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Made up of the Zapatera Volcano and the eight islets that surround it, the park is located in Lake Cocibolca between the Isla de Ometepe and the city of Granada, 34 kilometers to the north. Although owned by private landholders, the islands were given national park status in the 1980s in recognition of their immense natural, cultural, and historical value. The government subsequently took control over much of the land.
The islands still contain virgin forests, lovely shorelines, and are perhaps most famous for the pre-Columbian statuary found there. Many of the statues are observable today in the Convento San Francisco in Granada. Many others were sold or plundered, to be spirited off to the far corners of the world. The park and adjacent mainland peninsula served as a massive burial ground for the indigenous people here. Zapatera rises 629 meters above sea level and still contains primary forest and impressive wildlife.
Text © 2003 by Joshua Berman and Randy Wood. Used by permission of Moon Handbooks. All rights reserved. Book is available through local bookstores and online booksellers.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
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