Jicaro Island Ecolodge - Granada Isletas, Nicaragua
Private Casitas

Andrew Harper - Grand Award Winner 2013

 

Caribbean & Central America

Nicaragua — The exquisite Jicaro Island G Ecolodge is situated just 15 minutes by motorboat from the vibrant colonial city of Granada. Jicaro’s neighbors include a handful of residential islands and about a dozen tiny specks big enough only for a tree or two. The resort’s island is scarcely larger, but architect Matthew Falkiner managed to squeeze in nine duplex guest casitas without making the one-acre space feel overbuilt.

On arrival, we headed to casita #5. There, a sliding door revealed an expanse of auburn cedar. Three walls were either screens or shoji-like translucent plastic, allowing natural light to flood the space and giving the casita an almost Japanese feel. Upstairs in the airy bedroom, mosquito netting draped the cedar-framed bed. Ample screens and a ceiling fan provided cooling breezes. An open-air lakeview restaurant served unfailingly delicious local and international cuisine. The staff proved to be reliable bartenders, as well, and it was sheer delight to sip mojitos while watching the sunset. A small but well-appointed spa provided another excuse to remain on the island, although Jicaro’s well-organized excursions made it well worth the effort to leave.

We could happily have spent four or five nights at Jicaro. Since it’s only 90 minutes from Managua’s airport, we might do just that sometime soon.

Prices. Granada isletas. tel. (505) 2552-6353. JicaroLodge.com

 

 

Best Ecoadventure

Las isletas, an archipelago of 365 islands scattered into Lake Nicaragua by the explosion of mombacho volcano, is an environment of extraordinary beauty. and excursions from Jicaro island ecolodge allow guests to experience this natural grandeur to the full.

One day, we headed to shore by motorboat, passing tiny islands crowded with birds. at the dock, we launched our kayaks and began threading our way through pristine wetlands, spotting egret, osprey, heron and anhinga (american darter). a warm channel led to natural hot springs, where we indulged in a therapeutic soak. leaving our kayaks behind, we hiked through the dry tropical forest at the base of mombacho, a dramatic landscape studded with giant black boulders. our guide pointed out edible wild fruits and other plants, and even discovered a small bat sleeping in the crack of a rock. (those with more time can explore the cloud forests of mombacho volcano, the enigmatic petroglyphs of Zapatera and the isla de la muerte, as well as the charming market town of masaya.)

Later, i took out a kayak on my own and explored the lake. some islands in the archipelago seem barely large enough for the thatch-roofed homes occupying them. all the while, i returned the cheerful waves of local residents, nicaragua’s venetians, as they headed home from work or school in their own small boats. it was with some reluctance that i turned in my paddle later that afternoon.

Email. info@jicarolodge.com
Phone. (505) 2558-7702
(505) 2552-6353
1,000 Places to See Before You Die, the second edition Winner of the 2010 Global Vision Award for Environmental Leadership Travel+Leisure Winner of Conde Nast World Saver Award 2010
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