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“Worth the trip”

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La Mariposa Spanish School and Eco Hotel
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Masaya
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Davidson, North Carolina, United States
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Worth the trip”
Reviewed 3 April 2012

I have dreamed of an immersion experience in Spanish and the Mariposa School and eco-hotel was a perfect fit. I stayed in the cabana with a great solar heated shower and porch. The meals were organic, simple, wonderful, and perfect. The one to one Spanish instruction pushed me and encouraged me at the same time. The best part is that Mariposa is not just another business or non-profit in Nicaragua, they are part of the community. The money goes into the community and the surrounding area has benefited. They are also very knowledgeable and involved with the social and political aspects of Nicaragua. If you stay there, you learn more than Spanish. You learn about your place in the world as well. Don't go if you want a cushy experience that is removed from the country but do go if you really savor travel that connects you with others and the world.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Linda S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
paulettelamariposa, Owner at La Mariposa Spanish School and Eco Hotel, responded to this review, 8 April 2012
Absolutely! Cushy experience is definitely not our thing (or, it would seem, yours either!). Such a pleasure to meet you.
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (105)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Saltspring Island
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 April 2012

I've just come back from a wonderful month in Nicaragua, including a week at the Mariposa Spanish School. I can certainly echo the recommendations of other reviewers: the great setting, the pleasant climate, the value for money, and the high standard of everything from the food to the language instruction.

I chose Mariposa partly because it was the only school I could find that accepted children virtually year round. It was a great decision. The one-on-one classes meant that my son was kept happily occupied learning Spanish in a kid-friendly way, while I could concentrate on my studies. And, even though he was the only child at the school when we were there, everyone -- staff, teachers, and other students -- made us feel welcome, safe and included. The afternoon activities -- visiting beaches, volcanoes, and nearby towns -- were fun, kid friendly, and all organized by the school so the whole week was really quite effortless.

Highly recommended. I can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Sue K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
paulettelamariposa, Owner at La Mariposa Spanish School and Eco Hotel, responded to this review, 8 April 2012
I am only sorry you weren't here either the week before or the week after when there other kids around his age! next time.....
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Managua, Nicaragua
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 April 2012

Absolutely fantastic!!! The hotel, although I chose to stay in a home-stay, was very relaxing, beautiful, and full of smiling faces. All of the staff, from the teachers to the cooks and everyone in between were wonderful and always so genuine. The food was mostly organic, local, and always excellent! Paulette the owner, was such an inspiring and kind woman who wants to make absolutely sure that your stay is not only great but also meaningful. If you choose to go to La Mariposa, you won't regret it!

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank Kalyn B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
paulettelamariposa, Owner at La Mariposa Spanish School and Eco Hotel, responded to this review, 8 April 2012
Thank you Kalyn for this review! See you again someday I hope.
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Davidson, North Carolina, United States
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 April 2012

My 3 week stay at the Mariposa with friends was an adventure-filled, delightful, delicious, and educational experience. We stayed in the separate two-story cabin, with access to a solar heated shower, and a clean latrine, scrubbed daily! The Spanish instructors were all friendly, patient, and knowledgeable; the cooking staff, the cleaning and grounds staff, the interns and volunteers were helpful, eager to accommodate our needs, and committed to the principles of the Mariposa. With so many opportunities for sightseeing in the afternoons, it was hard to find the time to actually study the spanish notes from the morning classes, but with so much exposure to the language in the community, absorbing it was inevitable! I can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jean B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
paulettelamariposa, Owner at La Mariposa Spanish School and Eco Hotel, responded to this review, 8 April 2012
Thank you for putting up a photo of your room in the cabin, looks quite inviting! hope to see you three again someday!
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Davidson, North Carolina
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 March 2012

My three weeks at Mariposa were magical. The accommodations were clean and well maintained and comfortable, and the food was amazing, thanks to an organic farm run by Mariposa volunteers as well as a fabulous kitchen staff. The school is set in a lush forest, complete with incredible bird life--you will have many sightings of the very spectacular national bird of Nicaragua, the guardabarranco! The Spanish instruction is excellent--all of the teachers are Nicaraguan, and the instruction is totally one on one. After 2 hours of conversation and 2 hours of grammar, the afternoons are turned over to exploring the area. The school provides excursions to the nearby Volcan Masaya, Laguna de Apoyo, the beach at La Boquita, a local pineapple plantation, and an assortment of markets. After this combination of intense instruction and general exposure in the community, my Spanish has improved immeasurably! The staff is friendly and helpful--a delightful crew of interns are responsive to every and all needs! Highly recommended!

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Rosemary K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
paulettelamariposa, Owner at La Mariposa Spanish School and Eco Hotel, responded to this review, 8 April 2012
Thank you for this review and thank you for all the great photos you have sent me. I loved our farewell glass of wine up at the new study centre project!
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Nanaimo, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
78 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 March 2012

I studied Spanish and volunteered at Escuela Panama for four weeks, and had a homestay. It was an incredible experience! Every weekend I travelled--to Ometepe, Mombacho, and Leon--and coming back to La Mariposa was like coming home. All the teachers and staff (and fellow students) were very friendly. Although I ate breakfast and dinner at my homestay, I had lunches at La Mariposa and they were excellent. My volunteer experience (arranged by La Mariposa) was also incredible, as was my homestay. A life-changing experience!

