Ometepe Island is formed by two volcanoes in the middle of Lake Nicaragua in the Republic of Nicaragua. The name of the island comes from the Nahuatu words ome (two) and tepetl (mountain), which means two mountains. It is the largest island in Lake Nicaragua and also the largest volcanic island in a freshwater lake in the world, a true marvel of geology.
Two volcanoes on Ometepe are Concepción and Maderes. The conception is a symmetrical cone and is still active. It rose during the early Holocene and, thanks to constant eruptions, now reaches a height of 1610 meters, which makes Ometepe Island also the highest lake island in the world.
Concepción has the most perfect volcanic cone shape in all of Central America. Although it went through a long quiet period, on December 8, 1880, Concepción erupted again. The eruption was extensive and the volcano remained active for a whole year. In 1883, 1889, 1902, 1907 and 1924 there were more violent eruptions. In 2005, an earthquake measuring 6.2 on the Richter scale occurred as a result of an increase in pressure inside the volcano. Cracks appeared on roads all over the island and the government advised people to leave Ometeper. The last eruption was in 2010.
On the southeastern half of the island is Maderas Volcano, which is either extinct or dormant, has a crater lake, and supports a diverse rainforest environment. Maderes also originated during the Holocene and rises to 1,394 meters above sea level. On April 15, 1930, a local farmer discovered a large lagoon formed in the Maderas crater. Coffee and tobacco plantations cover most of it, and the rest is hard-to-travel rainforest. Much of this half of the island is also a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Due to the unique nature of Ometepe, it is called one of the most beautiful islands in the world.
The volcanic ash has made the soil on Ometepe Island extremely fertile, allowing continuous planting without plowing. The volcanoes are visible from anywhere on the island, and life on Ometepe revolves around them.