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“Tranquilo”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of El Zopilote

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El Zopilote
Certificate of Excellence
Leon, Nicaragua
Level Contributor
8 reviews
“Tranquilo”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 December 2013

Hidden in the bushes, some walk from the road lies Zopilote. It is run by an enthousiastic team (mostly volunteers).
The dorms are fine and have a locker (be sure to bring your own lock, they don't have them). Everything is open so it can be a bit noisy at night though. The normal showers are primitive and they encourage to take very short showers. But don't take a normal shower! The Japanese showers in the back are much nicer and have a great ambiance! (although still primitive)

On saturday and tuesday it is pizzanight which atracts tourists of all hostals nearby. It is at the nica and cozy 'restaurant' just below the lodge and the pizza's are very good.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank WoBaDijk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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375 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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Fort Collins, Colorado
Level Contributor
16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 December 2013

I don't even know where to start....the beautiful natural environment, the amazing locally sourced mostly organic fresh food, friendly staff, etc. The whole experience was just very relaxing and inspiring, I just wish I could still be there. They are dedicated to being self sustaining and having a low to no negative environmental impact, while at the same time it never seems burdensome or overbearing. Just a perfect mix of great people, great food and peace and solitude (if you wish). They offer many classes, from gardening to bread baking as well as 7am yoga.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank riddletm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City
Level Contributor
29 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 December 2013

Absolutely amazing time, i was really sad to leave this place. First of all, the concept of self-sustainable farm/hostel is absolutely genius. You feel like part of the ecosystem and enjoy every second of being in the true nature. Second, there is so much to do in the hostel/farm itself that you don't even have to go anywhere and can spend 1-2 days exploring Ometepe in El Zopilote itself. The hike trail to volcan Maderas starts right behind the farm, you can take a ceramics class, free yoga and farm tour. Let alone fun pizza and salsa nights and super creative school bus reception with cute gifts and products you can buy for your return home. Very helpful staff, great inexpensive organic food at the restaurant and amazing views from the miradors (2 observation towers). If I come back to Ometepe - definitely staying there again. Note, you will only enjoy your stay if you are open to being in the nature with limited to no amenities. And btw, there are no mosquitos - for those who are scared :)

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Astorianka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Figeac, France
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 December 2013

exclent hostel, farm restaurant and pizeria, the price are cheaps and the quality of the service high, in a really exepcional natural environment.The crew is nice and always international, so easy to met a lot of intersting people, many nice activities around and in the farm...The ubicacion is just amazing

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank paul l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pender Island, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 December 2013

El Zopilote was the highlight of my trip through Nicaragua. The atmosphere and social vibe is what I hope for out of every hostel I go to. The menu at the restaurant consisted of food almost entirely made on the premises, the staff was happy and helpful, and the guests it attracted we're amazing. With that said, it is unlike any hostel I have ever stayed at, for someone like me, that's a good thing, for others, maybe not. Aside from the countless positive things I could say, there are a few things that might be deal breakers for certain travelers:The bugs are overwhelming, the noises of the forest make it hard to sleep, and the "semi private" rooms are not at all worth it.
In my mind it was the perfect mix between party hostel and relaxing getaway.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Laurie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minneapolis, Minnesota
1 review
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 November 2013

My friend and I arrived and were shown two different cabanas we could rent as we wanted a private place to stay. I was excited to try a very rustic style and opted for the Iguana cabana, which was about 10 feet off the ground with a pulley-system to open a trap door. The cabana had a bed with mosquito netting, two hammocks, a cage to lock valuables in (no lock, although we brought our own) and a couple large shelves, adequate for what we needed. It smelled a little funky in there. The sheets we were given were stained and had two large holes in it. When we went to put the sheets on the bed, we smelled the terribly strong scent of urine. Both the mattress and the pillows reeked. It was incredibly horrific and to me, totally unacceptable. We politely mentioned to the woman working the reception and she gave us a bag of liquid perfume, which didn't do much at all. The Japanese shower was pretty cool, if you don't mind being surrounded by spiders. The bathrooms were fine, compost and all.

The food was good, especially pizza night. The lasagna was delicious but a little greasy. Very reasonably priced, although the hours for dinner could have been a little earlier.

The vibe was not as awesome as I was expecting. I read the reviews and had hoped people would be open to getting to know travelers staying there. However, the group working there was very cliquey and spent all day smoking in the restaurant area (which clearly said no smoking), making bracelets and playing music. This kumbaya klan was not sociable with anyone outside their group at all, which made us leave after only a few nights. I agree with several of the other posters about this sad fact of the finca. The permaculture way of life would be a lot cooler if the people there had been more friendly with guests. Some good, some bad. El Zopilote and readers, this is my opinion of my particular stay.

