At the most most westerly tip of Isla de Ometepe, you will find the Punta Jesús María, a narrow lizard’s tail of black sand stretching far out into Lago de Nicaragua. In the height of the dry season, when the water level of the lake is at it’s lowest, this peninsula can extend over a kilometre, whilst disappearing entirely after sustained heavy rain. This is a great, traditional, local’s spot where people come every afternoon to swim, relax, have a beer or two and catch some of the most breathtaking sunsets on the island.
Punta Jesús María itself is easy enough to get to. Being located 4km south of Moyogalpa makes it easily accessible by bicycle, scooter, taxi or by hiking. As you approach, look out for signposts that will direct you from the main road, down an unpaved track (if arriving by scooter, be wary of soft sand patches!). Five hundred or so metres later and you’ll arrive in Punta Jesús Maria’s small carpark.
As you arrive, a guard will ask you for a $1 entrance fee, after which you enter an avenue, lined by brightly-coloured flags. Here, you’ll be able to spy your first glimpses of the lake through the trees to your right. There is also a small restaurant, Linda Vista, where you can grab a sunset beer or bite to eat.
The north-face of the peninsula forms a peaceful, shallow bay, perfect for swimming and bathing. It’s a popular spot with locals who bring eloborate picnics to share on the wooden tables overlooking the lake. The south-face is more rugged, despite being only several metres from the other. Here, rushes line the water’s edge and horses bathe in the lake to get respite from the heat and near-shore, wading birds comb the sandy bottom.
Walking down the slim, spit of black sand, the vast, flat expanses of water so close to each side give the illusion that you’re standing on the lake. Straight ahead are the distant mountainous peaks of the mainland, silohuetted by enormous blue sky. The cloud-capped Mombacho volcano is also clearly visible to the northwest. Remember to turn around for the best view of all. Concepción towers magnificently over the lizard’s tail with it’s twin, Maderas, just over it’s shoulder.
Stick around for sunset and you’ll see why Punta Jesús María is such a popular local hangout. There is nothing to obscure the path of the sun as it sinks. Disappearing behind a couple of tiny, far-away foothills, lighting up a golden path across the lake then turning the sky a deep amber as it falls. After dusk, it’s possible to spend the night out on the sand, just be sure to bring camping gear and ask permission in the restaurant.