A guide at San Jorge port who showed himself as a professional guide offer a tour guide price (for Volcan Maderas trekking)which can be accectible for us..20 $ per person.And he offer a hotel in his connection that if we use his guide service ,we can pay for Istian hostel for 3 $ per person,so we agreed with that offer because I already plan to stay in Istain hostel for the first night anyway,so ...perfect.
When I arrived hostel,they wanted to charged me 6$ per person!.I told them about the agreement from the port,they hesitate a little bit but finally ok.A couple from the bus who follow us from the port has no idea yet where to sleep that night,so I asked them to stayed there and help them to get the same price.
In front of lobby is restaurant area.The moment we arriveed ,the staff were quite busy as they had to serve food and drink to other guests at the same time checking in for new guests.
I asked them to see the room first ,they showed us all,the rooms are upstair with shared bath.They provide a portable fan in all rooms but check well if it works properly cuz the one I got was broken,so staff just told us get a good one from some other room cuz many rooms are still free.
Second foor the front part is small corridor resting area with a hammock and chairs and table ,overlooking to the lake.But the view of lake is little obstructed by the trees.The hostel room itself are very small ,with wooden floor so it's noisy when people walking with their trekking shoes.The room is not totally sealed so mosquito can flying in and out freely.So ..we'd better use an effective cream to prevent the mosquito bite.
Albergue Ecológico El Porvenir is a peaceful hillside escape located on the slopes of Volcán Maderas on the farm of the same name, owned by the Flores family. The entrance to El Porvenir is about 1 km from Santa Cruz where the road splits. The driveway is steep, but it’s an easy walk up to the place. Surrounded by attractive tropical gardens with beautiful flowers and fruit trees, it is an oasis of tranquility and nature, ideal for resting and enjoying a relaxed atmosphere away from the noise of the city.
Albergue Ecológico El Porvenir offers clean, spacious rooms with bathrooms, with capacity from one to three people. Outside the rooms you find rocking chairs and hammocks. I got a nice room with one single and one double bed. It was equipped with a chair and table, bedside table and a fan, and it was 8 US $ (December 2010).
more pics in the travelogue
There is also a restaurant serving good-value meals, and two terraces with tables, chairs and hammocks under thatched roofs, where the food is served. I had several meals at El Porvenir and was quite happy with the food. And the view of Volcán Concepción from the terrace is truly amazing. I often came here to relax in a hammock reading a book, having a beer and appreciate the scenic beauty of the island. It's also a great place for a drink at sunset.
From here visitors can climb Volcán Maderas (8 hours) or hike to the coffee farm Finca Magdalena, to petroglyphs, to the viewpoint Puerta del Cielo (heaven’s door) and to a small lake. In addition, El Porvenir offers guided tours and horse riding, and they rent bikes. Owners José and his daughter America are some of the friendliest people, and this was certainly one more reason why I enjoyed my stay there so much.
Thank you Malena for recommending this beautiful place to me!
Please, please visit this hotel. If not to stay, you should at least taste the dessert! Best tres leches cake I've had in a looong time. I was spending a few days in Ometepe and decided that the best idea was to station myself near the dock, for easy access to the ferries. After walking around Moyogalpa for a bit checking out several hotels, I finally decided on The Landing Hotel and totally lucked out! So many options here for any kind of traveler. Private rooms, dorm rooms, hammock hotel, even an apartment for the long-term travelers. I chose the a hammock on the 2nd floor because of the nice weather. Very inexpensive. The staff is WONDERFUL. If you have a chance, stop by and meet Mario, he made my stay so fun and had great advice on where to go and what to see. I wish I could have stayed longer, but if I come back I will definitely stay here.
Absolutely stunning views of Volcan Concepcion from their 3rd floor. They also have kayak rentals, fishing trips, and sunset boat rides.
The best part of our trip to Nicaragua was Ometepe, made possible mostly by our stay at La Omaja. While far from the ferry, it is close to some good sights and the people there will treat you right. They'll make sure you get the best of Ometepe and you'll feel like a local once you leave. And trust me, you won't want to leave!
Spacious cabanas with a great view of the lake (you're located up on a hill). Great bar area with good food and drink. The hosts are the best and will make you glad you made the trek all the way to La Omaja.
