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Lake Nicaragua (Lake Cocibolca)
Lake Nicaragua (Lake Cocibolca)

Lake Nicaragua (Lake Cocibolca)

Granada, Nicaragua

The Basics

The best way to see Lake Nicaragua is on a boat tour from Managua. You can combine a cruise on the lake with a tour of the Granada city highlights. You can also take a boat tour of the Granada Islets, a scattering of 365 tiny islands formed by the eruption of the Mombacho Volcano and a haven for exotic birds or visit the lake’s largest island, Ometepe.

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Things to Know Before You Go

  • Lake Nicaragua is also known as Lake Cocibolca, Lake Granada and the Sweet Sea.
  • Despite being a freshwater lake, Lake Nicaragua is home to oceanic life such as sharks and swordfish.
  • Lake Nicaragua boat tours are not generally wheelchair accessible; it’s best to inquire in advance.
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How to Get There

Lake Nicaragua is located in southwestern Nicaragua near the Costa Rican border. Many travelers visit the lake from Granada, which is 25 miles (40 kilometers) southeast of Managua and easily accessible by bus. The cities of San Carlos, San Jorge, and San Miguelito also provide good access to the lake.

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When to Get There

The best time to visit Nicaragua is during the dry season between November and April. The busiest time to visit is over the holidays and in February and March. Expect stifling heat in May and heavy rains in September and October, but cheaper prices on accommodations and tours during these months.

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Wildcard

Visiting Ometepe Island Formed by two volcanoes rising out of Lake Nicaragua, Ometepe Island is one of Nicaragua’s most visited tourist destinations. The island is easily reached via a port near Rivas or you can fly to the island directly from Managua. Once on the island, you can enjoy a range of outdoor activities from hiking, fishing, kayaking, and cycling as well as exploring the island’s many colorful villages and archeological sites.

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