Two pools of cool, turquoise spring water, carved out of a rainforest clearing create the beautiful Ojo de Agua. The source of the water is an underground spring, which bubbles through permeable rock into the upper pool. The water temperature is maintained between 22 – 26°C and made rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium and sulphur by the volcanic rock. This gives the water properties that soothe muscular pain, making Ojo de Agua the perfect destination to relieve aching bodies after one of the island’s strenuous volcano hikes. The constant flow of water from top to bottom also keeps the water clean, clear and fresh.
The spring is located to the east of Concepción, in the central lowlands between the island’s twin volcanoes. From Moyogalpa, it is possible to get there by moped or bicycle; just take the main road south towards the Santo Domingo beach and follow signs for Ojo de Agua. A dirt track makes up the last kilometre from the main road to the tall, brickwork arch entrance of Ojo de Agua. Beneath the arch is a small admissions building, where you can pay the $3 entrance fee and several lockers where valuables can be stored safely.
Before reaching the water, there are several souvenir stands selling various handicrafts and a large, open restaurant. Although on the expensive side, it does allow you to enjoy a poolside beer or freshly cooked meal. Alternatively, make like a local and bring a picnic to enjoy on one of the many picnic tables or deck chairs. Hanging in the shade of the tall jungle palms are also lots of hammocks where you can relax with a rum filled coconut, called a ‘coco loco’.
The water’s edge is a very peaceful place to spend an afternoon. Dragonflies dance across the aquamarine water, whilst magpie jays and parakeets call out from the lush, dense perimeter. The main pool is impressive. 40m in length and 2m deep, making it ideal for a couple of laps. A slackline crosses one end and there is a small rope swing at the other if you’re feeling playful. The smaller, more secluded source pool is adjacent to the main pool. Here, the towering forest borders so closely to each side that it feels like bathing in a woodland glade. The pools are both lined with concrete, sand and stone but still manage to retain an organic, natural feel.
The atmosphere of Ojo de Agua varies hugely with the week. The weekends are happy and lively. Entire families enjoy picnics by the water’s edge, young lovers talk quietly in the shallows, old couples swim lengths and daring kids outdo each other on the rope swing. If you’d prefer a more tranquil, more secluded experience, come on a weekday, when it’s not uncommon to have the whole place to yourself. Whenever you decide to go, Ojo de Agua is always an amazing place to spend a few hours, to unwind after a hike or to find respite from Ometepe’s midday heat.