There's only one main road on the island; this simplifies things. Take a good look at a map before boarding any buses, consult the latest bus schedules at www.ometepenicaragua.com and check locally whether the scheduled bus is running (some departures are more reliable than others). Bus fares range from US$0.25 to US$1.50, depending on how far you're going. There are direct services from Moyogalpa to Altagracia, Santo Domingo, Balgüe, Mérida and San Ramón, with fewer services on Sunday. There is no public transport along the southeastern part of the island, between Balgüe and San Ramón.
Car & Motorcycle
Moyogalpa is the best place to rent scooters (US$15 per day), ATVs (US$60 per day) and motorbikes (US$25 per day); you'll also find places to rent scooters and motorbikes around Playa Santo Domingo, as well as in Balgüe and Mérida. There are no car rental places on Ometepe, so you're better off bringing one from the mainland.
Feature: Getting Your Wheels Onto Ometepe
Taking a car to Ometepe involves a bit of forward planning, some runaround and cash. Four-wheel drives are best for the spiky volcanic roads.
To do it, get an early start on one of the early ferries from San Jorge to Moyogalpa (or call ahead – it doesn't hurt to try to get on a waiting list the day before.) Otherwise, be prepared to wait your turn if it's busy – only a small number of cars fit on each ferry – and come with cash to pay the port tax, 'car tax' and ferry transit fee, around US$20 to US$25 each way. Passengers buy separate tickets.
Taxis are rare and expensive, and they’re all minivans, jeeps or pickups with 4WD. They meet all ferries, but otherwise you should have your hotel make arrangements with a driver at least a few hours in advance.
From Moyogalpa, expect to pay at least US$25 to Altagracia, US$25 to Playa Santo Domingo, US$35 to Balgüe, US$35 to Mérida and US$40 to San Ramón, though your drivers might quote you higher prices – and on an island as remote as this, you won't have a lot of options other than to pay what they request.