Woman in bikini standing on swing over turquoise water at Ojo de Agua Ometepe Island Nicaragua

Ojo de Agua Ometepe Island is a jungle oasis and it is also one of the must visit destinations in Nicaragua. In this Nicaragua Travel Blog we share why Ojo de Agua is the perfect swimming spot! The pools of Ojo de Agua are filled with fresh volcanic mineral water from the base of Volcan Concepcion. This pristine picture perfect paradise must be seen to be believed!

Plan your trip: Here are our Ometepe Island Nicaragua top recommendations:

Activities: book your Ometepe Island Nicaragua Tours with Get Your Guide.

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Private Transfers: Pacific Tours,

Flights: find cheapest flights with cashback on WayAway.

Airport Lounge Access: start your holiday the right way with Priority Pass.

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About Ojo de Agua

Swing at Ojo de Agua Ometepe Island Nicaragua
Swings over the water!

One of the most magical places in Nicaragua is undoubtedly the natural waterhole Ojo de Agua on Ometepe Island. Not only is this place a beautiful setting, with plenty of straw covered cabanas to sit under and hammocks to relax in, but the crystal clear waters of these natural pools come straight from a nearby volcano! Obviously, this is a must visit destination in Nicaragua.

Hammocks at Ojo de Agua Ometepe Island Nicaragua
Relax in a hammock by the pool!

The name Ojo de Agua

Ojo de Agua literally translates to “Eye of Water” in Spanish but means waterhole or natural spring. We’ve seen a few signs saying “Ojo de Agua” all around Nicaragua, however the natural spring on Ometepe Island is the most famous one in the country.

Facilities at Ojo de Agua Ometepe Island Niaragua

The beautiful turquoise waters Ojo de Agua Ometepe Island come from an underground river which initially flows from Volcán Concepción. In recent years it has become a popular destination for both tourists and locals. To accommodate this growth in demand they have made some additions to the site such as a car park and a larger restaurant. There are also bathroom facilities available, which we found to be well maintained and in excellent condition.

Change Rooms at Ojo de Agua Ometepe Island Nicaragua
Change Rooms at Ojo de Agua

What to do at Ojo de Agua

Straw covered cabanas at Ojo de Agua Ometepe Island Nicaragua
Cabanas at Ojo de Agua

Ojo de Agua has something for everyone. It’s a great family spot and it also has a lot of nice little spots to relax and enjoy the scenery. You can choose to either sit under the shade of trees or use their cabanas. It’s the perfect spot to bring a book and chill in a hammock as well as enjoy a meal with friends or family.

Food at Ojo de Agua Ometepe Island Nicaragua

You can bring your own food or alternatively there’s also food available for purchase. Not only is there a restaurant on site, but you can also get food and drinks brought to you poolside. The restaurant is open all day that offers breakfasts for US$4 or US$5 as well as lunches from US$8 to US$16.

Restaurant at Ojo de Agua Ometepe Island Nicaragua
Restaurant at Ojo de Agua

Pools at Ojo de Agua Nicaragua

There are two pools in the Ojo de Agua complex. The pools have a depth that varies between 50cm and 3.5m (1.5-12 feet). Moreover, the lower pool is over 40m (130 feet) long. The pools are filled with cool natural mineral water. As mentioned previously, this water comes from an underground well in the upper pool. The temperature of the pools is around 24-26°C.

Relaxing at Ojo de Agua Nicaragua

After you swim you can relax under a cabana or a hammock. For this purpose, many beaches, tables, chairs as well as hammocks are scattered throughout the complex.

Getting the best photos at Ojo de Agua Nicaragua

All you instagrammers out there would love it here because Ojo de Agua is a photographer’s paradise! There are plenty of scenic spots to capture the perfect pic, such as swings that are perched over the water.

Smiling Couple at rope swing platform at Ojo de Agua Ometepe Island Nicaragua
The rope swing at Ojo de Agua

Activities at Ojo de Agua Nicaragua

Ojo de Agua also has a lot of activities for people that are up for a bit more adventure. For example, there is a slack line over the water where you can test your balance. There’s also a rope swing for you to swing into the water.

Man balancing on slackline over water at Ojo de Agua Ometepe Island Nicaragua
How good is your balance?

Drinks at Ojo de Agua Nicaragua

If you are in the mind for a cocktail by the pool, you can also try out a coco loco. Specifically, this is a rum based cocktail served in a freshly cut coconut. A coco loco costs 80 cordobas. Meanwhile, a coconut on its own costs 25 cordobas.

Coconut Vendor opening coconut with machete at Ojo de Agua Bus Stop Ometepe Island Nicaragua
Make sure you have a fresh coconut drink while you’re there!

