Jicaro Island Ecolodge in Isletas de Granada, Nicaragua
Londoner Karen Emanuel bought the land that became Jicaro Island Ecolodge on an impulse, after walking into a Granada restaurant and spying a sign proclaiming, “Island for Sale!” Twenty-five years later, her little piece of paradise is one of the world’s most renowned eco-retreats, a collection of elevated casitas made by local craftsmen from Rainforest Alliance-certified wood, where romantic interludes, spiritual epiphanies, and unforgettable interactions with nature happen against a backdrop of Lake Nicaragua and the Mombacho volcano.
Enveloped by the sounds of the forest, start the day with a few minutes of meditation. Snack on fresh avocado toast. Hop a boat to Granada, the oldest – and arguably the prettiest – city in Latin America. Wander through streets of colonial architecture. Listen to haunting Spanish hymns lilt across the square from La Merced church. Back on the island, order a CaipiNica sundowner made from local rum and delivered to your porch hammock. Shower with biodegradable aromatherapy soap and water heated by solar panels.
Location of Jicaro Island Ecolodge
Nearest Airport: MGA
Amenities for Jicaro Island Ecolodge
- General Information
- 9 Casitas
- Ecologically Sustainable Practices
- Only 16+ Years Permitted
- Outdoor Dining
- Private Dining
- On-Site Amenities
- Wellness Center
- Outdoor Pool
- In-Room Amenities
- Ceiling Fans
- Private Decks
- Boat Excursions
- Bird Watching
- City Tours
- Nature Reserve
- Active & Adventure
- All Inclusive
- Eco Friendly Luxury Vacations
Reviews for Jicaro Island Ecolodge
Absolutely fabulous! From the moment we arrived at the office to the moment we left we were greeted with warm smiles! About an hour walk from central Granada to the port! This is a little peace of heaven!! We will be back again. Thank you again to all the staff at Jicaro you are all amazing!!!
We stayed at Jicaro for 4 nights in early April. There are only 9 rooms on a very small island which gives it a feel of solitude and peace. The rooms are beautiful - you feel like you are sleeping in a tree house. All rooms have large decks overlooking the water and they felt very private (we were in room #4 and never heard our neighbours which speaks to how smartly the rooms were constructed). We loved waking up really early every morning, enjoying our coffee and watching the beautiful birds and listening to the rooster and the howler monkeys. They have a complimentary yoga class in the morning which was a nice touch given how small the resort is. The food and the staff were amazing. All of the wait staff were attentive and detail-oriented. A special shout out to Arje, Ruby and Marlon who took extra good care of us and treated us like we were family. The food was inventive and delicious and there was a lot of variety. Meal time was a highlight and the restaurant had a nice atmosphere. We did two excursions - the Mombacho Cloud Forest hike and the sunset boat cruise. Both were excellent. Due to the size and the nature of the property, my husband I felt that this was really an 'adult' resort. As people who don't have children and who usually travel to 'adults only' resorts, we appreciated the age restriction and would recommend that the property maintain it's 12 years and older policy year round because there really isn't a lot for the little ones to do on the property.
