Santa Cruz, Isla de Ometepe

After we left Merida, we stopped in Santa Cruz for a night.  I wanted to see the jungle side of the island, and Santa Cruz delivered.  I’m not usually much interested in nature photography, but something about Ometepe just begs you to photograph the flowers and insects.

Ometepe is like a giant garden of tropical flowers and fruits, swarmed with huge and amazing insects.  Ok, maybe not swarmed.  That sounds terrible.  Let’s just say they are everywhere.

The bee below is really just average – I couldn’t capture a shot of the gigantic ones buzzing around.  You’d think with how large they are I’d have an easy time catching them, but they did not like my camera.  I can’t blame them.  I don’t like having my photo taken, either.It’s hard to catch the butterflies still enough for photos, but they are so stunning that I kept trying.  I missed more than I captured.  There are gorgeous blue ones, bright white ones, and several others in delicate patterns of vivid colors.In addition to the butterflies and bees, there are enormous dragon flies, ants, and several bugs we couldn’t recognize.  And, of course, mosquitos.  Lots of them.  Oh well, a few bites are just the price of admission when you visit a lush tropical island.I think this is the best butterfly shot I got.  When you get over the creepy insect qualities, they are really very beautiful.Sick of looking at flowers and butterflies?  Here – look at some impressively large fruits instead.
Once I’d finally had my fill of stalking butterflies, we rented mountain bikes and biked to the local swimming hole, Ojo del Agua.The spot is essentially a giant swimming pool of volcanic waters (think hot springs but refreshingly cool instead of swelteringly hot and no sulfur smell.)  I heard some complaints that the space is too “man made” but we didn’t mind.  There were hardly any other people there beside us, so it felt like a nice quiet oasis surrounded by lush landscape.  Just ignore the overpriced bar/restaurant and focus on the rope swing instead.  Delightful.With several days of tourist mode behind us we left the island, our legs riddled with mosquito bites, ready to find a place to settle down and live for a while.  With this objective in mind, we bussed to San Juan del Sur.  Unfortunately, that town didn’t offer quite what we were after.  That story coming soon!

[...]  Merida, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua#6:  Santa Cruz, Nicaragua#7: Lake Atitlan, Guatemala#8:  El Remate, Guatemala#9: Tikal, Guatemala#10:  Queenstown, New [...]

[...] we headed off on the morning bus to slightly bigger Santa Cruz for our last night on Ometepe, and seeing the more jungle side of things was the mission.  After a lovely morning walkabout we had lunch at Restaurant Santa Cruz, where [...]

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