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“Fun and unique experience”
Review of Finca del Sol

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Finca del Sol
Ranked #1 of 3 Santa Cruz B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Fun and unique experience”
Reviewed 9 July 2014

I really enjoyed my time at Finca del sol. Christiano and Sheri were excellent hosts, and I truly felt that the service was top notch. They helped arrange tours and taxis for us, and are very generous in sharing their experiences on the farm. They built it themselves.

The lodging itself was quite comfortable and clean. My friend and I were looking for the eco-lodge experience and that is exactly what we received. As we read ahead of time, there are dry compost toilets in the cabins. This basically means that you scoop some corn husks and saw dust onto your waste after you've done your business. I'm not a big fan of 'roughing it', and for me, this was not a problem at all. Don't be surprised if you see a little toad or salamander staring at you while you shower. These critters are everywhere!

Breakfast was great for the two mornings I spent at Finca del Sol. My understanding was that most ingredients were fresh. Delicious.

If you're up for a new experience and don't mind being parted from a/c and flushing toilets for a few nights, I strongly encourage you to check out Finca. There was limited internet access near the reception, which was about a 5 minute walk from my cabin, but honestly, it was nice separating myself from technology for a couple days. Sometimes I just enjoyed lying in the hammock attached to my cabin and staring off into the clouds and the panoramic view of the surrounding lake.

Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Andy472
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (67)
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English first
Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
23 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 June 2014

I recently had the pleasure of visiting Ometepe and staying at Finca del Sol. I was with my extended family of 10. Normally there is a 2 night minimum, but Sherri made an exception because we were only on the island one night. When we booked we had read more than a few reviews, and felt we had enough information. My family is somewhat adventurous, and environmentally conscious. We were not prepared for the spartan arrangements at Finca del Sol. I want to make it clear, this is not a criticism of Sherri, or Christiano, or the property, they have built it in their vision. I do believe it is important to provide a complete description for other travelers considering where to stay on Ometepe. The term Eco-friendly lodge is thrown around quite a bit on Tripadvisor, and it's meaning varies, this is truly an Eco-lodge. There are 3 casitas here, sleeping anywhere from 2-4, reception is a short walk up the hill. Our room accommodated my family, my wife and I, and our 2 early teen children. There is an active farm, with a dozen or so entertaining goats. When we arrived is was not unusually hot, 85 F or so. We knew there was no A/C, but we were a bit surprised there were no ceiling fans, only 4-6 inch portable fans. Running water was limited to the sink and shower, the toilets were compost based, and were essentially buckets below a polished wood shelf where you would use rice husks to cover any waste. The situation became uncomfortable when you combined the heat, with the compost toilets which produced an unpleasant aroma in the rooms which we did not enjoy. At night the smell had abated somewhat, but still lingered, and with the stifling heat made our night restless. Like I said, the property is designed this way, and will suit some travelers perfectly, as you can see in some of the reviews. I will comment that the island is beautiful, and Sherri arranged a hike for us up the volcano which was conducted by experienced, friendly guides. Breakfast was delicious, and the seating area where you eat was family style and enjoyable. It was definitely a unique experience.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Tampa-FamilyTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
snpOmetepe, Manager at Finca del Sol, responded to this review, 28 June 2014
Hello

Thank you for your comment, always good to know our staff does a great job with breakfast, and the guides met with your expectation. Yes our place is a real Nature lodge, which is we have tried to make clear from the website. The Bamboo Lodge, where you stayed, has a queen and bunk bed, hot water, 2 small fans, handmade mosquito netting on both beds, DVD player with a 21 inch screen, water filter, coffee table and 4 chairs, outside table and 2 chairs + 2 loungers and 2 hammocks which ensures everyone has adequate seating when they are in or out of the cabin. It also has pictures on the wall and little touches to make your time a bit more pleasant like books and games. For Nicaragua this is not considered sparse. While it does not have a mini fridge or AC neither are mentioned on our website.

Our composting toilets are maintained very clean and easy to use. A daily change system, so everyday the chamber is emptied and brought to a compost bin. From there it composts as mother nature has her way and is used on the flowers and trees. It really is the true circle of life. As some people may be uncomfortable with this idea we have taken the time to mention it on our website and in the information that all of our clients receive. If the composting toilet smelled, it was because it was not being used correctly, following the instructions on the wall and adding enough cover material (rice husks). The addition of more rice husks makes it a more solid mass reducing, if not cutting all together the smell. They are amply provided in each cabin and refilled on a daily basis. Needless to say, there are many places in the area that use composting toilets and recognize that we are in a water sensitive area.

Getting water to this (and many other) locations in Nicaragua is challenging to say the least. The infrastructure is improving over the years, however is slow compared to Florida. Did you know there are still homes here that have no running water? While few people talk about real life in Nicaragua it is something to consider, in order to recognize the blessing we have in our developed nations. With water in the shower, sink and a taps outside we feel very lucky indeed, as many other people on the island are still walking to the lake to shower & wash clothes, or they only have one tap in their yard share the water with their neighbor.

