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El Zopilote
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Reviews (409)
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Reviewed 6 March 2014

I came to El Zopilote intending to stay a few days and liked it so much I ended up staying over two weeks.

It is a really beautiful location with great views (there are lookout towers you can climb). There is a very relaxed and friendly atmosphere, and yet they manage to keep a very good handle on things- I was very impressed by their organisation and professionalism. Their accommodation is really good value for money, I had a private cabana with a double bed for $12 per night.

The food is good and prices reasonable. Pizza night (3 times a week) is worth special mention- really high quality and delicious with reasonable prices.

They have free yoga sessions weekday mornings (plus I had extra on weekends because a guest instructor volunteered). This is on an outside platform surrounded by trees with the wind blowing- really magical. Thatch mats are provided for free, and its a really great way to start the day. They also have weekly Salsa sessions but I did not attend these.

There is also a Japanese shower which I enjoyed.

Overall I found everyone, staff and guests really pleasant, and the vibe is very chilled.

Some disadvantages/things to be aware of:

1. They dont take reservations. You have to show up and if theres availibility you can stay (this proved an advantage for me as I could extend my stay without any worry).

2. It is a moderate hike up the hill to get to the hotel/farm (took me about 10 minutes at a slow pace) - not for those with significant disabilities.

3. No self-service kitchen.

4. It incorporates the nature around it. This means you will encounter animals. There are plenty of spiders, garden snakes, lizzards and toads. On my 2nd last night I saw a mouse (or rat?) in my cabana. On my last night I saw in my cabana a boa constrictor (!!!!) - seriously - crawling through my stuff on the shelf into the wooden wall (there is a large enough gap in one section). Maybe it ate the mouse... It was about 0.8m long and 10cm thick (diameter). Later I saw a scorpion (very little one, first one I saw but apparently they are common to see).
That being said, and despite being completely freaked out about the snake, I did not have any injuries nor have I heard of anyone having injuries from this. There were barely any mosquitos.

5. I left a borrowed bicycle at the bottom of the hill chained to a tree overnight. The next morning it was missing (stolen). There was nothing to do about this. It is to a large extent my own carelessness.

Overall, I really enjoyed El Zopilote and highly recommend it.

Room Tip: I stayed in the above the bakery/massage room. It was really nice and amazing value for money. Only issue is the snake I saw on my last night- ?attracted by the mice attracted by the bakery? The gap in the wall should be closed in my opinion.
  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled solo
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Thank Shachar B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 February 2014

I was thinking of staying here for a couple of nights, but ended up spending a week... It is just so easy to relax surrounded by jungle and great people. The food here tastes great, and sure it isn't the cheapest in town, but there is not much beating neither the atmosphere, nor sleeping in outdoor super comfy hammocks for $ 3 a night (don't worry, there are other sleeping options, but it seemed like the hammocks were more bug-free than the dorms, as well as being really cheap and comfy). You can also bring your own tent or hammock and stay for the same price.

The beach is a fifteen minute walk from the hostel, and you can also rent bikes from farms nearby to explore the island.

Just make sure you get on the right bus from Moyogolpa when getting here - most bus drivers will just say "yes" if you ask them if you're getting on the right bus. Instead, try asking them were they are heading without telling where you are going...

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank ragamdam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 February 2014 via mobile

Under the pretente of an alternative and free spirited lifestyle, the price of food, tours and activities at the gringo rate.  
Ending so paying 10$ for pasta plate because the 20pourcent is not inclued in the menu prices.
It is also impossible to use kitchen for personnal use. Best options is the local restaurant cross the street from the entrance that offer local fares at local prices (3$).
The hotel is honest qualify and i recognised the effort for minimizes the impact on environement (light/trash)

Stayed: February 2014, travelled solo
1  Thank metlilimobile
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ometepezopilote, Owner at El Zopilote, responded to this reviewResponded 23 February 2014

The price of the food are the average price for Nicaragua restaurants with dishes that are not the basic beans and rice, and even the “tipico”, costs 2,80$. Most of the products used in the kitchen are organic, the pasta and the bread (besides a lot of other things) are homemade, and still the prices does not go up 8 $. We have no idea of what is this 20 per cent rate not included on the menu, this is not true, you should and for sure you have payed exactly what is writen in the menu.
The tours to the volcanos have a cost around 7 $ per person, witch sounds good thinking that is a hiking that takes from 8 to 12 hours, and the local guide has to be paid for leading the group(in most of the other hostel they ask 20$ por person).
Besides that, the hostal offers a bunch of free activites for the guests: free yoga classes, free salsa classes, handcraft lessons, gardening, prparation of organic products… we can not understand your critic of having “gringo rates” where there is no rate i most of the thin we offer.
We are glad that you recognize the effort about the impact, and you should have in mind that is good to check the informations before post a review with unreal critics.
Daniele

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 February 2014

My girlfriend and I stayed here a few nights and enjoyed our stay. The place is very relaxed and 'zen'-y and Eco - paths and rooms surrounded by gardens, Eco-friendly everything. We stayed in a semi-private room as it was the only one available. Very simple room, but a pain to be underneath another room who's only access is walking past the end of our bed! All bathrooms are shared, but we were aware of that. The zen showers down the back area were nice, except the cold water on cold days does get old after a couple of showers.
The food in the restaurant was good and the pizza nights are great! Food is a little more expensive than down the road in town (Santa Cruz), but if you want something different to the staple rice and beans, the options are quite good. The lookout towers with lake and volcano views are a nice touch too.

Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank JPescape
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 December 2013

I did like El Zopilote, so will try to give some factual info to help you if your interested in staying here. You can get there from Moyogalpa by taxi in 30min for $20, or by bus in about an hour. The hostel's a solid 5min hike into the woods from the road, but the lookouts provide great views of the lake and volcanoes. If you are traveling solo then it may be hit or miss whether there are good people to socialize with. The second night we hung out at Little Morgan's Hostel, a 15minute walk away, which was definitely the party hostel. You can rent bicycles along the street, and Ojo de Agua is a 20minute bike ride away. It is super dark at night; you can't use the bathroom without a good flashlight. For the price, this place is a really great value for adventurous travelers.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Matthew M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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