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“excellent, eco friendly lodge”
Review of El Zopilote

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El Zopilote
Reviewed 14 May 2014

We stayed 2 nights here in iguana cabin, a lovely raised cabin with 2 hammovcks on a veranda for a bargain of $16 a night. The lodge is beautiful, with excellent view points especially at sunset, a delicious and reasonable restaurant and very friendly staff. You can do the volcano walk directly from the lodge. Well worth the journey to the other side of the island. Yes, the showers may seem a bit basic and there are compostable toilets but its an eco lodge so what do you expect - its really annoying when people moan about this sort of thing. A really worthwhile experience

Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank Ruthchristina22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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198 - 204 of 396 reviews

Reviewed 6 May 2014

We stayed here in the small camping area which was highly packed. Not a flat area and very rocky. Good if you have a mattress I guess but in our case it was a nightmare to try to sleep there. They do have more accommodation options but you do need to book in advance. When we went it was very full and camping was the only option. The place is great though and it is a very interesting project to visit. The food is amazing and the prices are very reasonable. They have potable water to refill your bottles which is always appreciated. The staff is friendly and very organised. We were there for pizza night and it was fun. Would stay there again, only this time we would bring a mattress or book a room.

Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank Gabesse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 April 2014

This place is amazing. Absolutely in the big area where this hostel/camping/restaurant/cafe/farm/lookout is green and eco-friendly. The architecture is made with recyclable materials, the food is made with a lot of what they farm and the vibe is very hippie-fun. They even have an area with a little artisan/hippie market & entertainment, with a highlight during the pizza nights (very famous in the island) with jugglers mini shows and live music. It is a hippie dream, so you have to accept that the idea of toilets it is just a hole in the ground with some hay to put over it. It is a good start point to know the island and you can do the volcano hike right from there.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Alberto G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ometepezopilote, Owner at El Zopilote, responded to this reviewResponded 21 April 2014

Hi first of all I want to thank you for the nice review and I'm very happy that you enjoy the place!
I'm just writing to explain that the toilet aren't just a hole in the ground but actually they are compost toilet. They looks pretty much like a normal toilet but under the toilet there are big bucket that we regularly dump in the compost area where we are processing the excrement mixed with leaf, ground, ash and fermented urine to make organic compost that we use for the plant of the farm. if you check our web site: ometepezopilote.com there is a link for the video we uploaded and there you can see how we make the compost
Saludos
daniele

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Reviewed 7 April 2014 via mobile

I liked this place a lot! So do many others so go there early (I think they dont do reservations).
We had a very nice double room in a small wooden house with 2 private hammocks. But I felt really pitty for the guys downstairs as we always had to walk through their room to get to ours.
All the sanitary facilities are self built with natural materials and ecofriendly. The shower is outside which was really cool.
They have a restaurant offering breakfast, lunch and dinner. Every second night the restaurant was closed for the pizza night. The prices were ok, but it gets expensive to stay there longer as there is no kitchen for guests. The food was delicious and a lot of the ingredients were from the permakultur farm. They also sell a lot of their products.

The only thing that I really didnt like was that the restaurant was not vegan/vegetarian friendly. They all act like being hippies and saving our earth. For me this doesnt go together with their meat filled menu.

  • Stayed: February 2014
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1  Thank JosefinTerpentin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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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...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank Frances W
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
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Additional Information about 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 7 Speciality Lodging in Santa Cruz
Price Range: £13 - £19 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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