My hotel is telling me $85 including taxi but that seems very high
Taxis are pricey on Ometepe so it might depend on where your staying. When I hiked it (4-5 years ago) we didn’t need a guide. The entrance fee to the park was also pretty low. Are you going solo ? If you aren’t splitting the cab with anyone the price could be higher. In any case I would, just wait until you are there and set everything up on your own.
Thanks,any good tour companies I can email?
$25 per person three weeks ago for entrance fee and guide (no transport)
yes! contact Hacienda Merida on FB or info at hmerida dot com
You can say there as well--everything from hostel type shared rooms to private
The hotel can arrange for the guide. He'll come around the evening to talk to you and make the arrangements.
I've stayed there 6 or 7 seven times. Highly recommended!
You can hike up Maderas from Merida or from Balgue. We were in Balgue and hiked up Maderas twice. Once with a local guide we met while walking to the volcano and once with a guide provided by Finca Magdalena. If you go through Finca Magdalena it might not be more than $25 for 2-3 people for the entrance fee and the guide:
Where is your hotel? Taxis are not cheap but $85 would have to be for a taxi from Moyogalpa to Merida and back. Ask how much it is to Balgue. There are also buses on the island and they are much cheaper but there are not that many buses and there might not be an early bus to Balgue or Merida. It would be best to sleep in Balgue or Merida the night before Maderas as you should start the hike early in the morning. It is a tough, steep, muddy hike and you do it mostly for the beautiful cloud forest (there is only one real viewpoint, not that high up, and the crater lake is often shrouded in clouds).