I stayed at Totoco for two days with my two young children (girls, 6 and 8) and my mother in law. It is the real deal ecolodge! My kids loved the pool and the amazing views of the volcano and lake, as well as the birds and sounds of nature. The room (we had Ecechatl) was comfortable and clean by ecolodge standards, and the composting toilet was well-maintained because it did not smell at all.
My kids did not balk at the rustic conditions (despite the contrast from our lodgings in Managua where we had stayed with well-to-do relatives in a very fancy house). The food was good and creative, although somewhat expensive by Nicaragua standards, especially because the location of the lodge makes it pretty much impossible to eat anywhere else unless you plan ahead well. If you are here without a car (as most people are) you will also need to plan for the expense of taxis to any towns or sites, or be prepared for some serious hiking around. The staff at Totoco is very helpful in arranging all of these things, including coordinating ferry schedules and transfers.
The highlight of the trip for us was the walking tour of Balgue with Patricia, the wife of the proprietor and the head of the Totoco Foundation, which is doing amazing things in the community. Ometepe is very much a rural community with minimal resources, people tend to live very simply, with latrines and outdoor cooking fires for example, and Totoco Foundation provides an array of services that previously did not exist here, or were minimal. There is a lot of information about their work on the website, so I will not list them here, but be assured they are significant. As you are planning your trip, consider bringing children's books in Spanish, and items for the soccer team they support.
On our last night, my younger daughter came down with a fever and stomach issues, and coincidentally we lost power in our room. I was very worried about how to keep her cool without a fan and the staff went above and beyond in coming up with a creative solution - they ran the longest extension cord I've ever seen from the main building all the way to our room so that she could have a cooling fan. Very kind and responsive, and also helped us find some ibuprofen for her, as I had left my medicines bag in Managua and had nothing on hand to help bring down the fever.
I feel like the location of the lodge has pros and cons - on the pro side, the fact that it is up high means fewer mosquitos (we had no problems), better views, and extreme peace and quiet. On the con side, you have to pay a little more to get around, as you are far from things, which means a little more expense and advance planning.
We would definitely visit again!! Thank you, Totoco, for a great adventure!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located on the edge of a pristine biosphere nature reserve with an abundance of wildlife and a cloud forest above you, the Totoco experience is pure comfort in pure nature. Guests can stay in one of our custom designed private lodges all made using local materials and labour. Each lodge enjoys a private garden setting and offers spectacular views of Lake Nicaragua and active Concepcion Volcano. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Totoco Eco Hotel Balgue
- Totoco Eco-Lodge Nicaragua/Balgue, Isla De Ometepe