Room Tip: I'd suggest exploring all your options before making a decision as this finca has many. Also, sm...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jennifer C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ometepezopilote, Proprietario at El Zopilote, responded to this review, 1 December 2013
hi, I'm one of the owner and I would like to tell my opinion about some things you said;
first of all I want to say that we do provide lock for the lockers but you have to ask for that in the reception.
I personally went to check the mattress in the cabin iguana and absolutely it doesn't smell of urine and nether the pillows , the only funny smell you can fell a little bit is the smell of humidity that is quite normal in this time of the year because we are in the rainy season from 6 months (almost the end of it) with rain every day and humidity in the air that is about 90% there is no way that things doesn't smell a little funny the only way is to get a air-conditioned room, but for that you have to find another hostel because we are a eco-hostel-farm and we find that air-condition isn't really so eco, in top of that I want to give you a tip: if you look for an air conditioned room be prepared to spend a little more than 14$ a night for 2 person.
about the japanese shower of course there are spider, it is a open shower in the middle of a bamboo plantation with hundreds of different tropical plant surrounding you; i'm sorry but this is what we actually are trying to defend here, "nature" and spiders are part of it
the dinner start at 18:00 I don't know at what time you usually eat dinner but for me before 18:00 is not a dinner, I would probably call it a late lunch (is not even dark).. before 18:00 there are all bunch of different snacks that we sell in the reception
the volunteer that we employ here usually are sociable and friendly with the tourist, is one of the thing we require from them, I can tell you that the team we do have now is one of the best we never had specially when they have to welcome tourists, how you can see from the last few review everybody is happy about the staff and the ambience if you haven't find that connection you where looking for, I think is because your vibe doesn't really was connected with the vibe of this place and on top of that if you just stay a couple of day you may not even give time to the other people to connect with you.I have a question for you: did you even try to speak with the volunteers or you where just waiting for them to speak with you? because are few months I'm leaving together with those guys and I never seen them not interested of what the tourists were exchanging with them.
I'm sorry about the smoke in the restaurant I'm a no smoker so I understand that it bother a lot,
I always tell to the everybody to don't smoke in the restaurant but I'm not always there to see what happen so the best thing you could have done was to tell them to don't smoke because it bother you or at least to make a report to the receptionist right in the time it was happening so I could have known who was and I could have act in the right way.
I hope this answer at least will help some other tourists .
saludos
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Sudbury, Canada
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 November 2013

I have backpacked through many countries and this is one of my favourite hostels anywhere. The dorms might be a bit crowded, but I stayed in a private room and for awhile in a semi-private room (a room with two single beds, where the other is also rented out and so is the upstairs double). I spent nearly a month here. I met great people and I love how the owners are putting their concern with sustainability into practice. The outdoor shower is great. I love the pizza nights. The only advice I would give to people about Ometepe in general is give yourself at least 5 days there, preferably more. It is going to take you a full day to get from pretty much anywhere on the mainland to pretty much anywhere on the island and a full day to get back to somewhere on the mainland, so leave enough time to enjoy the slow pace of life on the island.

Room Tip: Solo travellers - if you don't like dorm rooms, but are on a very limited budget. you could try...
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank CarriefromSudbury
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about El Zopilote

Property: El Zopilote
Address: from Madronal 300m south, Santa Cruz, Isla de Ometepe 044, Nicaragua
Region: Nicaragua > Rivas Department > Isla de Ometepe > Santa Cruz
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Speciality Lodging in Santa Cruz
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
El Zopilote is a permaculture farm/hostel. We have hammock, dormitory, and rooms. We have a organic restaurant serving Nica and Italian food (like handmade pastas, lasagnas, fettuccine, melanzane alla parmigiana) open at breakfat, lunch and dinner tevery day and 3 nights a week we have pizza night ,cooked in wood-bricks oven.In the reception we sell food and organic product hand made here.The land is completely planted with fruit trees, bananos and much more...Our goal is to be 100% sustainable. We have a look out tower where you can see the Volcanos and the farm. We organize tour to both volcanoes, horseback riding, spanish lessons, yoga classes (free), ceramic, bread and bees courses and there is free WI-FI 24h and free filtered water. You can work with us in the permaculture garden and in the work shop and learn something nice (free). ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
El Zopilote Isla De Ometepe, Nicaragua - Santa Cruz

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