#48 Ometepe, Nicaragua
Population: Just over 29,683
Average Annual Temp: 86°F
Formed by the twin volcanoes of Concepción and Maderas in the middle of Lake Nicaragua, Ometepe is the largest island in the Lake and certainly the most fascinating. Believed to have been settled sometime between 2000 BC and 300 BC, it is known for its rich biodiversity and abundant archeological sites (over 1700 petroglyphs have been discovered). As a result, it’s a great place to explore, discover ancient cultures, and enjoy the beauty and the bounty of the lake.
Ometepe has captured the imagination of all who see the majestic peaks that form the island, including Mark Twain who wrote about it at length in his commentary on Central America, Travels with Mr. Brown. The residents of Ometepe celebrate more folk festivals than anywhere else in Nicaragua making it a great destination to truly experience a local culture. Eco-tourism has become a growing industry especially since UNESCO designated Isla Ometepe as a Biosphere Reserve in 2010.
Largely undeveloped, Ometepe offers exciting possibilities for expats, retirees, and investors who are interested in finding a location where a sustainable lifestyle meshes well with history and natural beauty.