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!
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.
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.
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.
Finca Magdalena was recommended to me because of the amazing views of Volcan Concepcion and its location actually on the Volcan Maderas.
Although difficult to get to, it is an amazing place, and well worth the trip. After the ferry and the long bus ride, it is actually a 2km, partly uphill walk to the finca. I was lucky enough to catch a ride, definately don't be shy!but be prepared to walk, ,just in case.
From the finca, you can hire a guide (please hire a guide) to hike the volcano with you, which takes about 8 or 9 hours, and up to the crater lake. If that isn't for you, you can take a shorter hike around the finca and see petroglyphs and wildlife.
They have a good restaurant and anything else you might need.
I rented a single room that came with a mosquito net and an incredible view of the lake (which really looks like the ocean) for $3 per night. The rooms are in a converted barn, which only maks the experience even more interesting.
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.
A great place to stay with a unbelievable view of Volcan Concepcion and the Lago de Nicaragua. Cost per night is $1-3 U.S dollars and food is also very reasonable. It is also a great place to take off from to hike up Volcan Maderas.
Hacienda Magdalena is a very basic hostel. You can stay in dormitories, or as we did in hammocks at the terrace. For that we paid 20 c (year 2000-prices).
They serve meals on request all day, and there is a very little shop where beer and basic stuff is sold.
The hacienda is a coffee-cooperative.
We arrived when it was dark to Balgües, and luckily we found a guy that was willingly to show us the way to the hacienda. He let us by torchlight through the bananafields on muddy tracks to the finca. Here we arrived tired from a long days journey and hungry. We didn't know what to expect, and we were glad when we found out we could order dinner at the place.
We went to sleep in our hammocks at the terrace, and the next morning the first thing we saw when we opened our eyes, where the beatuful surroundings, views to the lake and the volcano. And then we noticed the men on horses just in front of us, leading all the cows to the fields.
The hacienda is a popular place for starting the climb of Volcán Madera. We hired a guide at the hacienda to help us up the track to the summit. It took about 5 hours and the track was very muddy.
I enjoyed this quiet hideway, for a number of reasons, the restaurant overlooking the lake, the cabins, awakening to the sound of howler monkeys, the beach and even the odd sow pig wandering about on the road in front of the hotel.
We met a guy (Hector) at the ferry ticket office who organised us accommodation and transport on the island. He told us that Hotel Villa Paraiso is the best place to stay and he was right.
It is a lovely resort perched on a cliff overlooking the lake with Volcan Maderas to the right. We had a lovely chalet with a patio and hammock. It is a little pricey at $40 but its very nice.
This is a very basic pension. There are no luxuries, no tv, no email, nothing... you sleep in cots and there are showers available as well as a cloth washing area. It's not for the faint of hearted since it requires patience to get there. The reward though is priceless.
The Finca Magdalena is a strange heaven in the middle of nowhere. It’s a nice place to chill for days or weeks and let the traveling worries behind. Just enjoy a good game of cards with the rest of the traveller and sip the tasty Nicaraguan beer (adquired taste actually since it's rather weak).
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.
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.
With a name like Chico Largo, how can you go wrong? We decided to go to the west coast of the north volcano for a night on or way back to San Jorge and spent a night at a side of the road beach hostel called Chico Largo.
This photo is of the toad next to my bed. Need I say more?
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