Hiking at Ojo de Agua Nicaragua

Once you’ve finished your swim you can also do a small hike along a walking trail. This takes around half an hour to loop around. You should see many birds reptiles and lots more. Undoubtedly, the highlight of the hike is a lookout point which gives you unfettered views of Volcán Concepción. This lookout point is only a 10 minute walk from the car park and is certainly worth checking out.

Man gazing at view of Volcán Concepción at Mirador in Ojo de Agua Ometepe Island Nicaragua
View of Volcán Concepción

Getting to Ojo de Agua

Ojo de Agua is located on the isthmus of Ometepe Island. Specifically, it is halfway between the town of Altagracia and the beachside destination Santo Domingo.

Buses to Ojo de Agua Ometepe Island

Man Waiting at Bus Stop Balgue Ometepe Island Nicaragua
The bus stop at Balgue

There are local buses that go most of the way around Ometepe Island that drop you 10 minutes walk from the entrance to Ojo de Agua. The buses run roughly once an hour during the day but do not operate on Sundays. We caught a minibus from Altagracia to Ojo de Agua for 15 cordobas per person as well as a local bus from Ojo de Agua to Santa Cruz for 10 cordobas per person. You can also get buses to Ojo de Agua from the two ferry ports on Ometepe IslandMoyogalpa and San José del Sur. Ojo de Agua is around an hour’s bus drive from Moyogalpa.

Private Transport to Ojo de Agua Ometepe Island

Parque Municipal de Altagracia Ometepe Island Nicaragua
Parque Municipal de Altagracia Ometepe Island

Alternatively, other transport options available include hiring a motorbike, ATV, bicycle or taxi. Prices for vehicle hire vary by season but you should be able to hire a motorbike for around $20-30 US a day, and ATV for $50-65 USD a day or bicycle for around $5-10 US a day. From Moyogalpa, a taxi ride to Ojo de Agua should be around $25 USD, and $15 USD from Altagracia. It is also possible to bring your own vehicle over from the mainland on the ferry.

Getting to Ometepe Island

Ferry Ports on Ometepe Island Nicaragua

If you are coming to Ometepe Island from other parts of Nicaragua, you will need to catch a ferry from San Jorge. There are two ferry ports on Ometepe Island:

  • Moyogalpa is the main ferry port on Ometepe Island. The ferry ride between San Jorge and Moyogalpa takes 70 minutes and costs around 35-50 cordobas per person, depending on which ferry you take (price as at 2021)
  • San José del Sur is closer to Ojo de Agua but ferries to this port run less frequently than the Moyogalpa ferries. The ferry ride between San Jorge and San José del Sur takes 90 minutes and costs 35-50 cordobas per person, depending on which ferry you take (price as at 2021)

Can you bring a vehicle to Ometepe Island Nicaragua?

It is possible to bring a vehicle over to Ometepe Island on a ferry. This costs extra and spaces are limited so be sure to get there early.

Ferry Schedule for Ometepe Island Nicaragua

The Ometepe Island daily ferry schedule is as below. Please note that some ferries might not run on Sundays.

Ferries from San Jorge to Ometepe Island

From San Jorge
TimeVesselPort on OmetepeCost
7:00Ferry (El Che)MoyogalpaC$50
7:45Ferry IMoyogalpaC$50
8:30Ferry IIIMoyogalpaC$50
9:00Ferry (Cacique Nicarao)MoyogalpaC$50
9:30Ferry (El Rey de Cocibolca)San José del SurC$50
10:00Boat (Mozorola)San José del SurC$35
10:30Ferry IIIMoyogalpaC$50
11:00Boat (Estrella del Sur)MoyogalpaC$45
12:00Ferry IMoyogalpaC$50
12:30Boat (Santa Martha)MoyogalpaC$35
13:30Ferry (Cacique Nicarao)MoyogalpaC$50
14:00Boat (Mozorola)San José del SurC$35
14:30Ferry IIIMoyogalpaC$50
15:30Boat (Estrella del Sur)MoyogalpaC$45
16:00Ferry (El Che)MoyogalpaC$50
16:30Ferry IMoyogalpaC$50
17:00Boat (Santa Martha)MoyogalpaC$35
17:00Ferry (El Rey de Cocibolca)San José del SurC$50
17:45Ferry IIIMoyogalpaC$50