BrianandNaomi - Toronto
We have been blessed with the ability to travel to many many amazing places over the years including many of the Caribbean islands and other places in South and Central America. I myself have been to more than fifty countries on six continents, so needless to say, I am a seasoned traveller who can provide a reliable, experienced, and unbiased review. Jicaro is unique, beautiful, friendly, and incredibly relaxing. It is without a doubt one of the best resorts - if not the best - I have ever experienced. Arriving - About an hour drive from Managua Airport followed by a 10 minute boat ride across beautiful Lake Nicaragua. Upon arrival you are greeted by name with cold drinks, a taste of the local rum, a cold towel and a guided tour of the tiny island ending at your private Casita where your bags, more cold drinks and a hot shower await. The Staff - The staff literally could not be more friendly - and genuinely so. They all call you by name, and seem genuinely happy to see you Tips are never expected (no awkward silences or hands held out), but I am sure they are appreciated. During our stay the staff literally outnumbered the guests, so someone is always available when you need them. Other nice touches like free rum and beer in your room (even though alcoholic drinks are extra), and them frequently delivering ice water are a nice touch. They are never obtrusive but always available. The room - beautifully designed, built from stained hardwood, spacious, and very private. (the review about them being made from plastic or being too small is nonsense...) Great care has gone into how they were built and laid out. Beds are comfortable, large, and the shower is a massive walk in. Private deck, hammock, view of the water, great ventilation... just about perfect. The washroom is downstairs, but unless you are mobility limited it's just not an issue. The food - The menu has a little bit of everything, and the food is good, but admittedly not always amazing. There are some definite standouts like the salads, ceviche, steak, and the deserts, but while it isn't always mind blowing, it is definitely not bad, and there is lots of it. They do take lunch and dinner orders at breakfast, but this is done so they can pick up only what they need, ensuring no food goes to waste. So while one reviewer was annoyed by that, it's just smart - and eco friendly. As mentionned before (and even admitted in every single one of the few bad reviews), the wait staff are incredibly good. Activities - Let'e be clear on one thing - if you are here to relax, read a book, and are looking for a privacy, quiet & solitude - this is it. I have never been anywhere better. If you are looking to socialize, do activities, or are bringing kids - maybe consider somewhere less secluded. Activities are limited to reading, playing cards or board games, a dip in the pool, swimming or paddling on the lake, and napping. I wish we had come here on our honeymoon. Tours - We didn't do any, but there are a selection of tours to local volcanoes, lagoons, markets, and such. We talked to a couple who did one and they loved it. Shopping - There is a small selection of items you can buy at the resort but nothing too exciting. On fact there is little decent shopping anywhere that I could find, even in Granada. Even the markets are for locals - very few options, and nothing unique for tourists. Here's a few other items worth mentioning: Air Conditioning - Like most resorts with open air rooms, there is none, but don't let this throw you. We were here at the absolute hottest time of the year (mid April) and never missed it - and we like it cold when we sleep. There is great ventilation, fans, and a breeze. The Lake - I was initially concerned that the like might be polluted. Never got any sense of that while we were here. It's not great for swimming (it's somewhat murky and rocky) but otherwise great. Cleaner than the ocean in any case. Wildlife - Lots of birds, and howler monkeys occasionally in the background. Like anywhere in the tropics, the tropical birds can be noisy around sunrise, so if that's an issue, do what every experienced traveller does, and sleep with ear plugs. The beach - Yes it's small, but you don't miss it. There are plenty of places to sit or lounge in privacy, the beach is just one of them. Non issue. The price - We booked it on Groupon and got an incredible deal. Definitely look there first. That said, I'd happily pay full price and it would be worth every penny. The bad reviews - If you're like me, you read the worst reviews first. I am astonished that anyone could come here and leave unhappy. Clearly their expectations were unreasonably high, which tends to happen when you overstretch your budget. The complaints seemed to revolve around mosquitoes (there were none during our stay), the price (entirely reasonable for an all inclusive of this caliber), and the fact that it's a tiny, quiet, private island (it is). The rest of their comments are nonsense - someone trying to find fault where there is none. Overall it is an incredibly private, incredibly relaxing place where the staff treat you like royalty. There is little to do, and nowhere to go - which in effect just forces you to relax even more. Can't say enough good things about this place.
BinTharDunThat - Charlotte, North Carolina
Unique experience from the moment you get off the boat and you are greeted like royalty. Very intimate getaway with only 9 "casitas" on the small island but everything is designed to make you feel very special. The casitas are well designed and furnished, but do not expect a Tv or air conditioning.....The restaurant offers a varied menu and the food is good and freshly prepared for you. The staff is super attentive and extremely polite and courteous. Highly recommended.
Andre1410a - Mississauga, Canada
We loved it so much here that we extended our stay one more day. Eduardo took us on 2 tours we will never forget. He is warm, funny, well-informed and engaging and commits to taking his guests to places that are authentic and beautiful. Food was amazing, service just as good. Don't go anywhere else!