One of the two major towns (as well as the administrative seat of one of the islands two municipios) on the island, it is the starting point for most tourists, as the ferries from San Jorge on the western shore of Lake Cocibolca leave and arrive here.
There are regular buses from the other major port of the island, Altagracia Note that while the road is the best on the island it is not comparable to the roads on the pacific side of the mainland, so bring patience and expect a bumpy ride.
- 1 Ometepe La Paloma Airport (Some 2 km (1.2 mi) out of town). This airport opened in 2014. It has flights twice a week from Managua and San Carlos seating about a dozen or so. For more, check with La Costeña.
There are frequent ferries from San Jorge just a short ride (≈15 min.) from Rivas taking you to Moyogalapa in just under one hour, with great views of Volcán Concepción along the way. Some of the ferries can take cars with enough advance notice.
The town is walkable (albeit a little hilly), although you will be met by countless taxis once you step off your ferry. If you search for one later on, they are much harder to find. Several businesses in town also rent bicycles and motorcycles.
Views of Volcán Concepción are breathtaking and you will probably catch yourself taking two dozen or so photos of it. The sunsets are said to be the best in the country, although with the competition it is hard to judge. Take in as many of them as you need to come to your own conclusion.
You can take a guided hike up Volcán Concepción. Guides are required by law and well worth the roughly US$20 they should cost you. The hike is long and even steeper than it looks, so come prepared, in good shape, and bring plenty of water.
Moyogalpa has an assortment of small ventas and one big supermarked named Palí (owned by Walmart). Note that everything that has to be imported from the mainland will be more expensive. Plantains, beans and many fruits are locally grown (without fertilizer and pesticides mostly so they would count as organic if anybody bothered to get certified) and known throughout the country for their quality.
Moyogalpa has a couple of pizzerias and other tourist-oriented restaurants, but of course you can get your gallo pinto here as well as anywhere else.
While you can certainly get your Flor de Caña here as much as at any other place, this is not really a party destination. Nothing to say against a quiet beer, however.
The street from the harbor up to town is lined with a lot of hotels and hostels. A little farther inland, you will find cheaper and more basic accommodations, catering mostly to locals.
- American Cafe and Hotel, Moyogalpa (two blocks up the main street from ferry). Owners Simone and Robert have created a delightful little oasis on the main drag, several blocks up from the ferry landing. Spotless and spacious, the AC & H is a daily gathering spot for tourists and locals alike. Robert can usually be found somewhere near the front door greeting visitors while Simone commands the kitchen, where remarkable things are created. Simone's Italian, 'nuff said. The rates are incredibly affordable. The exterior of the building is kind of bland, but don't let the outside decor fool you.
- 1 Hospedaje Soma (Hospedaje Soma), Frente Instituto R.Smith Moyogalpa (From the dock head up main street and one block in front of the catholic church turn to the left. Follow the street for about 400m and you will see Soma on the left hand side.), ✉ email@example.com. Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 10:30. With only a ten-minute walk to the dock, it is just far enough away from sometimes noisy downtown but still in reach of all necessary services which the village provides. This really quiet place offers a dormitory US$8 per person, spacious private rooms $22 with shared bathrooms, $30 with private bathroom and cabins with private bathroom and a solar run hot water heater from $43 on with fan to $53 with AC. The rate for all private rooms includes a standard breakfast. Dinner is served for guests in the evening. The guesthouse has a nice and cozy tropical garden with some space to hang out and chill and provides free WiFi for its clients. Soma offers a laundry service and tours and hikes can be organized from there. Please note that they only accept reservations by email. US$8-53.
- 2 Hostel Life is Good, 619 m north of Moyogalpa (from ferry take the TukTuk, 1st ride is for free), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 12:00 price=US$20. Situated in a rather rural area far away from noises and smells of town.
Wi-Fi is unreliable, but can be found at some of the restaurants in town, including: Soda el Antojito and Chido's Pizza.