I loved El Porvenir as soon as I came here. It is situated at the foot of Volcán Maderas and is surrounded by a lush garden with flowers and butterflies. There are two areas, under thatched roof, with tables and chairs. If it is clear you will have great views over Volcán Concepción from here, otherwise the garden and lush green surroundings are enough. At one place there are a pair of binoculars hanging that you can use. It is a very calm and relaxing place.
I got a big room with two beds and a bathroom. It was 8 dollars per night (July 2009). On the porch outside the room there was a rocking chair. The breakfast was good and so was the dinner.
At El Porvenir you can rent bikes for 3 dollars an hour. And you can take a walk along one of the many paths in the surroundings. You can also organise a Volcán Maderas hike from here or other guided hikes. Around El Porvenir you can find several old petroglyphs.
I chose Hotel Finca Playa Venecia because I had read good reviews and it seemed to have a good location. I sent an email a few days before arriving to be sure to have a room when I arrived. I asked for one of the cheaper double rooms not a cabaña, but were told they had a small cabaña for 25 dollars. I accepted that as I thought there were no other options, but it turned out that people who just showed up when I was there got cheaper rooms, and to the price of 25 dollars for my small cabaña a 15% IVA was added (July 2009). It felt overpriced.
My cabaña was situated in the back and the room was not convenient. There was no bedside table (so nowhere to put the watch) and no bed side lamp for reading. The sink was in the room and the small toilet behind a door to the left and the shower behind a curtain to the right.
On the small porch outside the room there was a rocking chair and a bench so that was nice. There I could put all my wet clothes (and I had a lot after the Concepción hike and swimming) while I was in the room, but inside the room there were nowhere to hang the wet clothes.
A plus is that the hotel is situated right by the Lake Nicaragua so you can take a swim after a day out, or you can sit in one of the chairs with a view over the lake.
The restaurant is nothing special. My second afternoon on Isla de Ometepe I arrived back at 3pm and ordered pasta with pesto. There was no one else in the restaurant and my pasta arrived very quick, to quick to have been freshly cooked. It was probably leftovers from lunch. There was nothing else on the plate but some pasta with the pesto and it didn’t taste good. I had other meals here and they were absolutely okay.
I had had higher expectations of Hotel Finca Playa Venecia and it lacked the right atmosphere so I didn’t stay as long as planed but moved to the other side of the island.
It seems that the overwhelmingly most popular stay for foreign visitors is Villa Paraiso. Its a nice place on the side of Playa Domingo, opposite from Moyagalpa. The location is beautiful and the service is very acceptable. I just thought the restaurant prices were a bit offensive. There are some places throughout the world where it is evident some businesses take advantage of the situation. It is how I felt here. Maybe you will have a different experience. It is a nice place nonetheless and food is not bad. Most people stay in private bungalos that are modestly equipped and plenty comfortable and clean. It is located right on the beach with nice views, when visible, of Maderas Volcano. Since the summit of Maderas is a cloud forest, it is not often viewable.
This is a bit away from the rest of the popular spots on the island on the Maderas Volcano side south of the Charco Verde Bay. It sits up on a hill offering, without question, the best views from a "hotel" on the entire island. It is remote. So plan on communing with nature and or close friends and family. Star gazing...oh geez, nothing like it on the second largest fresh water lake in Latin America, from the hills of the largest fresh water island in Latin America. La Omaja is caught somewhere between modernity and antiquity. They have very comfortable cabins and offer satillite tv (don't you dare turn that thing on, that just wouldn't be right in a place like this), internet (ok, I'll cut you some slack here, it is nice to email home from time to time), and they have a decent restaurant. Beach is a long way from here, so if you want a beach experience look into one of the other resorts on the island. Nevertheless, I would recommend at least one night here for the soothing experience. Close to the trailhead for climbing Maderas and viewing San Ramon Falls.
One of the best guesthouses I stayed in during my trip through Central America, was Hotel Central in Altagracia on Isla de Ometepe. This hotel is located at only blocks north from the central square of this second largest town on the island and is easy to reach by direct bus from Moyagalpa.
The hotel has rooms around a small patio. At the time we stayed here, we were the only guests on the patio, so we had everything for ourselves. But even if there are other guests you still have your own terrace for yourselve, including a private hammock, a table and two chairs. And inside the room is very decent and spacious too! For a double room you pay 10 dollar per night.
What makes Hotel Central also attractive is that it is very complete. In the morning you can order a good breakfast for only 2 dollars, in the evening you can have a good and very cheap local dinner here for only 4 dollars. And afterwardsthe bars remains open, so you can still have a couple of Victoria-beers afterwards.
