. Take one of the first ferrys (7am), get motorbikes at Bullshark 20-25$/day (make sure that they have some availlable), have fun on the Island and leave with the last ferry (5:30pm).
It's definatly worth it but I would suggest to spend at least on night on the Island to enjoy. Accomondations there are not that expensive.
However, have fun...
we were 4 people in san juan del sur. we signed up for a day tour, approx $100/pp. it was a full day with a 7:30a pick up, return by 7:30p. one car took us to the ferry (1 1/2 hour drive) where we met our guide, took the ferry to Ometepe, met our driver. our guide took us to the waterfall, ojo de agua, and more places if there weren't clouds at the mirador and more time . yes, you can do a day trip from Granada. much easier to have a guide/tour where all the connections have been made for you. biggest challenge if you go independently is getting around Ometepe on your own if you have limited time. the last ferry leaves around 5p. if you go independently it would also be easier if you speak spanish. probably much cheaper if you go independently.
you can get around on your own but I'd spend at least one night there, because of ferry schedule I'm not sure if it's any worth going in and out the island in the same day. and the island is huge, you can get around on your own but you'll probably at least rent a scooter or bicycle, there are also buses in the island.
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