Getting out on the water is the right way to enjoy this beautiful corner of Nicaragua; watch weather conditions carefully since Lake Cocibolca gets choppy fast as the wind picks up. Taking a boat trip through Las Isletas is the best way to do that.
If you start early before the temperature rises, a bike ride down the Peninsula de Asese can be excellent, and the birdlife present there will astound you.The closest option for the active is a kayak tour from Inuit Kayaks (tel. 505/8691-0616, 2.5–4.5-hour tours $25–35 per person), in the Centro Turístico. Inuit assembles groups that caravan out through the closer isletas, a safe and fun way to explore. (There are a lot more options though.)
To beat the heat, use the swimming pool at the Cacao Pool Club (Calle Atravesada, across from Bancentro, tel. 505/2552-4678, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. daily, $5 per person), located inside Mansion de Chocolate. You can make spa and beauty appointments at the hotel as well. Swim laps, cool off, enjoy cocktails and light snacks, or even check your email.
If you start early before the temperature rises, a bike ride down the Peninsula de Asese can be excellent, and the birdlife present there will astound you. Tours Opera Gioconda (Calle Estrada 101, tel. 505/2552-2876) rents beater bikes (or a scooter, for the less athletic). Follow the signs for Balneario El Rayo, a small harbor out at the end of the Asese peninsula with a wonderful view of Ometepe. The road goes from bumpy to appalling over the course of the ride, but you should pedal slowly anyway so you can spot the animals (and so you don’t get heatstroke). Bring lots of water and a bathing suit so you can cool off in the lake at the end.
Excerpted from the Fifth Edition of Moon Nicaragua.