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“Best spot on Ometepe”
Review of Totoco Eco-Lodge

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Totoco Eco-Lodge
Ranked #1 of 7 Balgue B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 28 September 2009

We were so happy to come across Totoco Lodge. It's the most beautifull place on the island. The project is done with some much love and the hosts are very helpfull. Very thing is posible.

The food is organic for the most part and it's simple but with much flavor. We loved eating there.

We stayed in the small lodge, such a romantic lodge with beautifull view.
For activities, you should go on the water with a canoo or hiking.

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank NinaNona
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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304 - 310 of 353 reviews

Reviewed 16 September 2009

...great place, incredible view...very friendly staff. food is good, cabins und architecture of the eco-lodge are of the finest - u can tell all the love that was put in! again, incredible view! quiet, relaxing .... woderful :)

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank behc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2009

We were met at San Jose harbor by the taxi driver and his son hired by Totoco to pick us up. It took about an hour to arrive at Totoco Eco Lodge. When we arrived we were greeted by Ros and Jonathan. We immediately felt at home. The main lodge had fantastic views of the volcano and Lake Nicaragua. The meals were organic and very delicious. Our stay was so relaxing and the feeling of the whole area was so magical. The staff was fantastic and helpful with all our questions. We wish we would have had the opportunity to stay longer, but we will definitely be back. We wish the best for Totoco's bright future, which is well deserved.

Stayed: July 2009, travelled as a couple
Thank flamenco10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 July 2009

My friend an I stayed there for 3 nights. We have both traveled extensively and can honestly say that this place was among the best. Upon arrival we were greeted by Roslyn, Martin and John. They treated us as if we were long last friends. We then walked down to our cabana, which had a view of a volcano and lake Nicaragua. Surrounding us were flowers and butterflies in their hundreds. Not even in dreams could we have imagined such an exotic experience. As it is an ecolodge everything is natural. We had the best night sleep. Totocolodge was by far the most enjoyable part of our vacation.

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled with friends
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Thank sandrine6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 July 2009

As promised, the views of the volcanoes and lake are astounding. I've never seen so many butterflies. The whole lodge is planned with a commitment to sustainability, care in planning and building, and senstivity to the environment and the community. The food was delicious, the staff friendly and helpful. I feel lucky to have found it as it is still developing; it was an amazing, serene retreat. The amount of work that has gone into the planting and care of the gardens is astounding. They're doing a beautiful job. It is quite a trip to get there, but worth every twist and bump in the road!

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled solo
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Thank DSSF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 June 2009

There's so much to say! We stayed at Totoco for 3 nights (thurs-sat). It was a group of 9 of us, my mom, my 17 year old sisters, my co-worker (50), my grandmother, my 7 year old cousin, myself (26) and my boyfriend (32).. from the youngest to the oldest, we had an AMAZING time on Ometepe island, and our choice of stay at Totoco Ecolodge had everything to do with the GREAT time we had. Aside from the great accommodations, they gladly coordinated all the activities we wanted to do while on the island! The location was a perfect starting spot to hike up Volcan Maderas, go to the waterfall of San Ramon, and go to the coffee plantation. I have been to Nicaragua previously, but this time it truly felt like a Nicaraguan experience.

My boyfriend and I stayed in the Cabana, and the rest of my group occupied the 6 person dormitory. We all ABSOLUTELY love it. The beds were clean, comfortable, the food was great, and in the morning we would wake up to the sound of nature.. you could hear monkeys in the background of the forest, it was spectacular - and the cherry on top are the VIEWS of the volcanoes, along with a great group of people who run the place and were VERY helpful. We had make reservations via email at Totoco, (their website is WONDERFUL www.totoco.com.ni) so when we arrived at night, they were waiting for us at the entrance helped us with our bags, and showed the dinner menu since we were starving. Their dining area is a large open room, large tables and chairs, and a set of rocking chairs off on one end - it was so relaxing to sit on those rocking chairs in the open room, with the spectacular panorama. They prepared very TASTY and healthy meals - EVERYTHING was spectacular - I have never had a more delicious vegetable soup, my friend had some seasoned chicken with roasted vegetables... it was mouthwatering - tasted fabulous. And on another night, we had some steak that was soft and seasoned just right as well.

While the ride to the Ecologe was bumpy, we took a taxi from the ferry to the ecolodge - we did get to see some of the local people and life on the way there - I thought it was absolutely worth it.

The ecologe is perfectly located to climb up the Maderas volcano, which we had planned to do on our itinerary. Martin, the 'concierge' there coordinated a guide for us. My mother, grandmother, and my friend didn't want to climb the volcano, so the guide took us first to a coffee farm/plantation where they did a petroglyph tour with another guide, while my boyfriend, my sisters, and I went up the volcano with the guide. I know I keep saying 'spectacular' - and I will keep saying it... the entire experience was SPECTACULAR. After the tour we went back to the ecolodge for dinner.

