October 17, 2017 for 3 nights for 2 adults.
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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
My wife and I chose Nicaragua and Jicaro as the second location on our honeymoon after traveling to Costa Rica. Jicaro was exactly what we were looking for coming from the very touristy destination that was Quepos. Jicaro takes care of everything for you, including transportation from/to hotel, activities, boat rides to the hotel (it is on an island so not accessible by car). Jicaro was an island that would only host 13 families or so at any given time so its never too crowded. They take care of all your meals and each and every one is an experience in its own way. They have different menus available on different days representing different themes (i.e.: Caribbean night). The meals was Michelin star quality, food prepared right in front of you. The service throughout the island is extraordinary. Everyone learns your name and makes sure to go out of there way to help you. We thoroughly enjoyed our experience and would recommend it to anyone to go visit.
adasika2 - London, United Kingdom
For our son's 21st birthday celebration, and because his field of study is environmental science/sustainability, we booked a week's stay (4 of us) on Jicaro Island Ecolodge, having read a great review about the lodge on American Airlines' "Celebrated Living" magazine. Every 5* review on TripAdvisor here is warranted. The location, the lodge, the staff... Jicaro Island Ecolodge is truly remarkable and outstanding. We made all arrangements through the lodge's main contact, Claudia, who was beyond helpful. A car picked us up at our hotel in Managua and whisked us to a private harbor in Granada, where a motor boat took us to the island, and there for the next 6 days we were treated to a first class experience which included being welcomed and viewed as though we were long lost family. The lodge lives up to its name. We took the sustainability tour and learned how the founder, an entrepreneurial Brit named Karen Emmanuel, had set up a reverse osmosis water filtration system on the small, lushly-vegetated island so that all of the water is potable; a hot water heater system with back-up generator; a filtration sewer system (take the tour for more info on it! :), and a recycle hub so that the lodge leaves no impact on the environment. The owner then went on to build the same water system at the local elementary school ~ we also visited it ~ and which also brings clean water to its 600 neighbors! Truly impressive!). Regarding the school ~ if you visit, bring school supplies from the USA with you. It adds little weight but is truly appreciated! There are 9 romantic casitas arranged for optimal privacy. Each has two storeys and each is so well appointed inside that it's like home from home. Each has a view of the lake with a patio that includes a hammock, table and chairs. And free wifi! We were nicely busy every day, venturing forth (by boat) to the mainland to visit: the UNESCO town of Granada (do visit the museum, the market, AND the cigar factory, the latter a big hit with my birthday boy son! Hmm... :); Mombacho volcano which we climbed part of with a national park guide (exquisite views and replete with flora and fauna! Visitors can also zip-line if they choose!); the active Masaya volcano, an exhilarating experience looking down at the lava pool!; the pristine Apoyo lake (where we swam and had lunch) and the famous pottery works near-by (there are many; we visited Valentin Lopez's Taller School of Ceramics and had a thoroughly good time!); we also, on another day, toured by boat the 364 other islands along this part of Lake Nicaragua's coastline. Later in the day, after that day's outing, from the lodge, we swam in the lake or in the resort's swimming pool, kayaked, punted along the lake with the paddle boards, took cooking lessons from the outstanding chefs at the lodge or drink-mix lessons from the equally outstanding bartender!; climbed the island's bird-watching tower (the bird life is legion!); lay in a hammock, enjoyed the views, and got ready for the next outstanding meal laid on by the unbelievably attentive staff who will allow you to practice your Spanish or who will speak their excellent English to you. The food is extraordinarily good, so good it merits a visit from Anthony Bourdain... The covered open restaurant, with views to die for, caters exclusively to the guests (with 9 casitas on the island, the number is never greater than 18 or so). And there is a spa, massage included, though we were so busy we never had the opportunity to experience either!! But beyond all else, it is the staff at the lodge which impressed us the most. We made friends with everyone there, and nothing was ever too much trouble. The goal, I suspect, is to make sure that all visitors remember Nicaragua and the lodge for what they are ~ a welcoming, friendly haven, one which invites people to relax and appreciate a great country as it becomes a magnet for visitors in the years to come. Rarely are we sad to leave a vacation location, but we all looked back with nostalgia at Jicaro Island Ecolodge as our boat pulled away from the dock on our last day, the start of our long journey back to Los Angeles.
Denise B - Los Angeles, California
This was a vacation of a lifetime! I went with a girlfriend because my husband couldn't get time off work. It's such a romantic location that I want to take my husband next time. Free things to do like kayaking and swimming. If you want to spend a little they have awesome excursions. My favorite was a trip out with a local man and he showed me how to fish like the locals with a throw net. The care we received at this hotel was like we were family.
I cannot say enough good things about Jicaro Island. We have spent many years enjoying Costa Rica and this was our first adventure in Nicaragua. Although it's been a couple of weeks since we were, there I am still feeling the warm kindness and care of all the wonderful people who make Jicaro happen. I would name names, but I don't want to leave anyone out...so - from the people who helped with our reservation beforehand, to the gentlemen who brought us to and fro the island by boat, to those who greeted us with delicious and refreshing juice the moment we debarked, to the smiling faces of the magicians in the kitchen, as well as those who served the food, and, lest I forget, fabulous mojitos!, to the concierges, to the unseen many who are behind the scenes keeping Jicaro so beautifully appointed, everyone was friendly and helpful and genuinely kind. Thank you all so much. I think I will carry our all too short stay in my heart always. Oh ...and the setting is spectacular!
Osheannaa - Knoxville, Tennessee
I am writing simply to confirm that Jicaro is still as wonderful and luxurious and special as all the reviews, and to add a note on the rainy season. We had a fantastic, relaxing time. The rooms really ARE glamorous tree houses, the service IS more than service --it is hospitality, the food really IS completely delicious with a range of excellent choices, the coffee delivered to your private deck every morning IS magical and the sunsets ARE just as beautiful as any pictures you have seen, and the spa IS great. So there you have it, not a lot new to add. I was a little concerned about traveling in the rainy season but it was the only time we could get away. It rained two of the four days on the island. Morning were always gorgeous, the storms arrived in the afternoon and ended relatively quickly. One storm was quick to clear and one left the island very cloudy and gray. Overall, I would happily go back during early August. While some have complained about the price of trips off island, I thought the cost of the tour of Granada was worth every penny. Our guide was full of knowledge and insight and a lot of fun. I've seen a few questions about bugs and just want to add that the bugs were not a bother. I used the natural bug spray by Skincando (comes in travel size) called "Combat" and it worked great. Everyone else seemed to be using Off with no real problems. The island is super small and if you happen to be stuck with a neighbor who does not realize you can hear the video they are watching in their casita, it is a bummer. I would just bring earplugs, which you should have for the birds anyway. The island was crowded for two days and it was a small hassle with deck chairs, etc but not a deal breaker. It was lovely with less people but that is obviously the case everywhere.
CapCityTravelers - Washington DC, District of Columbia