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All reviewspizza nightpermaculture farmcompost toiletsfree yoga classesorganic foodgreat conceptthe restaurant reception areaschool busgood vibeshomemade breada couple daysdorm bedsfruit treesbeautiful settingafter darka lot of funvolunteers
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Reviewed 3 April 2014 via mobile

We decided after the first night to move on to a place in Santa Domingo. Another couple that we were traveling with had told us about how rude the manager was, and how on the website he rates VOLUNTEERS on the work that they do, and writes very rude comments such as "lazy" under their pictures. Seemed a little uncalled for, especially considering they are volunteering and working for you FOR FREE.

That aside, my boyfriend and I ended up staying in the dorm because no private cabanas were available. For a double bed in a dorm of 7 people, it cost $12, yet there are private cabanas only prices at $14 or $16. It felt like we were getting ripped off, but still it was cheap enough.

The restaurant was actually decently priced. Pasta was a little pricy but other than that you can get good sized plates for cheap.

What really got us was the hippie-dippy atmosphere. It felt like we were interrupting everyone's "chill time" by wanting service or having a question. It is also very out of the way and requires a lot of traveling to get anywhere from there. I'd recommending somewhere in Santa Domingo!

  • Stayed: April 2014
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Thank recoon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ometepezopilote, Owner at El Zopilote, responded to this reviewResponded 5 April 2014

I see that you are this kind of person that judge without even know: you say in a public internet page that I'm rude and you never have meet me just because someone else told you so; I never really estimate this way of being but of course you can say what you want. I dont know where this couple you where traveling with had seen that we write lazy under the picture of the volunteer in our web site, because there is nothing like that, but is usless to tell you because from the way you speak you probably haven't even checked our web site. Beside that I want to say something about our volunteer sistem that at least can be usefull for others that may want to come here because what you wrote is pretty much incorrect. How you can check in our web site ( http://www.ometepezopilote.com/work.html ) we have 2 option of volunteer here in the farm: the long term volunteer ,that required a minimum of 2 months stay, where they receive full board and room (3 meals a day and free accommodation) for about 30 hours of work a week (those one taking care of our bushop they also get 10% of what they sale) and the second option is for the short term stay and you can see it like 3 different practical free courses: the practical course of permaculture tropical gardening, and a practical course of how to make and preserve organic product like marmalade, chutney, tomato sauce, jamaica juice, handmade nutella and much more, all product that we sell in our bushop and there is also a practical course to learn how to do bracelet in “macrame”.those are courses that are free, we don't ask any money for that and you can get a lot of knowledge, you should have to try to do them instead of just listening some other people, you could have learn something more interesting than tittle-tattle. Everywere in the world people charge money for things like that, pretty much in all latinoamerica and specially in the Ometepe island mostly of farm they rates also the long term volunteers you can come and check if you don't belive.
About the rates of the dormitory I think that 12 dollar for 2 person is not much specially if you compare the price with the other hostel in the island where the dormitory start from 8$ a person, and you also have to think that with that price you get free yoga class every morning from monday to Friday, all those free course we spoke before, free filtered water, free wifi and until a week ago free salsa class once a week (unfortunately the teacher start a work in the night and he can't do it anymore)
I don't have much to say about your comments on the restaurant, we do have plate starting from 2,80$, of course the pasta cost more but is handmade pasta and it take a lot of time to prepare it so I can' t see that is overpriced.
I'm sorry if you felt not well treated you are the first in long time telling that ,how you can see in the other reviews pretty much everybody say good things about the welcoming.
We are located at less than a hour by taxi (1 and half hour by bus) from the main harbour, at the feet of the volcan maderas (the most hiked of the 2 volcan of the island), 10 minutes walking from Santo Domingo beach, 8 km from the San Ramon watherfall, 4 km from the ojo de agua natural spring, 200 meters from the main road where pass the bus service running the island. I don't understand how you can consider Santo Domingo that is just 30 minutes walking from us in a so much better position.
Daniele

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 March 2014

Where do I even begin... my friend and I had heard amazing things about El Zopilote so we had very high expectations for this place. It's a bit of a trek to get there, but they have very clear and explicit instructions on their website, so that helped a lot. We were coming from Granada, Nicaragua so we allocated sufficient time to get there (ferry + about a 2 hour bus ride from Moyogalpa to Balgue.) They operates on a first come, first serve basis so it really comes down to timing and luck for room availability. We arrived around 6pm hoping to get a dorm room but they only had two hammocks left in this outdoor hut with about 10 hammocks tied to a large bamboo pole in the center. Luckily, it was just me and my friend so we snagged the last two spots for $3 a hammock / per night. What?! I was a little apprehensive about sleeping in a hammock outdoors as i've never done so before but let me tell you, it was such a great experience. Sleeping outdoors in the fresh air and waking up to birds chirping is kind of unreal.

The food was excellent as everything is grown organically on the farm. You MUST get the chicken curry with rice & vegetables. It is arguably the best curry I have ever had. Everything is so reasonably priced and they charge it to your tab, which you settle at the end of your stay (which can be a bit dangerous lol.) But to give you an idea, I spent a total of $35 for 3 nights for the hammocks, meals, the infamous Pizza night on Tuesdays at the Pizzeria, and $2 beers. Talk about good value.

Other highlights included the Japanese Showers (showering under the stars at night was nothing short of awesome), the ladder to the lookout which had a spectacular view of the Island), the Thai Massage Workshop, and the morning yoga sessions every weekday.

This was the first sustainable hostel, or finca ecologica as they like to call it, that I have ever stayed in and it will definitely not be my last. What a fabulous experience it was! I very much look forward to visiting again in the near future. You don't want to miss out on this one!

Room Tip: - Call in the day of your arrival at 11am to inquire about availability - No reservations / first come, first serve basis
  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank Frances S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 March 2014

We had a gorges time in that basic hostel. We met so many nice and friendly people. The dorm was very big and anything but expensive, This was a perfect base to discover the island of ometepe. One of the highlights is the pizza, don't miss to try it!

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Hans M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 March 2014

i went in ometepe island during my nicaragua's trip and i already knew "el zopilote" from many traveller's tales...i expected a great place, i was wrong. this is definitely the best "finca" in the island!
i visited many other places in the island but zopilote is absolutely my favourite one...i supposed to stay there for a few days and in the end i've been there for 3 weeks!!!
the zopilote's philosophy it's all about eco-sustainable culture, from food (everything is homemade: bread, pizza, pasta, honey, salads...) until the sheds and services, going through many products the italian owners make (soap, coconut oil, tobacco...) respecting the island's beautiful environment.
all the people there (the owners, volunteers, yoga's teacher, workers) are very friendly and they always gives a great service.
one more thing i've experienced, zopilote is in touch with many activities you can do in the island, so if you arrange something from there, you can most of the times get a discount.
last, but not least, the beautiful bus-shop placed in the finca's entrance.
a beautiful experience in one of the most beautiful camping i've ever visited!!!

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank puciostayla m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 March 2014

This place is very nice and has a great atmosphere. Their organic food is also super good and reasonably priced. Pizza night was awesome as well. Probably the best pizza I have had in a looong time. We slept in a dorm there and were quite happy with our accommodation. If you wanna save some money, it's good to bring your own tent because there's a nice camping ground. While checking out we had some confusion with our money but the owner handled the situation very well and professionally. I ended up with a great feeling about this place and can recommend it to everyone looking for a alternative kind of place to stay.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank MCastlesriver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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