Hacienda Mérida is an accessible hotel.
We have made the commitment and investment to allow everyone to enjoy the beauties of Ometepe and to participate in our mission for sustainable and responsible living. The restaurant/sitting area has ramped access as do the rooms on the second floor (even if you are not staying up here, the view of the lake is beautiful and it's a great place to read). For the day visitor or dorm user, there is a communal bathroom, shower, and sink designed for easy wheelchair use.
The guide is there solely to make sure the trip occurs safely, and to keep you from getting lost. He will provide little to no information about the area.
If you hike from the Finca Magdalena side, you must pay $2.00 to enter the finca. You can hire a pick-up truck to carry up to 8 people from Hotel Hacienda Mérida to Finca Magdalena and back for $25.00 USD each way. The fee for a larger truck for up to 20 people is $35 USD each way.
Eat a big breakfast! This is very important for energy. And bring water! Exhaustion or dehydration are likely you don't have enough to eat or drink. For a warm-up, try hiking the San Ramon waterfall trail (500 meters of elevation from the lake shore). If you find this hike too strenuous don't even consider hiking to the crater top.
Also, consider starting the hike on the Hacienda Mérida side, this way if you decide to turn back, you will be able to easily return to the Hacienda (you will also avoid the fee at Finca Magdalena).
Don't try to play Rambo and go down to the crater lake with out safety harnesses and proper mountain climbing equipment. You can get the equipment for free at Hacienda Mérida. There are safety harnesses that fit everyone.
If you hike out via Finca Magdalena, you will experience more of the volcano and will avoid hiking back to the highest point found on the Mérida trail; this will save you two hours of hiking time. If you are in very very good physical shape go up and down the Mérida trails; they are more primitive and pristine.
If you would like to leave earlier than 7:30, inform the kitchen the previous night that you would like a 6:00 AM breakfast. But don't be in too big a hurry; your hike will be safer and more enjoyable if you aren't rushing.
The hike is VERY muddy, so be prepared to get dirty. Try not to hike in too large of a group as it can be difficult to keep everyone together due to varying hiking abilities. The hike will take 6 - 10 hours.
During the rainy season the view may be limited due to the clouds, but the hike is still quite an adventure and well worth the time. The highest likelihood of getting clear views is in the afternoon.
Information courtesy of: Mary, Jody, Will, Eli and Alvaro.
(505) 8868 8973 / 8894 2551
(505) 2560 0496 / 2560 0493