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Lake Cocibolca :: Nicaragua

February 19, 2010 by  
Category: Landmarks

Lake Cocibolca, today’s interesting destination, is known by many names: Lake Nicaragua, Lake Granada, Sweet Sea, Great Lake, Great Sweet Lake, and probably a few others. Despite its many names, Lake Cocibolca is singular among the more fascinating and beautiful places on the planet. For one thing, this massive body of water (3,191 square miles) is the only freshwater habitat in the world that continually houses a population of sharks. And Bull sharks at that! It was found that they travel back and forth to the Caribbean Sea utilizing the rapids of the connecting San Juan River (a journey of over 100 miles!). Generally these hardy predators tend to stay in the deeper waters away from swimmers. And good thing too; because their vast sandy shores are a huge draw for locals and tourists alike. Located in Nicaragua, some of the more popular destinations in and around the lake include the city of Granada, Ometepe Island, and Zapatera Island.

Granada is a gorgeous little Spanish Colonial town located on the shores of Lake Cocibolca. The architecture alone will leave you in awe. Recently the city has refurbished many of the older buildings and converted them into fantastic hotels and museums; further extending the life of this magical city. It’s typically warm throughout the year, attracting snowbirds from both the north and south during their respective winters. Great for eco-tourists and those just looking to relax under a hot tropical sun, Granada’s warm people and laid back atmosphere are the perfect getaway from the everyday. Another vacationer paradise is Ometepe Island. Sitting on the western end of Lake Cocibolca, Ometepe is basically the epitome of easy living. Formed by one dormant and one active volcano, it is a very popular spot for locals. In fact if you are looking for traditional Nicaraguan culture, this is the place to find it. Their rich heritage is frequently celebrated here in the form of many unique and colorful festivals. On top of the festivals, you also have horseback riding, swimming, boating, and plenty of excellent seafood restaurants (try the Guapote, similar to tuna in texture but with a milder flavor).

If you’re looking for high flying adventure, make your way to Zapatera Island. This is the place to go for extreme nature hikes and awesome zip lining. Because of the island’s protected status, the sheer variety of wildlife here is outstanding. In addition, though it’s an archeological “gold mine”, it’s still relatively unknown by tourists, making it a truly unique and beautiful experience. Expect to see amazing tropical birds like the parrots and parakeets along with lots of vivacious and chatty Howler monkeys. In certain small pockets of the surrounding forest, there are even still jaguars prowling the lush jungle floor. Clearly Lake Cocibolca isn’t just a “one trick pony”; no in fact it’s a “horse of a different color”. From gloriously well preserved architecture, to fantastic natural landscapes, to fine dining and adventure, it’s all here. When you are surrounded by its beautiful flora, friendly people, and oodles of things to do you’ll see why Lake Cocibolca is one vacation destination you won’t soon forget.

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One Comment on "Lake Cocibolca :: Nicaragua"

  1. Sandra Lau on Fri, 19th Feb 2010 8:31 pm 

    I am Nicaraguan and it is my pleasure to congratulate “Most Interesting Destinations”, for the accuracy and charm this article was wrote.

    Thank you for your interest in Nicaragua, also known as “Land of lakes and volcanoes”.

    Wishing you every success,


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