We have chose not to go with ceiling fans mainly because a ceiling fan does not move any air if you are in the bed under the mosquito netting, as they are a true canopy bed, as well unfortunately some of our guests tend to forget the fans on, making the energy consumption high and unfeasible for the solar systems we currently have. There is a small fan mounted on the inside of the mosquito netting on most of the beds which does help on warm nights. Normally it is not an issue as 10 /12 months a year we are blessed with breezes that help cool the cabin. It is also noteworthy to know that our thatch roofs and adobe walls do help considerably with the summer sunshine. We do however appreciate your comment and will take your comments into consideration.

Kindest regards, Sheri & Cristiano
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Vila do Conde, Portugal
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 24 June 2014

My friend and I spent 2 days in Ometepe and stayed at Finca del Sol. As soon as you enter the gates, and walk up in direction to the reception you see the first cabin - cabin el sol - in which we stayed. As you continue you will find the other cabins and finally the reception and breakfast area. The beautiful grounds and the view of volcano Concepcion were amazing. The cabin had a everything we needed, including a fan over the bed (which we hardly used; we opened the windows instead to let the breeze come into the room). You also have a TV and DVD player - you can pick up some DVDs at the reception.

I recommend having breakfast at Finca del Sol. You get fresh, natural ingredients, delicious!! You also get to meet Sheri's and Cristiano's pets (keep in mind that nature comes with some bugs...it didn't bother us that much). For lunch&dinner you can go to Finca Santa Cruz Hotel & Restaurant, which is only a 5-minute walk from Finca del Sol.

At night, we got to see a firefly spectacle right in front of our cabin...very cool. During the day, you can see all sorts of animals at Finca del Sol - birds, squirrels, goats...

Sheri and Cristiano are amazing hosts - as soon as you arrive, they make you feel welcome and are always there when you need them. For transportation from the ferry to Finca del Sol, I suggest you arrange it with Sheri beforehand. At the ferry dock in San Jorge, they will try to sell you a taxi transfer from Moyogalpa to Finca del Sol. It's cheaper if you arrange it with the drivers Sheri and Cristiano already know. They can call them and arrange a pick up for your arrival at Moyogalpa (as well as for your return).

I definitely recommend Finca del Sol! In my opinion, it's the perfect place to get the island feel of Ometepe.

Thanks Sheri and Cristiano for everything!

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Isabelita_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tahlequah, Oklahoma
Level Contributor
26 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 June 2014

My family of 8 adults was taken aback when we first arrived at Finca Del Sol when they found out there would be no air conditioning for 2 nights! Sheri found us two additional small fans to use in two of the cabanas. Unfortunately, they did little good with the heat at night and little air flow through the cabanas from outside. The porches had great breezes, but the windows just didn't catch the breeze. I must say Sheri and Cristiano have a wonderful little eco farm! The cabanas are decorated beautifully and the bathrooms are very nice with plush towels. It was all very impressive to know they have built these cabanas by hand with materials from the island. I rented these cabanas due to the overwhelming excellent reviews on Tripadvisor. I felt Sheri was not happy that we had chosen, on the spur of the moment at the dock in San Jorge, to use a local guide not on her guide list, who turned out to be awesome. He didn't speak English, but we fared just fine with communicating with him. Breakfast...starts at 7:15...felt we were imposing when we showed up early to enjoy hanging out with each other in one central location while waiting for breakfast....didn't mean to make her feel rushed, but we like to get up and get started early while on vacation. We actually thought we would use the wi-fi while waiting, but no one could get it to work on their devices either morning. The walk to the reception area wasn't a bother and I rather enjoyed the little pathway. In order to receive a 5 star rating, I feel they need to upgrade the cabanas to have better lighting, bedside tables or shelves, and most importantly fans that will generate more air movement for each bed.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank rogersla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
snpOmetepe, Owner at Finca del Sol, responded to this review, 28 June 2014
Hello

It is so nice to know that you enjoyed our nature lodge / eco farm. It has been our pleasure to supply the plush towels, orthopedic beds, mosquito netting and all the little decorations that add to the overall ambiance of the cabins. As we do not advertise, or state in anyway that we have air conditioning on our website it is unfortunate that you were a little warm. In addition to the thatch roofing and adobe walls, most times of the year there is a stronger breeze that filters through the windows and keeps the cabins quite cool. With all due respect your family was quite a bit older and may have enjoyed something with a little more comfort like the a/c. One of the beautiful things is that Ometepe has something for everyone, from hammocks, dorms, basic hotel rooms, Eco lodges, farms to hotel rooms with a/c. In my humble opinion, when choosing a place to vacation it may be important to review websites and ask for more details if you have any questions.

It was only a matter of curiosity that I asked if your driver/guide spoke any English as I could see that you were struggling with the language when you checked in. As everyone is free to choose whom they would like to tour the island with we just want to see you happy and assist in anyway necessary to make your trip nice in Ometepe.