And the hotel also is good source of information about the island, they provide a taxi-service towards the harbour when you want to catch the boat to San Carlos, and they rent mountainbikes for trips around the island.
Cabinas. Upstairs with large decks overlooking lake are best. Clean, large but basic rooms.
Short walk along beach takes you to the Charco Verde botanical reserve. Magnificent flora, green lagoon, monkeys, eagles.
Great mix of international travelers make evenings under the dining palapa fun. Good food at very reasonable cost. Impeccable casual service from Jamil and Carlos. These guys are great and I now consider them friends. Owner is on top of things and will make sure you are taken care of.
The Hacienda Merida is located on the lake front in Merida, on the Maderas Volcano side of the island. Although it is technically a hostel. It has a wide range of accommodations, from camping or sleeping in a hammock for a couple of dollars, or dorm accommodations for a few more, to large airy private rooms with indoor bathrooms which are only $25 a night.
The lake front is beautiful, the food is plentiful and great, and the services available can't be beat. They have guides that come to the Hacienda every night to offer their services to hike the volcano. (Guides are now required). But there they also have bikes (in great condition) available for rent, and Kayaks (also great condition). Kayak allows access to Isthmus (wetland area) that can't be reached any other way, where monkeys and parrots can be found. Kayaking can also get you to Monkey Island.
If you decide to you want to see some other part of the island, but walking, biking, or hiking isn't for you, they'll arrange a driver for you. The owner Alvaro, speaks perfect English, and is eager to help you out.
If you are looking to do some social good while on your travels, you can spend some time teaching English at the small language school run at the hostel on he weekdays. Or you can get a free beer, or other negotiable exchange for translating short documents into your native language. A couple times a year, there are also opportunities to help out at the Medical clinics around the island.
Oh, and just in case you can't leave technology behind.... there is high speed wireless internet available for $4 your entire stay. They have four computers available and, oddly enough, many people travel with their own that might let you borrow some time. There is also a SKYPE account available for phone calls. All in all its a pretty unbeatable deal.
Immediate access to Volcan Maderas
The porches for each bungalow were very cute and comfortable. However, at night the bugs come out - tiny little gnat-like bugs - in incredible amounts.
The staff were wonderful and went out of their way to make sure we had a good time and were taken care of.
I spent here some relaxing days on my own and then I dicided to bring my family to this beautifull place.
I had a room with shower and payed only 5 $ per night. With my family I had a sea front cabin for 30 $. There is a restaurant that serve food from breakfast untill 8 p.m. They arrange day tours with their bus, rent horses and bikes. It is only five minutes to walk to the Charco Verde Ecological Reserve where you can see howler monkies, birds, snakes, and other animals.
We have just returned from a trip to Nicaragua and have to say that our stay at the Hotel Villa Paraiso was without doubt the low point. The cabana was dirty, there was no hot water (although an electric shock was readily available from the shower fixture!), the service was unfriendly and the food below average from our experience elsewhere in the counrty.
The hotel didn't pick us up from the ferry (despite a phone call from our tour guide the night before) and when we tried to arrange an excursion through them they said they couldn't as it was the rainy season! We went under our own steam and saved $30
The island itself is worth a visit but I wouldn't recommend this place.
great location - shame about all the shortcomings
If you are lokking for a quiet and friendly place I suggest you visit Hotel Monkeys Island. The hotel is situated in the southern part of the Island, close to Mérida. If you take the bus upon arrival in Moyogalpa all the way to its end in Mérida, its a ten minutes walk further down the road. The rooms are simple, most of them with shared bathrooms but recently they built a room con baño privado. Prices are low.
The Hurtado family is very friendly and willing to show you the beautiful surroundings. Some of the sons act as guides to the Volcan Maderas or to the waterfalls in San Ramon. The parents only speak Spanish, but Angel and his brother speak English too. Good cooking, dinner with a view over the lake and very quiet.
For more details please visit the website: http://www.freewebs.com/monkeysisland/Index-Eng.htm
Single rooms from $2.50 per person per night, double rooms $5,= per room per night (prices November 2005).
Great view over the lake, very friendly family, guiding facilities, good food.
Nice beach, camping possibilities, transport possible. Horses for rent: $2,= per hour. Bikes: $1,= per hour. Profesional guides to Laguna Maderas: $10,= per trip.
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