Lake Nicaragua’s Monkey Island

Following our quick tour of the Plaza de la Independencia, it was off to lunch at the Toritos Hotel Restaurant & Bar on Calle Calzada, Granada.

To save time, Eric, our tour guide, had phoned in our orders and they served us as soon as all 20+ of us had our seats. (Lunch was included in the cost of the tour.)

My fish with salad and rice, served with a few wedges of lime, was light and delicious. We spent maybe 30-45 minutes at the restaurant then it was back on the bus to our next stop – Monkey Island on Lake Nicaragua.

Lake Nicaragua's Monkey Island
Climbing on to our boats
Lake Nicaragua's Monkey Island
Water lilies
Lake Nicaragua's Monkey Island
Heading to the island

At just over 3,000 square miles, Lake Nicaragua, a freshwater lake, is the largest in Central America, the nineteenth largest in the world. Numerous fish, including tarpon, sawfish and an endemic species of shark live in the lake that, in parts, reaches a depth of 85 feet.

Lake Nicaragua's Monkey Island
An island on Lake Nicaragua

Because of its size and depth, about 400 islands dot the lake. Many are inhabited and several are privately owned by prominent Nicaraguans and some foreigners. There was even one with a For Sale sign.

Climbing on to the small craft that would take us to Monkey Island, I noticed right away that no one distributed life preservers. Was I taking a risk? I pushed that unsettling thought out of my head and relaxed into my seat.

Lake Nicaragua's Monkey Island
Island on Lake Nicaragua

A man, who looked young enough to be in high school, took the engine and soon the boat was slicing through the brown water kicking up sprays. Ours were the only two boats on the open lake and as we glided pass small islands, we trained our cameras, trying to get good shots without getting water on to the lenses.

Lake Nicaragua's Monkey Island
Island on the lake

The ride to Monkey Island took no more than 10 minutes. I was a bit disappointed that the island wasn’t larger so we could disembark but the capuchin monkeys put on a little show, jumping from rock to rock and swinging from tree to tree as if they knew they had an audience. (They are called capuchin because their color reminded the early explorers of Franciscan monks.) One even jumped into a boat that pulled in after we did. I suspect someone might have lured it with food.

Lake Nicaragua's Monkey Island
The Volcano, Mombacho, seen from Lake Nicaragua
Lake Nicaragua's Monkey Island
Bird near Monkey Island
Lake Nicaragua's Monkey Island
Capuchin Monkey on Monkey Island

We spent about 10 minutes watching the monkeys then our boatman turned us around and headed back to the pier, the mid afternoon sun shining like diamonds on the water.



16 comments on “Lake Nicaragua’s Monkey Island

  1. What a journey!! I would love to have my own private island! How wonderful it would be. But no monkeys in your article? Where are those little rascals? πŸ˜‰

  2. What a wonderful little place, the natural surroundings are always alluring. The fact that there were no crowds is actually a good thing too! Have a lovely day Marcia πŸ™‚

  3. This tour looks really great – your pictures are fab and really bring it to life! This is going on my bucket list πŸ™‚

  4. I’d love to sail Lake Nicaragua and visit the Monkey island someday. Will the lake be affected by the interoceanic canal they are digging through Nicaragua at the moment?

  5. Lovely day for being on the water. I always have an unsettling feeling when I get on a boat in SEA. Very seldom are life preservers mentioned or in sight!

  6. The place is so beautiful and relaxing to visit. You did the great photo shoot on this trip. Thanks for sharing this trip on the Monkey Island. I hope I can visit here one day with my family.

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