Stayed February 2012, travelled solo
Helpful?
1 Thank johnyoung22222
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
paulettelamariposa, Owner at La Mariposa Spanish School and Eco Hotel, responded to this review, 8 April 2012
Thank you for this review and thank you for your much appreciated work in the Panama school which is not always an easy place to be.
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New York City, New York
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 March 2012

I had read about La Mariposa in Joshua Berman's excellent Nicaragua guide book, and I had visited their website, but then I very much believe in 'seeing is believing'.
So I booked for a few days and found that reality by far exceeded my expectations. Needless to say I stayed much longer than I had anticipated, and am already planning to return to La Mariposa.
What was so special? The unique mix of language work, wonderful and very healthy, mostly organic vegetarian food, the fun and very informative excursions, the insightful history lessons, the great staff, the very pleasant mix of guests of all ages – some traveling by themselves, others in pairs or with friends, others again with kids … and all that in a lush setting with lots of animals around.
It's especially nice that La Mariposa is not only a language school with an onsite Eco hotel, but truly part of a community which it is able to support in all sorts of ways.
The location couldn't be better: High up in the delightful Pueblos Blancos, temperatures are much lower than in say, Granada, and you're surrounded by Nicaraguan life and culture. This being said, it's just over an hour from Managua airport (the school will pick you up), an hour from the beautiful Laguna Apoyo, an hour to the Pacific beaches, and an hour to Granada. The artesan town of Masaya is just 30 mins by microbus. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank BrooklynOnTheRoad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
paulettelamariposa, Owner at La Mariposa Spanish School and Eco Hotel, responded to this review, 8 April 2012
Finally your review got there! You have now already been here twice!! We are looking forward to your third visit in Dec with the whole group from last year hopefully!
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Additional Information about La Mariposa Spanish School and Eco Hotel

Property: La Mariposa Spanish School and Eco Hotel
Address: De la Cancha, 200 metros al sur, 50 al este | San Juan de la Concepcion, Masaya, Nicaragua
Region: Nicaragua > Masaya Department > Masaya
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Masaya
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
La Mariposa is a small, friendly non-profit Spanish school and eco-hotel, just outside the small town of La Concepcion, Nicaragua. Only an hour from Nicaragua's major attractions - Granada, the Pacific Coast, the Laguna de Apoyo, Masaya volcano - and 45 minutes from Managua airport, La Mariposa is surrounded by organic coffee, banana trees and flower gardens. Our cool, green climate (we are 500 meters above sea level - makes a real difference to the temperature) is ideal for studying Spanish! Our conservation efforts - though small scale - have vastly increased our bird population, butterflies and even frogs! We offer intensive Spanish classes in our purpose built classrooms or in outdoor classrooms in our delightful grounds, full of tropical plants and rescued animals. Classes are mostly one on one (max 2 or 3 in a class) and we cater for all levels form beginner to advanced, including specially designed classes for children. We have an extensive library with Spanish study materials and a selection of books in English on Nicaraguan history, development issues etc. We organize a full week (that includes weekends) of activities, including cooking and salsa classes, classes on the history of Nicaragua and a weekly update of what is happening in the Nicaraguan news. These are delivered in Spanish to help with progress in Spanish and with English translation if necessary. On 3 afternoons and Saturdays we offer trips out to local places of interest as well as the Masaya volcano by night, the Masaya markets and artesanias, Granada, Leon, the Laguna de Apoyo, the Pacific beach, Managua, Catarina, the Pueblos Blancos and more! The trips are rotated on a monthly schedule. There are various accomodation options - Students can stay in the eco-hotel (ensuite rooms) or our eco rooms (cheaper). There is a also a large (en suite) family room. Situated about 5 mins from the main school/hotel is our nature reserve. There are now 2 cabins in the reserve, each with two bedrooms, seating area, shower and compostable latrine, private terrace and garden, small kitchen (though you can of course eat all meals at the main hotel) - these are ideal for families with kids who like a bit more space to run around! There are of course a few friendly rescued dogs to keep the kids happy!! We use solar power - for heated water in all of the showers as well as to provide electricity, conserve rainwater,have a number of recycling schemes and have started our own successful organic farm which provides some of the eggs, veggies, coffee consumed at the Mariposa. And much more. We use our income to maximise the employment of local people (currently employing 80 teachers, maintenance and kitchen staff) and undertake a number of projects in the local community. You can opt to volunteer at one of our community or environmental projects, living in a homestay with a local family. Amongst other projects, we are currently offering volunteer placements in the nature reserve, in local schools, with a day care project or with disabled children. You are also welcome to help out the Mariposa workers - whether feeding our rescued animals or cooking up our healthy meals. All of which is a great way to improve that Spanish! We have also recently opened, on another but close by site, a study centre specifically designed to cater for groups of students. We offer an individualized curriculum which can include Spanish classes, activities and classes on the history, culture and environment of Nicaragua. We can also arrange community service work for groups. Accommodation is in two eco built dormitories, each of which has 10 beds (bunk style). The eating/meeting hall is a lovely structure built of straw bales and thatched roofing. Classrooms face a terrace with great views of the Masaya volcano. Meals are always freshly cooked, often using organic veggies from our farm. And of course there are solar heated showers and solar powered electricity. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
La Mariposa Spanish School And Eco Hotel Nicaragua/Masaya

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