It’s not everyday you get to sleep on a chunk of volcano…Unless you’re sleeping at Jicaro, which is located on one of the tiny islands dotting the waters of Lake Nicaragua known as the Granada Islets. Central America’s largest lake, Lake Nicaragua contains 365 islets that are home to over 1200 people. Were you to travel back in time several thousand years however, these isletas would be conspicuously absent.
It wasn’t until a particularly violent explosion of Mombacho Volcano nearly 20 thousand years ago that Lake Nicaragua’s silky surface was pocked with the hundreds of rocky landmasses that make up the Granada Isletas.
The volcano exploded with enough force to send much of its cone spewing into the lake. These chunks of volcanic rock formed the isletas, which range in size from 100 square feet to 100 square acres.
Over time the islands populated with eco lodges, communities of fishermen, and wealthy Nicaraguans. Some, however, remain uninhabited and teem with lush flora that provides shelter to several of Nicaragua’s native monkeys and bird species. Kayak the shallow channels of water between the isletas and you will see their large hanging nests swinging from the trees. Paddle to Monkey Island and you will be greeted by a colony of monkeys that were rescued and relocated there by a veterinarian.