Did you know that Ometepe Nicaragua is the largest freshwater island in the world? And I bet you didn’t know it was the only freshwater island in the world with TWO volcanoes on it! With that said, you know you’re heading to a pretty special and spectacular place right off the bat. And the best way to take advantage of this is to stay in an eco-lodge in Nicaragua. I did that and stayed at Totoco Lodge, here’s my adventure full.
Eco Lodges in Nicaragua
However, staying at a true eco-lodge with insane views, delicious food, and a pool for my son, really made the trip extra special.
We have stayed in a few eco-lodges around Central America, and since there aren’t any real restrictions or regulations, I have found that many places get away with a lot and continue to use the term ecotourism too loosely.
Totoco Lodge is eco through and through!
The founders of this lodge had a vision that has been in coming to life for the past 5 years:
To Pioneer and share best practices in ecotourism and stimulate support for the sustainable development of the local community.
The Vision is divided into 3 particular areas:
2. Organic Farm
3. Development Center
Where Luxury and Comfort come together with Natural Beauty
Each cabin is privately set on its own garden with a porch and amazing views of the Concepcion volcano and Nicaragua Lake.
You can tell that every detail was thought of, and they are proud to say that all the materials used are locally grown and obtained while hiring and working with the local community. The majority of our time we spent lounging around on our porch, either in the hammock or the comfy chairs, while our kids played beside us.
My son fell in love with the natural bathroom system – it was so well done that we kept on saying: Why can’t all the bathrooms of the world be this way? Since this is a hotel review and not a toilet one, I’ll leave the workings of it for another post!
The other big chunk of our time we spent hanging out at the restaurant/reception area which had amazing views, cold and refreshing beer, and a pool. Although, the best time of the day was sunset, when the island truly showed its greatest attributes and colors. Then we enjoyed a delicious dinner, which is normally all from the local area and organic produce.
Organic Farm and Delicious Produce
One thing that I miss most about traveling or even living in more developed nations is the availability of Organic produce. I have yet to find it in Guatemala, although Costa Rica does have more of a variety. But on our entire trip around Nicaragua, Totoco Lodge was the only place where this was offered, and what a difference it makes.
Either we were super starving or it was just the reality of fresh, organic food, but the salad and vegetable dishes simply came to life more than the non-organic ones we’ve tasted in Granada and Leon.
You can take a fun tour of the farm and property to really learn all about the workings behind the scenes, it’s a great educational tour especially for kids to understand the difference.
Development Center and Local Community Involvement
The Totoco Foundation is fully involved with the local people and Ometepe’s communities which are quite poor with education levels barely reaching the fourth grade, if that far, and there are few options for good health care.
All these are the primary focuses of Totoco’s development center’s projects.
Since I didn’t have a chance to visit the center, I can tell you one main observation. All the staff is from the neighboring towns. Most of them are now speaking fluent English, which was truly impressive. I asked them how they learned it, and the response was from the owners and working with the guests. It shows how thirsty they are for education and how grateful they are that Totoco offers this to them. Also, this really doesn’t have anything to do with the development center, but the staff on a whole were amazing, super friendly, and helpful and that to me is always a sign of the way they are treated at work.
Learn more about their involvement and the latest community projects here.
How Eco Is Totoco Lodge?
1. All the cabins and the reception/restaurant area is run on 100% renewable energy (over 3Kw of Solar Panels)
2. 90% of the greywater is filtered and recycled
3. 100% water-free-composting toilets
4. over 2000 trees have been planted and reforested
5. use of local and renewable building materials only
Not once did we lack any form of comfort or amenity that other hotels offer. The king-sized bed was one of the most comfortable ones I have slept on in a long while. The shower had boiling hot water and the bathroom never clogged up or had any sort of noxious smell to it.
Even though it’s far out of the way with no stores within walking distance, all the food and drinks we could ever want were right there for us and at very reasonable prices.
We took a great horseback riding tour, which was offered by a local guide and this was one of the many tours available for you from the lodge.
I highly recommend spending your time in Totoco Eco Lodge. Thank you Roslyn, Jonathan and Martijn for having us!
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