Nicaragua carries an impressive biodiversity pedigree. With nearly 8 million acres of primal forests, multiple active volcanoes (and a few inactive ones too) and a coastline bordering both the Pacific and Caribbean, Nicaragua boasts one of the wildest eco-systems on the planet. Supporting the needs of thrill-seeking jet setters, whilst protecting nature’s paradise comes top of the agenda for a country that’s fully embraced conservation and responsible tourism. Putting sustainability first, these are Nicaragua’s top eco-lodges that are ensuring that the rich flora and fauna remains as luscious as before we all landed to take a look.

 

Totoco Eco-lodge

Perched high up on the slopes on the Maderas Volcano, Totoco Eco-lodge is leading the way for eco-tourism with three, clear objectives: to promote responsible entrepreneurship, to practice sustainable management and participate in community development. Merging the lodge with a foundation and a farm, Totoco runs women’s health workshops and introduced a community library, whilst it’s organic farm has reforested over 2000 trees and is experimenting with alternative techniques such as aquaponics. Committing themselves to the sustainable farming cause, they have invested in agroforestry system with over 500 food-producing trees. Striped back lodgings allow the beauty of the bio-diverse train to the talking and guests are woken to the chattering of howler monkeys, birdsong and the buzz of butterflies (a welcomed alternative to the smartphone alarm trill). Be sure to pack your walking shoes, as the beauty of Ometepe Island is revealed through the numerous hiking trails that criss-cross through the island. Avid ramblers will want to climb Madera volcano. Wander through coffee plantations and exotic rainforest to reveal a lagoon formed by centuries of rainfall inside a crater. For a much more mellow ascent, follow the trail for an hour until you can hear the roars of 120m Sam Ramon waterfall.

 

  • +505 8358 7718
  • Go to Website
  • Ometepe
    Vulcan Maderas
    Balgue Altagracia

Jicaro Island Lodge

A shipwreck experience for those who prefer to wash up on a private island after a pleasant twenty minute boat ride. Just minutes from the colonial grandeur of Granada lay nine luxury casistas equipped with a seawater pool hewn from natural rock, hidden in leafy seclusion. Rich in sustainable credentials, all materials used to create the treehouses were locally sourced and the majority of the wood came from damaged trees blown over by hurricane Flexi. Each two-story casista differs slightly in size as they have been built around the existing foliage so not to disturb the natural terrain. You won’t find any air conditioning units here, the cross ventilation system, ceilings fans and shade from the foliage provide ample cooling – without the need to cook the planet. Not just content with providing sustainable options, Jicaro Island Lodge wants to educate its guests too. They’ll take you on a tour of the island, highlighting how the lake water is reprocessed into drinking water, what happens to leftover from the meals and show you how their solar panels also help to heat a local school and health centre.

Los Cardones Eco Lodge

Los Cardones goes beyond just a serene beach bungalow to lay your head. In order to combat deforestation, overgrazing and aggressive agricultural damages that these pristine beaches have once suffered, the dedicated team at Los Cardones have embarked on an intense conservation project. Guests are encouraged to take part and are provided with beach clean up kits, compost toilets prevent toxic materials from entering the fauna and 44 acres of the beach are preserved for conservation. At the forefront of their efforts are the preservation of Earth’s oldest creatures, sea turtles. Sea turtles nest are relocated to prevent poaching and each year over 2000 turtles are saved in their nursery and released into the ocean. Ensuring guests leave well educated, and well fed, food is all locally sourced with all bread, yoghurts and cheese made at a neighbouring ranch. Their surf camp is pretty gnarly too.

  • +505 8364 5925
  • Go to Website
  • Finca Del Mar Beach Community
    49 Carretera Mntelimar

Morgan’s Rock

The abundance of wildlife that surrounds the sprawling, private reserve are welcomed as warmly as fresh-faced arrivals. Endangered baby turtles are directed out to see and protected from nasty predators and poachers, better yet guests can observe this real-life Attenborough moment alongside expert staff. Macaws regularly visit the plunge pools and sheltered verandas and if you’re lucky, you might be able to spot a sloth kicking back in the jungle canopy. Alongside the usual kayaking and hiking expeditions associated with Nicargura’s wilderness, Morgan’s rock presents a plethora of ecologically focused activities; plant trees to aid their reforestation efforts, milk the organic farms cows before breakfast or catch your own shrimp for the evenings grub. Guests need not sacrifice their creature comforts in the effort to go green, coffee is fresh and grown in the owners finca, the al fresco showers are powerful and a world-class spa is on hand to eradicate any post-milking aliments.

Isleta el Espino

The slow ticking of island time is the only schedule Isleta el Espino abides by and from the moment you step foot on the island, you’ll be infected by their laidback attitude. Each of the room types benefit from luscious foliage vistas, but to feel entirely off-grid hideaway in the Treetop Rancho. Built alongside the islands mango grove, the interiors are littered with exquisite local artisan products and community-run crafts projects and the view of the sunset is the best in Nicaragua. With an easy-going eco ethos, it asks simply that we are mindful in the way we treat our planet. Favouring the power of the sun as opposed to traditional methods, the entire property is solar powered, they ditch plastic in favour of glass (no plastic bottles are found anywhere on the island) and breakfast smoothies are made using the dragon fruit, mango and passion fruit found next to your tree house.

Selva Negra

Basing their sustainability model on the power of the people, Selva Negra empower their employees to take responsibility for their actions and help preserve the diverse terrain. They have been producing coffee since the 1800’s and hope through their pioneering methods they’ll continue through to 2800’s. From their organic coffee production, intense cattle ranching and efficient compost production, they are continuing to strive to create more sustainable coffee. Guests are invited on a farm tour to help participate in their efforts and are readily encouraged to switch off. Reward yourself for going green and indulge in one of pastry chef Roy Martinez sinful triple chocolate and mocha cakes – created solely from ingredients found in the garden. The lodgings are fairly simple and range from romantic cottages to super-social hostel dormitories, but what Selva Negra lacks in luxuries it makes up for it positive environmental impact.

Selva Negra

Isleta el Espino

Morgan's Rock

Los Cardones Eco Lodge

Jicaro Island Lodge

Totoco Eco-lodge

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