Ferries from Ometepe Island to San Jorge

From Ometepe
TimeVesselPort on OmetepeCost
5:30Ferry (Cacique Nicarao)MoyogalpaC$50
5:40Boat (Mozorola)San José del SurC$50
6:00Ferry IIIMoyogalpaC$50
6:30Boat (Santa Martha)MoyogalpaC$35
6:45Ferry IMoyogalpaC$50
7:00Boat (Estrella del Sur)MoyogalpaC$45
7:30Ferry (El Rey de Cocibolca)San José del SurC$50
9:00Ferry IIIMoyogalpaC$50
10:00Ferry IMoyogalpaC$50
11:00Ferry (El Che)MoyogalpaC$50
11:30Boat (Karen Maria)MoyogalpaC$50
12:30Ferry IIIMoyogalpaC$50
13:00Boat (Estrella del Sur)MoyogalpaC$45
13:00Boat (Mozorola)San José del SurC$50
14:00Ferry IMoyogalpaC$50
15:00Boat (Santa Martha)MoyogalpaC$35
15:00Ferry (El Rey de Cocibolca)San José del SurC$50
16:00Ferry IIIMoyogalpaC$50
17:30Ferry (El Che)MoyogalpaC$50

Entry Fees for Ojo de Agua

Entry Sign to Ojo de Agua Ometepe Island Nicaragua
Entry Sign to Ojo de Agua

Entry to Ojo de Agua is $5 USD per person, or 175 cordobas.

A day pass which includes lunch as well as entry costs $12.70 USD per person.

(Prices as at 2021).

How Long to Spend at Ojo de Agua

Man doing backflip into water at Ojo de Agua Ometepe Island Nicaragua
Can you do a backflip from the rope swing?

When we visited Ojo de Agua we spent about about three hours there. Half a day is a good amount of time to really enjoy the place as well as have a bit of relaxation.

When to Visit Ojo de Agua

Woman wearing rash vest, sitting at side of pool at Ojo de Agua Ometepe Island Nicaragua
The perfect place to come and relax!

Given the popularity of Ojo de Agua, we’d recommend visiting during the week as it can get crowded on weekends and on public holidays.

Health Benefits of Ojo de Agua

Turquoise water and cabanas at Ojo de Agua Ometepe Island Nicaragua
The pools at Ojo de Agua

Bathing in the waters of Ojo de Agua is said to have health benefits as the volcanic waters are rich in minerals such as magnesium, potassium and sulphur. Potential health benefits include reduced stress and increased hydration as well as relaxation of the muscles and regenerating the skin.

Where to Stay When Visiting Ojo de Agua

Located in the middle of Ometepe Island, Ojo de Agua is less than an hour drive from any part of the island. The closest areas to Ojo de Agua are the town of Altagracia as well as the beachside area of Santo Domingo. We recommend the following mid range accommodation options on Ometepe Island:

  • Hospedaje Soma, Moyogalpa – we enjoyed their super fast internet, relaxing pool area and above all their delicious breakfasts
  • Hotel Villa Paraíso, Santo Domingo – set right on the beach, this hotel has very comfortable rooms, beautiful balcony areas, plenty of wildlife as well as lakeside views
  • Finca del Sol Eco Lodge, Santa Cruz – for a more rustic experience, we recommend Finca del Sol Eco Lodge. Their cabins are extremely spacious and this is an ideal place to disconnect and get back to nature
  • Ananda Guesthouse, Balgüe – this property has gorgeous views of Volcán Maderas. Furthermore, their breakfasts were our favourite on Ometepe Island. However, if you are nervous around dogs, beware as they do have 2 dogs on the property which tend to bark at guests
  • The Jungle, Mérida – this boutique hotel is run by a lovely local family. This is a great place to come and relax

Is Ojo de Agua Safe?

Man on rope swing platform at Ojo de Agua Ometepe Island Nicaragua
Taking the plunge!

We found the area around Ojo de Agua very safe. Moreover, it is a very family friendly area with a relaxed atmosphere. Petty crime may be an issue, so ensure you secure your valuables.

Other general safety considerations for travel in Ojo de Agua:

  • Drinking water – Make sure you bring plenty of water with you to Ojo de Agua. Otherwise there are drinks you can purchase while you’re there
  • Mosquitoes – We didn’t have many problems with mosquitoes while we were there
  • Road safety – We often travelled around Nicaragua standing up in the back of vans or in vehicles without helmets or seat belts. However, be aware that this does come with an element of risk
  • Water safety – If you visit any of the coastal areas or lakes, take care when swimming as currents and waves may be stronger than you expect
  • Sun safety – The UV Index is very high in Central America. As such, sun protection such as sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses is very important to ensure you don’t get burnt. However there is plenty of shade on the grounds of Ojo de Agua
  • Dogs – In many countries in Central America, stray dogs are common. For more on dog safety while travelling, check out this video

As with any destination, take all of your normal safety precautions.

Final Thoughts on Ojo de Agua

If you want to learn more about visiting Ojo de Agua, check out our Ojo de Agua video.

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