Ometepe Island is known for its black sand beaches, thanks to the twin volcanoes. But the most famous of them all has to be Punta Jesús María, the unique peninsula on Lake Nicaragua.
With a thin sandbar winding out across the water, Punta Jesús María gets its name from the “miracle effect” you feel standing in the middle of the lake. The backdrop of three volcanoes tops off the view to earn this beach a place on your Ometepe Island bucket list.
In this quick guide to Punta Jesús María, discover the best things to do, when to visit, how to get there, and more:
What is Punta Jesús María?
Punta Jesús María is a volcanic black sand beach on the westernmost point of Ometepe Island. It’s famous for its long sandbar that juts out into Lake Nicaragua, creating the illusion of walking on water.
The vantage point of Punta Jesús María gives you a view of three different volcanoes: Maderas, Concepción, and Mombacho. Turn in one direction, and you see Maderas and Concepción looming above the beach. Turn in the other, and Mombacho is visible across the softly undulating water. Sunsets here are brilliantly beautiful, with the sky and silhouettes of each volcano lit up over the lake.
HN Hint: Time your visit during a full moon, and you’ll get to see it clearly illuminated even in the daytime.
Punta Jesús María is one of the most popular attractions on Isla de Ometepe. With food and drinks available along the beach, visitors flock to this lookout point for the sandbar and the sunset.
Things to Do at Punta Jesús María
The main activity at Punta Jesús María is exploring the unique volcanic sandbar. But that’s not all there is to do at Ometepe’s famous black sand beach.
Thanks to the growing tourism appeal, Punta Jesús María has built out the beach with ample seating, souvenir stands, small eateries, and even a bar. You can enjoy the sunset from under a cabana, on a picnic blanket, or wading on the shore of Lake Nicaragua.
Check out our list of the top things to do at Punta Jesús María to give you some ideas for your visit.
What to do at Punta Jesús María:
- Swim in Lake Nicaragua, the biggest freshwater lake in all of Central America
- Go souvenir shopping to bring home handmade gifts for friends and family
- Grab appetizers and drinks from the on-site bar and snack vendors
- Go to the Punta Jesús María restaurant for a good meal and WiFi connection
- Catch an epic sunset from the tip of the Punta Jesús María sandbar
- Picnic with friends on the black volcanic sand
- Snap scenic shots for your Nicaragua photo album
- Spend a night at the hotel, La Punta Resort Ometepe, to wake up to an amazing view
Punta Jesús María also has a number of convenient amenities. Here is a comprehensive list of the services offered to visitors.
Amenities at Punta Jesús María:
- Parking lot
- Snack shops
- Souvenir stands
- Restaurant (with WiFi!)
HN Hint: Bring spare change to the beach bathroom. Sometimes they like to charge you 10 cords (or about 33 cents) to use it. It’s an inconsistent charge, but it’s best to be prepared just in case. If you want to avoid this, the restaurant’s bathroom is free.
When to Visit Punta Jesús María
The main attraction of Punta Jesús María is the black sandbar. The further out it stretches into Lake Nicaragua, the better the experience. That’s why the best time of year to visit Punta Jesús María is during the dry season.
Sparse rains mean the water levels in the lake are lower, allowing Punta Jesús María to form a longer sandbar. In fact, during the dry season the iconic strip of volcanic sand has been known to extend more than 1km, or almost a mile, into Lake Nicaragua.
When is the best time of day to visit Punta Jesús María? Without question: right before sunset.
Punta Jesús María is easily one of the best sunset viewpoints on all of Isla de Ometepe. Around 4:30, the black sand beach quickly starts filling up with visitors clamoring to see the explosion of color. Punta Jesús María is also a fantastic photo op, as the glowing Nicaraguan sun sets the volcano ablaze.
HN Hint: It gets dark very quickly after sunset on Ometepe Island, and there aren’t really street lights to guide your path. Be mindful of this when you plan your evening around Punta Jesús María.
Now, that’s not to say that you shouldn’t visit Punta Jesús María during the rainy season. Just be aware that the unique sandbar formation will either be visible but a good deal smaller, or disappear entirely. You can still enjoy a dip in Lake Nicaragua, the bars and restaurants on site, and, of course, the epic sunset.
Visiting in the morning will also be less impactful, but you do get the benefit of fewer crowds. Keep in mind, however, that many of the shops may be closed during off-peak hours.
Where is Punta Jesús María?
Punta Jesús María is located just south of Moyogalpa, the main port for the Ometepe Island ferry. This is the same side of the island as Volcán Concepción. It’s a quick 10-15 minute drive from Moyogalpa to Punta Jesús María.
The great thing about getting around Ometepe Island is that there’s really only one road to follow. It wraps around the perimeter of the island, so hopping on will eventually get you there, one way or another.
HN Hint: There’s a “gringo tax” to enter Punta Jesús María. During peak hours it costs $2 to enter, but sometimes earlier in the day they don’t charge you. Play it safe and assume the fee is required.
The entrance is two roads lined by flags. It’s marked by a small sign that looks like this:
Punta Jesús María is a top destination on Ometepe Island for travelers seeking a memorable Nicaraguan sunset. Grab your camera and time your trip right to capture gorgeous scenes from the Land of Lakes and Volcanoes.
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