This little volcanic island out in Lake Nicaragua is one of those incredible places that you think you’ll only get to see once. As it turns out, we’re here for a second time.
We have fond memories of Ometepe Island. It was our first time climbing an active volcano, our first encounter with a howler monkey, and our first opportunity to rent a scooter and relive our Taiwan scootering days. When we left, we were practically glowing with what a good time we’d had and we were pretty sure that it was one of those once in a life time visits.
A couple of weeks later however, we received an email from a couple of American expats asking us to house sit for them this February. We couldn’t believe it. Not only does Ometepe Island has a very small expat population, but what were the chances of one of them needing house sitters while we were planning on being back in Nicaragua?
Naturally, we jumped at the chance.
House Sitting in Ometepe Island, Nicaragua
So I guess you want to know what house sitting in Ometepe Island is like?
We’re in a water-front home not too far from the main port town of Moyogalpa. The house itself is a traditional Nicaraguan home which has been converted with high-ceilings, an open front porch and a vibrant interior. From the front of the house we can see right out onto Lake Nicaragua and from the back we have a view of Volcan Concepción.
This is our first house sit to have a garden with fruits and vegetables growing. Little mangoes are constantly dropping from the trees, we’ve been getting a ladder up a coconut tree to knock some down, and there are sweet potatoes and yuca growing in the back. To supplement the garden’s fruit and veg supply, a little wagon comes by on Friday mornings with bananas, pineapples, tomatoes, peppers, carrots and dark green chayotes.
We have, of course, got some furry friends to look after too. The most lively of all the animals we’ve pet sat is Cappy, a 10-month old puppy with a love for gnawing at bare feet and stealing shoes from the porch. We also have Ocho, a cat as sleek and beautifully patterned as an ocelot, and Queenie, who’s more interested in tuna than us.
How is the Second Time Round?
We love Ometepe Island just as much the second time around. House sitting gives you a different perspective of the island altogether. We’ve had farmers and their cow herds passing by the front gate, a guy with a horse and cart gave us a lift to town, and the woman next door brought over a breakfast of rice and beans cooked on a traditional open fire. House sitting here has given us the opportunity to really enjoy island life.
We had the chance to get a bit further around the island too. We rented a scooter ($25 for the day) and used our Sunday to head over to Charco Verde, the local nature reserve for some walking trails. We lunched over at Balgue, which is a long hour drive from the main port town of Moyogalpa, but is a thriving hotspot for organic cafes and hippies with nose rings.
In the local community where our house sit is located, there are a couple of beach bars where you can sit on tree trunk stalls and drink Tona on the beach. All along the dusty sand strip you have a view of the most incredible sunsets to end each day.
We’re not usually ones for travelling to the same place twice but the nature of house sitting has meant that a couple of times we’ve chosen to do just that. And, of course, who could resist a second trip to this gorgeous little island?
Do you ever travel to the same place twice?