I would absolutely recommend staying at Totoco - the project is new. They have 2 cabanas plus the dormitory for 6 people, and they are planning on having 9 cabanas. In speaking with Martin - one of the coordinators there, he mentioned they're planning a natural pool by November. I definetly plan on going back. They are a great ecolodge.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled with family
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Thank dajus2001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 June 2009

We stayed at Totoco for 2 nights on 13th and 14th of May, as part of a two week holiday in Nicaragua . I have lots to say, so this is going to be a long review!!

We loved everything about Totoco and were sad to leave, we would have been happy to stay much longer and would recommend anyone thinking of going to Ometepe to stay for more than 2 nights if you have time. We regretted our decision to go to San Juan del Sur after Ometepe and in hindsight would have stayed another two days at Totoco had we known!

I had exchanged many emails with Roslyn before our stay at Totoco and she had been so helpful in offering advice on not just our stay here, but other general information. I was disappointed therefore that our stay clashed with when Roslyn and Jonathan were in Europe so we didn't get to meet them in person. However, we did meet Martijn and Patricia the other couple who are responsible for creating this amazing place. Roslyn had arranged for us to be collected from the ferry and we were met by Fernando and Jose Luis, two great guys who's family have a little hostel just down the road from Totoco and who also run the only local "taxi" service. The trip from the ferry to Totoco is quite a bumpy and very dusty ride, but enjoyable all the same - all part of the adventure and we saw monkeys along the way.

Once we arrived at Totoco it took our breath away, the location is just perfect with a beautiful, unobstructed view of the Maderas and Conception volcanoes - they couldn't have found a better position on which to build. Our cabana was lovely, spacious, clean and with lovely furniture and an all important mosquito net around the four poster bed. The mosaic bathroom has been lovingly created with a hot shower and a compost toilet, which is cleaned twice a day, but as the urine is separated from the "other stuff" it is not smelly - men just need to sit down to spend a penny!! The water from the bathroom is recycled to use on the gardens. We had a beautiful terrace with a hammock and again lovely wooden furniture, there were also recycling bins for the rubbish.

We were greeted by Martijn on our arrival who was very welcoming and over the two days was a very interesting and friendly person to chat to and we really enjoyed his company. It was great to learn how the "dream" of Totoco had come about and the future plans the owners have for the continuing development. The main bar and restaurant area was beautifully constructed with gorgeous wooden furniture. Just next to this area is a lovely dorm with, I think, 6 beds but this is going to be moved to another building which is being constructed in the future and the current dorm area will make a bigger restaurant and bar.

We took ourselves off on a walk on the first afternoon down to the lake and we went to visit Fernando the taxi guy who welcomed us to his home and gave us fresh mangoes the like of which I have never tasted before, absolutely delicious. He took us through his garden down to the lake then we went along to the local school where the teenagers were doing a presentation about environmental issues. Fernando then kindly drove us back up the steep hill to Totoco for dinner!

Our meals were cooked by the lovely local ladies, who made us fantastic food, me being a veggie it was great to have something nutritious and delicious and in fact the food we had here was probably the best we had on our travels.

We made the mistake of having some lights on for a bit too long on our first night and were visited by quite a large number of bugs! So be warned not to leave the lights on for too long unless you want visitors. There is a candle which we made more use of on the second night.

On our second day after a lovely breakfast, we went on a walk with Victor an English speaking guide, who was very nice and knowledgeable about all the flora and fauna. We saw quite a few howler monkeys along the way. We walked to the Fina Magdalena and coffee plantation where we had a drink then went on to see the Petroglyphs before heading back. I must say the final part of the walk nearly killed me as I am a little out of shape and the heat by the time we were walking back was exhausting, so do set off early on any walks and if you are not very fit like me, then be prepared for the final stint back up the hill! After lunch we went for a snooze then the taxi guys collected us in the afternoon to go Kayaking. I chickened out when we go there, as the water was looking a bit rough but Greg really enjoyed the experience and I sat on the beach.

After a lovely second evening spent chatting with Martijn and Patricia we retired to our cabana and swung in the hammock listening to the insects and frogs. Hundreds of trees have been planted at Totoco as well as lots of beautiful flowers and vegetables, the plan is to be as self sufficient as possible in the future, with the help of volunteers who come to assist with the vegetable gardens etc.

Martijn asked us for any thoughts or comments we had after our stay and the only small thing we could think of was that a cool box would be good to have some drinks in our cabana, but this had already been thought of and was in hand.

On the way back to the ferry the guys took us to see a beautiful clear lagoon, the name of which I can't remember but if I find out will add it in.

Our only regret is that we didn't spend more time on Ometepe and at Totoco, we can't praise it highly enough. Just remember a good torch, sturdy shoes, sunblock and be prepared to chill out .with nature .......

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Caroleuk10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Totoco Eco-Lodge

Address: Maderas Volcano, El callejon publico la palmera, Balgue, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua
Region: Nicaragua > Rivas Department > Isla de Ometepe > Balgue
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 B&Bs / Inns in Balgue
Price Range: £82 - £117 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
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 
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Also Known As:
Totoco Eco Hotel Balgue
Totoco Eco-Lodge Nicaragua/Balgue, Isla De Ometepe

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