Charco Verde is a 20 hectare ecological reserve, a tropical dry forest which is home to an abundance of wildlife.
Within the reserve is the mystical pond of Charco Verde. It has a distinct emerald hue due to an abundance of algae. Legend states this was the area used by the ancient Indians to make sacrifices to their gods.
Marked trails wind you through the woods to Mirador del Diablo, a great lookout over Lake Nicaragua, around the lagoon, up to the heights of this rocky peninsula, and down to a beautiful secluded beach which offers views across Lake Nicaragua to Maderas and Isla de Quiste. Your admission is US$5 per person, and also includes a large butterfly and bird apiary and garden sanctuary where you can see thousands of the native butterflies that blanket the island.
You can enjoy Charco Verde Nature Reserve by walking around the green lagoon and it is located right next to one of the nicest, black sand beach bays on Ometepe Island. This spot is located in San Jose del Sur and is home to a great variety of birds, four troops of howler monkeys, turtles and butterflies.
It takes about 1 to 1 ½ hours to circle around the lagoon and hike up to a gorgeous lookout, which has a great view of Charco Verde lagoon, Isla Quiste about 300 meters off shore to the south off the beach and Volcan Maderás is in the background.
If hiking isn’t your thing, just have a swim in the calm waters of the bay. Charco Verde Hotel is next to the beach and offers drinks and food to complete your beach experience. Kayaks are available at the hotel to do some kayaking on the lake, or in the lagoon.
The natural reserve of Charco Verde located at kilometer 11. The reserve houses a hill, a lagoon separated from the lake by only a narrow strip of land, and spectacular flora and fauna. Furthermore, this area is famous throughout whole Ometepe for its fascinating myths. Lodging is offered by three places located within the reserve of Charco Verde. They vary in price and comfort, but each one of them is interesting for its unique features.
The forest of Charco Verde is inhabited by three howler monkey families of about 70 individuals each. Furthermore, migratory and local birds can also be found within the area, as well as insects (bring your bug spray), and even boas. Part of the calm lagoon is covered in a mangrove forest where the trees with submerged tree trunks throw a shadow on the water and create a mystical, secluded atmosphere. The rest of the lagoon’s shore is covered by rich vegetation and large fruit trees. During the raining season, the lake’s water level increases and water from Lake Nicaragua sometimes invades the lagoon. At the eastern part of Charco Verde there is a hill that carries the same name of the reserve, with an amazing viewpoint located at the top, called Mirador del Diable, or the Devil’s Viewpoint. You can hike to this point and enjoy the beautiful views. It is not far, and the trails are well cleared and passable by most everyone.
You can walk around or horseback ride within the reserve, up the hill, on the beach, or towards the neighboring communities. Public bathrooms are available at the gift shop where you can purchase locally made souvenirs and practical needs (swimwear, hats, etc.) at reasonable prices and the proceeds help support the local communities!
Charco Verde is a great place to swim or sunbathe and enjoy the beach!