Ometepe Island opens overdue airport

Ometepe is one of Nicaragua's tourism jewels. Now it will receive 24 more tourists a week aboard La Costeña.

photo: Tim Rogers

Ometepe is one of Nicaragua's tourism jewels. Now it will receive 24 more tourists a week aboard La Costeña.

Ometepe’s long-awaited $12 million La Paloma Airport received its inaugural flight yesterday on La Costeña Airlines from Managua.

The island airstrip, which was several million dollars over budget and a year behind schedule, has been celebrated by some and cursed by others who fret the airport will bring an influx of tourists and change the atmosphere of the sleepy yet funky island. But for the time being, the “influx” of tourists will be measured in the dozens —and that is if both flights are completely full.

According to La Costeña’s flight schedule, Ometepe’s airport will receive only two weekly flights on puddle jumpers from Managua. If both flights are totally booked, that means 24 tourists a week.

The government says Costa Rica and Guatemala are interested in adding international flights at some point in the future.

But for now, the only flight is a 20-minute domestic up-down from Managua, offered on Thursday and Sunday at noon. From Ometepe, the flight continues on to San Carlos, on the shore of the Río San Juan. The Ometepe- Managua return flight is offered on Thursday and Sunday at 3:02 p.m., according to La Costeña’s flight schedule.

Airfare costs $65 one-way, or $100 roundtrip. Call La Costeña at (505) 2263-2142 (ex. 71) for reservations.

  • Benedict Slow

    I was there! Stuck in traffic for 20 minutes as the road was closed to allow the miniscule little plane to take off. Gotta say, $100 return from Ometepe to Managua in 20 minutes is a bargain! Worry every dollar of $12,000,000 :)

  • Susan Oppenheim

    I hope the Donald doesn try to bring a golf course now

    • themonsheshe

      some of us wouldn’t mind being able to play golf tho.

      • JackandPatty See

        how about an outing to golf at Iguana? With a few of your friends we could transport from the ferry, provide clubs and cart, lunch on the beach in a package price. Much cheaper than building and maintaining your own!

  • Pepe Turcon

    I consider myself a realist not a pessimist but all I can see is a dirty island with the tourist influx. I remember not long ago, maybe 20 yrs. ago, Ometepe was a true Paradise and specially their people. They behaved so specially as if in Paradise.
    Ometepe should have been left alone.

    • estado

      And so should have the farmers in the 19th century!

      F*** advancement! Let’s all keep some monkeys around to laugh at!

      Seriously Pepe, someone needs to take you in the back and put a bullet in your mug. You have a few good ideas, but the inundation of your execrable (clearly US-leaning, and we’re talking about fucking Nicaragua here) and malapropos ideas is far outweighing.

  • simplyfantabulous

    Be nice if every flight were met by a dwarf in a white suit with a jacaranda pinned to his lapel, ready to whisk you away to whichever “Survivor” episode is currently filming nearby. I do worry about air traffic control, however, once the big 787s start loafing through on their way to the upcoming airport in Tola.

  • Susan Oppenheim

    The donald caters to billionaires

    Once you start there is no going back
    Ometepe should have been left alone