The name "Peña Inculta" (translated as ‘uncultivated rock’) does not come from a lack of culture, but from the impossibility of the community of the area to cultivate in the middle of the sea of basaltic stones that are in place, Despite which emerged a redoubt of dry forest that retains the almost extinct Yellow-Naped Parrot (Amazona aurapalliata). The total walking distance of 1,564 meters (slightly more than a mile and a half) passes almost unnoticed as the difficulty of walking on the stones is minimal, safely passable for children over five years old and even senior citizens. There are six information stations where references about this forest can be found.
Guidepost 1: The Forest, A Very Safe Choice
Walking along this path you will find the Yellow-Naped Parrot, he has found this place an excellent place to live. Many of these birds can be seen flying over their nests during the path of the trail. They are always close to their nests - which are holes in the trees - to prevent other birds from taking over them. They are monogamous and that has contributed to their decline in numbers, because once they find a partner, they keep it for a lifetime. Today, 70 out of every 100 parrots are taken out of their habitat to be marketed. Another feature of Yellow-Nape is its ability to reproduce up to 50 different sounds. Some scientists have come to conclude that the trills of each of the parrots are different from each other.
Guidepost 2: A Society To Survive
In this, thanks to the presence of various species the forest continues to grow and be preserved. It is a cycle that continues of the birds, which carry seeds to grow in this place, and the centennial trees, that during the summer throw their leaves to conserve the moisture of the soil thus guaranteeing food for birds, monkeys and other forest dwellers. Without all of them, there would be no chance for life to develop in this place where the ground was once only lava.
Guidepost 3: Between Stones And Roots
The basaltic rocks found in the path are the result of one of the many eruptions of Volcán Concepción. In the midst of the rocks grew a forest thanks to a process known as: "Weathering of the rock". This process occurs thanks to the accumulation of dust upon the rock. With the passage of time and with the rains the growth of a moss is favored, to which more and more dust is adhered until a seed falls, which is almost always carried by the birds or the wind, and ends up germinating. and the roots do the rest.
Guidepost 4: MoSi, A Fact For Tomorrow
There can be found along the paths nets for catching birds, to monitor migratory species (MoSi, in English), since it is estimated that of the 63 species of birds recorded in Ometepe, 38 are migratory. The monitoring with the nets is done once a month, during two days, in which researchers and ornithologists determine the type of bird that is in the site during that period, its origin, feeding, reproduction, etc.
Guidepost 5: In The "Plain Of The Goblins"
According to the oral legend that is passed from generation to generation, elves are young men with small red dresses caring for nature and they enjoy playing with children. As the tradition goes, it is in this path that children who were sent to collect firewood were lost, and after many days were found in this lowland asleep, upon flower petals.
Guidepost 6: Nighttime Residents
The last stage of the trail is dedicated to a family of fruit bats who spend their days sleeping in the middle of the great roots of a tall ficus tree or matapalos. The matapalos tree is a parasitic species that grows on top of other trees and will extend its roots until it encompasses and kills it’s host.
"Sendero Peña Inculta" is an initiative started by the Hotel Finca Santo Domingo and a group of people from the Indian community organized in a cooperative. The initiative was financed by Fauna and Flora International with funds from DGIS: British American Tobacco, BATCA; The US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Darwin Initiative.
This trail is an opportunity to involve the local community with tourism as an alternative to obtain additional funds to its economy, in addition to promoting conservation. The cost of the route for the "Peña Inculta Trail" is 50 Córdoba’s (about US$1.70) for foreigners and 25 Córdoba’s for nationals.
At the end of the tour, something is clear, it is a "rock uncultivated" for growing grains, fruits and vegetables, but it is a real rock of knowledge about the balance and great society that is nature. And well worth a visit!