At Finca del Sol we are happy to offer complimentary wifi in the breakfast area between the hours of 7:15 – 5pm. (Our staff arrives at 7 am and in that time they need to clean up the floor, set the table, prepare coffee, fruit and generally get the kitchen ready for the guests to arrive for breakfast. It is easier for them if they do not have to work around anyone else.) With the wifi in mind it is important to recognize that it is dependent on the signal we receive from our provider. Sometimes we have a very good signal, other days slow. Depending on your personal device and the number of devices trying to connect at one time it may or may not work. That is one of our realities living in a remote island in Nicaragua. As most of our guests are here to unplug, rejuvenate, climb the volcano,have a horse ride on the beach,get away from all the stress in the western world the internet service does not seem to be much of a priority for them We are however sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused you.

Thank you for your visit.
Kindest regards, Sheri
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 June 2014

This place was a great get away that felt like a home away from home (except this home is much more amazing!) We rented two cabins at the last minute and Sheri and Cristiano were very sweet, helpful, and accommodating. They were perfect for our group. The property actually practices sustainable initiatives like solar power (which is available at night too because they have battery storage), composting toilets, as well as they produce some food on the finca. Like I said, Sheri and Cristiano were very accommodating, our breakfast and lunch plans kept changing accidentally and they were very helpful in meeting our needs. The packed lunches were delicious.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Tess H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Halifax Region, Canada
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 June 2014 via mobile

Had a good 2 night stay at Finca Del Sol. Sherri and Cristiano are great hosts. The rooms are nice and clean. Great to see Eco friendly places especially where water is so precious around there. We did not eat here but the food we did see did look amazing. They helped us booking taxis which was very helpful!!! Beautiful spot and would love to go back again!
Glen & Andrea

Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Glen_Doucet1111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Perquin, El Salvador
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 June 2014

My husband and I enjoyed 2 nights in the yellow cabin. The cabin was comfortable, cozy, and well appointed, with a nice bathroom (complete with a very clean and eco-friendly composting toilet), hammocks, mosquito netting over the bed, and a tv with DVD player. The best part, however, was the orthopedic bed, which was by far the best bed I've ever slept on. Sheri and Cristiano were wonderful hosts, welcoming us in and giving us tips about the island, and even coordinating a hike on nearby Maderas volcano. Throughout our brief stay, it was very apparent how much the owners had thought about their guests and their comfort. I would highly recommend Finca del Sol for any travelers to Ometepe and I hope to get back one day!

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Hilary J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Finca del Sol

Property: Finca del Sol
Address: | 350 m. East of the Crossroads in Santa cruz, Santa Cruz, Isla de Ometepe Rivas, Nicaragua
Region: Nicaragua > Rivas Department > Isla de Ometepe > Santa Cruz
Amenities:
Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly)
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 B&Bs / Inns in Santa Cruz
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Finca del Sol is a lodge on the foothills of Volcano Madaras, near beach, hiking and restaurants. We are Eco-friendly with off grid power (no blackouts) and dry composting toilets. Bungalow with orthepedic mattress, mosquito netting, private bathroom with hot water, fans, screened, DVD player and purified drinking water with incredible sunset views of volcano & lake. Located in the tropically forested UNESCO Biosphere Reserve (wildlife) we offer a comfortable and private lodging experience. Our property is 13 Acres, and has approximately 20% of 3rd generation forest growth, with a maximum of 10 guests on the grounds at one time - reducing our environmental footprint on Mother Earth. Located in the UNESCUO Biosphere Reserva you have an opportunity to view howler monkey, parrots and a variety of other interesting critters, flora and fauna! We welcome you to our refuge created in harmony within nature. An excellent location for those interested in exploring nature & the beauty that surrounds us, from the volcano to the river, to the beach, the possibilities are endless. We are located just after the split in Santa Cruz! This is a growing tourist hub for the island and offers many restaurants, motorbike rentals and is close proximity from the beach and kite-boarding school. If you choose to hike - Maderas Volcano begins from our back yard. Finca del Sol is also located in the tropical dry forest and a perfect place from which to explore the Maderas side of the island - where you can find kyack trips up the river Istain, ride a horse or explore forests/jungle, fauna and flora. The cabins are Eco friendly with comfortable with double or queen beds, mosquito netting and private bathroom with hot water. Each cabin has its own private porch and garden setting with comfortable chairs and hammocks boasting fantastic views of Volcano Conception and Lake Cocibolca! Our bungalows are equipped with 21' screen with a DVD player and selection of films in English, fan, security box, daily maid service, purified drinking water, clean and hygienic composting toilet system and solar powered.Included in the rate is access to WIFI, complimentary beach towels,and concierge services. We organize tours up both volcanoes, horseback riding and massages for our guests, as well as put them in contact with other local activities. Our organic breakfast is optional, boasting things like an Mediterranean omelet, homemade bread and fresh tropical fruit salad. Your hosts speak English, Spanish and Italian. If you are looking for something a little different than the usual hotel experience, opt for the adventure, break the mold and dive into all that Ometepe Island and Finca del Sol has for you! See you on Ometepe!! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Finca Del Sol Hotel Santa Cruz
Finca Del Sol Isla De Ometepe, Nicaragua - Santa Cruz

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