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    Is This the Isthmus? Tour – Nicaragua Part 6

    Saturday, August 19, 2017
    Charco Verde, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua

    A chicken bus in Moyogalpa, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.
    A chicken bus in Moyogalpa, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.

    A bamboo / thatched hut restaurant in Moyogalpa, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.
    A bamboo / thatched hut restaurant in Moyogalpa, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.

    A bicycle delivery truck in Moyogalpa, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.
    A bicycle delivery truck in Moyogalpa, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.

    A little bit after 10:00 am, I hopped on a packed chicken bus in Moyogalpa and somehow scored a seat near the rear of the left side, even though there were several people standing in the aisle. About 30 minutes later, as we passed the Museo el Ceibo, I took that as my cue to stand up and move toward the front of the bus since my destination was coming up soon, but I wasn’t sure where, exactly. (With so many people standing, I couldn’t see anything out of the front or right side of the bus.) Since the seats were also all still full, I had to kneel down in the aisle to be able to see out the front. After a two or three more miles, I finally spotted the sign for Charco Verde and jumped out.

    A butterfly at Butterfly Paradise in Charco Verde, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.
    A butterfly at Butterfly Paradise in Charco Verde, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.

    Butterfly Paradise in Charco Verde, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.
    Butterfly Paradise in Charco Verde, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.

    Butterfly food at Butterfly Paradise in Charco Verde, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.
    Butterfly food at Butterfly Paradise in Charco Verde, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.

    “The Ecological Reserve of Charco Verde covers 20 hectares of tropical dry forest. Within the reserve is the mystical pond of Charco Verde with its emerald green waters. The lagoon owes its peculiar color to abundant algae. In earlier times, the Indians used to make sacrifices and supplications to their gods here. Today, it’s just a tranquil piece of woodland where you can admire flora and fauna. A trail around the lagoon leads to the beach, where you can view Isla de Quiste and the Maderas volcano beyond.”–Ometepe Nicaragua.com

    A brightly hued lizard at Butterfly Paradise in Charco Verde, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.
    A brightly hued lizard at Butterfly Paradise in Charco Verde, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.

    The rest area at Butterfly Paradise in Charco Verde, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.
    The rest area at Butterfly Paradise in Charco Verde, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.

    A butterfly at Butterfly Paradise in Charco Verde, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.
    A butterfly at Butterfly Paradise in Charco Verde, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.

    After walking for a kilometer down a dirt driveway, I came upon the entrance to Charco Verde. At the gift shop inside, I paid the totally reasonable $5.00 entry fee and made my way into the nearby Butterfly Paradise, a sort of greenhouse sanctuary that is completely teeming with many species of butterflies flitting about all over the place. Chuckling at the incredibly mellow and relaxing piano and flute music playing in the background, which was hilariously perfect for the setting, I was completely delighted and enchanted walking around watching (and shooting photos of) butterflies for well over a half hour.

    A tree gives itself props in Charco Verde, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.
    A tree gives itself props in Charco Verde, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.

    The base of the massive La Ceiba tree in Charco Verde, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.
    The base of the massive La Ceiba tree in Charco Verde, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.

    Swimmers at Bancon Beach in Charco Verde, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.
    Swimmers at Bancon Beach in Charco Verde, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.

    Next, I headed back outside and into Charco Verde proper. After hanging a left onto La Ceiba Trail, I hiked up a steep hill, where I caught sight of the massive and prehistoric-looking La Ceiba tree with its above ground roots, then I enjoyed resting on a rustic bench high up on a hill overlooking Lake Nicaragua. Back down at ground level, I entered Charco Verde trail, which lead down to Bancon Beach, where a few other people–including locals and foreigners–were enjoying a swim. My favorite things about this spot were the really nice, cool, refreshing breeze blowing in off the water and a picturesque view of Volcano Maderas.

    A gnarled tree at land's end on the peninsula in Charco Verde, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.
    A gnarled tree at land’s end on the peninsula in Charco Verde, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.

    A view looking down from the cliff on the west side of Charco Verde, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.
    A view looking down from the cliff on the west side of Charco Verde, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.

    A view of Volcano Concepcion from Charco Verde Lagoon, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.
    A view of Volcano Concepcion from Charco Verde Lagoon, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.

    Following that, I hung a right on Piscacho Trail and headed up a steep hill through the woods. Several vantage points along a coastal cliff offered nice views of outlying islets, Volcano Maderas and the faraway mainland. The trail then continued further south along the cliff and looped around the tip of the peninsula. Down there was a short spur trail that offered a scenic lookout over the lake through some gnarled trees at land’s end. Heading back north, I passed by more huge trees, one of them with a hollowed out shape perfect for standing inside and meditating on the sheer depth of the universe.

    A wooden walkway in Charco Verde, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.
    A wooden walkway in Charco Verde, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.

    Kocha Bamba disco movil in Moyogalpa, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.
    Kocha Bamba disco movil in Moyogalpa, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.

    Next, I passed by the Charco Verde Lagoon, where I stopped for another short rest break at a thatched roof hut devoid of benches, but with a great view of the always-cloudy Volcano Concepcion. After crossing a couple of wooden walkways, I found myself back at the park’s entrance, where there is always the possibility for a new beginning. Instead, since it was already 2:25 pm, I walked back out the long driveway to the paved road and waited for the 2:45 pm chicken bus back to Moyogalpa, which arrived pretty much right on time–a perfect ending to another pleasant day.

    Words and photos ©2017 Arcane Candy.

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