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Rancho Santana
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Reviews (457)
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Reviewed 3 March 2014

This was our second visit to Nicaragua and Rancho Santana after several trips to Costa Rica and Panama and once again it did not disappoint. We rented Casa Cognoscenti this year which is near the top of a hill with great outdoor spaces and beautiful sunset views and is only a short car ride to the clubhouse and restaurant. It was fantastic and our support staff at the house did a fine job making sure that everything looked and run well. (We had a small issue with one of the a/c units in one of the bedrooms and they had it fixed within half an hour of our call.) The walk to the beach is easy but the distance is almost as vertical as horizontal (It's the return walk up the hill that earns you an extra Victoria (the local brew) before dinner.) The view and the beaches are both worth the effort.
During our visit last year we met Vera in Guest Services who had been helpful in making some of our arrangements to visit. This year we ran into her again and we were so impressed that she remembered us. She is very friendly and her English is great so if you have any questions about the rancho or the surrounding area, ask for her.
The road to RS is a combination of good paved highway, semi-paved roads and dirt roads. Be sure to rent an SUV if you plan on driving the 2.5 hours from the airport. Of course, you can have RS arrange a pickup if you don't like the adventure of dodging semi's full of cane, ox carts and stray pigs but we think that's half the fun. RS has posted good directions on their website and the lunch spot they recommend was great but don't expect to be in and out in under an hour which is the Central American way. A stop for groceries at the Maxi Pali in Rivas (about a 1/2 mile past the turnoff to RS) is a good place to stock up for the week but La Tienda at the ranch has a good but somewhat limited selection of foods too. Naturally you could just skip cooking for the whole week and go to the clubhouse for your meals and not be disappointed (except when they run out of mint for the Mojitos).
There is a lot of poverty in this area of Nicaragua but RS has done a great job of providing employment for around 500 locals which is a tremendous boost for the local economy. I am impressed and delighted that they use locals almost exclusively for their staff and don't stack it with North Americans. And if you feel like getting involved with the local community there is the Limon Library project that would be happy to give you an opportunity.
Most of our friends think we are crazy for going to Nicaragua for vacation but we think they're crazy for not trying it, especially at Rancho Santana.

Room Tip: Sunset view and a short drive to the clubhouse are ideal.
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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4  Thank donald188
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 February 2014

We spent a 5 days at Rancho Santana and loved it. It is a special place. The house we rented was beautiful and clean. The food at the Club House was delicious and fresh. Guest services was so helpful, especially Vera. Isabelle, the surf instructor was amazing as were Snider and Lenny. Our children really enjoyed the surfing and horseback riding. We hope to return.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Elizabeth B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 February 2014

Just back from an incredible weekend at Rancho Santana. Chris and the entire staff really bring a perfect mix of highly ammentized service at exactly the right pace and a great value. Views are obviously amazing and I'd highly recommend a night time beach front bonfire if staying over in the Villas - which are walking distance to the beach and the clubhouse.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank StitchK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 February 2014

Fron sunrise to sunset, the beauty of Rancho Santana and its beaches and lovely homes is difficult to describe in words. The photographs show some of the beauty, but what cannot been shown in the photographs is peaceful feeling you have within yourself when you step into that beauty. Other reviews have described the "teeth rattling" ride on the dirt roads that go from the airport to Rancho Santana. That experience on the road is well worth having…..once you arrive at Rancho Santana. We traveled with our daughter and son-in-law and rented a house (Balcones Del Mar). The house, the beaches, the clubhouse, and the staff all combined to make our trip to Rancho Santana relaxing, rejuvenating, and truly special. We experienced exactly what we wanted to experience from going on active excursions to totally relaxing by the pools and beaches. We were especially impressed with the staff. Our tour guide on an excursion to Ometepe was Fredder. We highly recommend him if you want to really know about the history and geographical layout of Nicaragua. He kept us entertained not only with his expert knowledge but also with his humor. We were certainly glad he was our driver and our guide on our excursion. We also highly recommend Brenda who came to our house 3 nights to cook dinner. Although she knew very little English and we knew very little Spanish, we still were able to communicate thanks to her patience with my attempts with Spanish. Each day we would awake in the morning to see the sunrise and hear the music of the waves of the ocean. Each evening we would relax and watch the sunset and think how very fortunate we were to experience this natural beauty. From sunrise to sunset, we enjoyed every moment!

Room Tip: I would highly recommend a house. With a house, you are really experiencing the beauty of the area.
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Pat M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 February 2014

Rancho Santana was by far one of the best vacations that I have been on. From beautiful beaches to the more than accomodating staff, it went above and beyond expectations. The Staff at the Ranch were so gracious, knowledgeable and hospitable. Brian the GM of the restaurant, Erik he head of guest relations and Freder our tour guide deserve a shout out! I would absolutely stay at the Ranch again as well as recommend to all my friends!

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank 460pamelas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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