Saturday, February 2, 2013

Nicaraguan Adventure - Part 3 (Las Isletas)

There's a lot to like about Lake Nicaragua (largest lake in Central America, home to Ometepe Island, shark-infested "sweet-water" lake, etc.), but one of our favorite activities on our vacation was hiring a boat to take us on a tour of Las Isletas.  Las Isletas is a series of 365 islands that stretch from the shores of Granada out into the lake, and which were formed the last time Volcan Mombacho blew its top and deposited large amounts of rock and soil in an archipelagic pattern in the lake.

This picture gives a feel for that process.  We took this shot while hiking Volcan Mombacho.  At this spot on the trail the forest opened up a bit and we could look over the edge of the caldera, and if you look closely on the left side you can see Las Isletas stretching through Lake Nicaragua from left to right (click the picture to expand and get a better view).

And below is the view from our boat:  you can see one of the 365 islands in the foreground, with Volcan Mombacho rising/smoking in the distance.

Every one of these 365 islands is a tropical paradise.  Some of the islands are quite large, while others are as small as a trampoline, but they're all densely forested and teaming with life.  Some of that life is human life, and many of the islands are owned and inhabited by wealthy Nica families.  There are some amazing multi-generational family estates on some of these islands.  But they're remarkably affordable (by American standards).  For example, we really liked the above island (about 1.5 acres) and estate, which was for sale for about $250,000 (according to our boat driver).  It comes with a great view, endless seafood, and your kids will have the pleasure of traveling to school in a canoe.

Typical abode on one of the islands.

But there really aren't that many people on/among these islands.  Mostly just flora and fauna, including enormous amounts of tropical birds (egrets, parrots, lots of other exotic-looking birds we had never seen).

And we even spotted a few spider monkeys swinging in the trees.

Super pretty, really unique, and so laid back it makes the Florida Keys look like Manhattan.  Here's a short video that Suzy took while cruising around one of the islands.  

If anyone wants to buy one of these islands/estates and then invite us over for Easter, we would be totally cool with that.


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Holly said...

I have completely enjoyed looking at your blog posts about your adventure! It looks like you guys had a blast. I'm so glad you got to have a break and go on such a fabulous vacation!! Also, Julie's room is adorable! I love what you've done!!