Yoga tips for beginners

Yoga classes at Jicaro Island Ecolodge, Nicaragua

One of the many activities you can take part on while staying with us at Jicaro Island Eco Lodge is Yoga.

Yoga classes take place on a purpose built yoga deck that looks toward the lake and the Mombacho volcano, from beginner to advanced classes and touching on 3 different variations of yoga, the experience is one you cannot miss while visiting us.

The tranquility, and sensory activation you achieve through yoga are now world famous, and many people take on this activity every year. If you are thinking about joining us, Yoga enthusiasts, for the first time at Jicaro Lodge or you might be thinking of taking a few classes before making your way down to Nicaragua here are a few tips for beginners that will make your experience even more enjoyable.

Invest in a yoga mat.

This may seem like a smaller matter, but the security that comes from firm footing is hard to overrate. If you have never tried a mat before, borrow a friend’s so that you can feel the difference it makes. There are several sustainable mat options and most yoga specialized stores carry them, make sure to read the label.

Balance postures with meditation.

These days most yoga classes heavily emphasize  postures and focus solely on the physical practice. Some teachers do not include meditation in the class routine at all. But you should make sure that these two become a habit for you during your routine, it will make your experience a whole one and your yoga time of the day not only an athletic activity but a spiritual one as well.

Yoga in the warm afternoon!

Yoga in the warm afternoon!

The Place to Be in 2015.

Green Lake Water Nicaragua

Nicaragua has been getting a lot of attention lately, from Conde Nast Traveler and Lonely Planet to National Geographic, we have made every important list of the destinations you must visit in 2015.

But even with all of this new attention Nicaragua remains still a hidden  treasure, a land that can offer its visitors not only sandy beaches and sun bathing but also beautiful colonial cities like Granada, pirate forts, volcanoes and of course Lake Nicaragua, a calm water body where you can dive, kayak, boat, fish or hunt for pirate treasure.

This rapid growth however brings a new challenge for  tourism  services providers like Jicaro Island Eco-Lodge and that challenge is to remain true to our initial commitment to ecotourism, sustainability and giving back to the community in which we conduct business while, at the same time, staying at the forefront of tourism development in Nicaragua.

It is important that this new enthusiasm for our country has a positive developmental effect on all sectors of society, for 2015 our goal is to remain true to this commitment and with this lead the way to a better Nicaragua and better experiences for tourists from all over the  world.

Beautiful view of the lake

Beautiful view of the lake

Some articles on Nicaragua:

National Geographic

http://adventure.nationalgeographic.com/adventure/trips/family-trips/nicaragua/

Lonely Planet

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/best-in-travel/countries/04-nicaragua

Conde Nast Traveler

http://www.cntraveller.com/guides/south-america/nicaragua

Pirate Adventures in Nicaragua

Lake-Maracaibo-Venezuela

Throughout the history of Nicaragua, pirates have played an unsavory role. Most of Nicaragua’s towns and villages were  plundered by pirates, leaving Nicaraguans to rebuild their towns and lives, many times over. Even though the role of the pirates in Nicaragua was negative during the time it lasted, the folklore left behind many legends, stories and myths that are still told today.

Over and over again pirates came from Jamaica and other Caribbean islands came to Nicaragua and with so many famous pirates making the rounds one has to wonder how many lost their vessels in battles against the English and Spanish. And are some of those vessels still filled with precious jewels, gold and artifacts?

This is yet another attraction of Nicaragua and Jicaro Island. Pirates used to come into Lake Nicaragua from the Caribbean Sea using the San Juan River and over the years the lake became one of the primary spots for pirate activity during the 1600s.

Right in the middle of lake Nicaragua, Jicaro Island Eco Lodge is a great base camp for the pirate story seekers; Jicaro is a place where the old stories and myths are there for the traveler to discover and wonder.

Who knows!? you might find a treasure chest in your walk around the Island.

Beautiful view of the lake

Beautiful view of the lake

 

Granada City Tour

The city of Granada is one of the biggest attractions for people visiting Nicaragua. The architecture, the people, and the history of the area is so interesting that many of the visitors to Jicaro find the city tour one of their favorite experiences.

A historic protective wall in Granada

A historic protective wall in Granada

Even though Granada is much closer to the Pacific Ocean it’s actually a port city to the Atlantic with a passageway through lake Nicaragua flowing through the San Juan River. During Granada’s history they have seen attacks by the Dutch, French and the English who were all trying to gain control of Lake Nicaragua. There are not too many lakes in the world with a pirate history!

The brightly coloured streets and building of Granada

The brightly coloured streets and building of Granada

The city itself has bright painting and beautiful old architecture that seems almost as though it’s been in a time warp. Even though the infrastructure is modern, some of the buildings are well over 100 years old.

Local horse carriage taxis lining up by the market.

Local horse carriage taxis lining up by the market.

Granada is located just a short boat ride away from Jicaro island so make sure you schedule some time in to see our closest city.

A time to give back.

Sunset at Jicaro Island Eco Lodge, Nicaragua

Sunset at Jicaro Island Eco Lodge, Nicaragua

One of the greatest joys of the holiday season is giving and the Cayuga Collection, and particularly Jicaro Eco-Lodge loves to give back to the community and the environment that are so kind to have us as their  neighbors.

During 2014 we have taken the following actions to give back to our community and we will carry on with the same commitment for cultural and environmental conservancy in 2015.

  • Water is filtered for drinking, so no plastic bottles going to landfill.
  • Water is heated with solar panels for guest and kitchen use.
  • No air conditioning is installed on the island. Cross ventilation and ceiling fans create enough of a cooling effect to ensure guest comfort.
  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. While there is a strong recycling program installed, the focus due to the island location is on reducing. Bring as little trash to the island as possible.
  • Wastewater is treated on the island with a treatment plant complying not only with Nicaraguan but internationally accepted standards.
  • Hiring of a local staff is essential to the success of the lodge. We want to spread the potential wealth that tourism brings to Nicaragua by hiring locals as employees, subcontracting services locally and buying and producing locally.Help Us Give Back
  • Use of organic and biodegradable soaps, cleaning detergents and spa products.
  • Chlorine free systems to clean water in the pool.
  • Energy efficient lighting and illumination throughout the island.
  • Underground electricity system that does not interfere with the surrounding wildlife.
  • Low energy bulbs
  • Education of local communities in sustainable practices
  • Pigs and chickens are raised and kept in the premises.
  • The Padre Nello School:  Padre Nello School is located just a short boat ride away from Jicaro on the mainland shores of Lake Nicaragua. Approximately 88 children attend Padre Nello School every day.

This holiday season we thank our community for everything it as done for us and we reiterate our commitment towards its sustainable development in 2015.

Sustainability Projects at Jicaro in Nicaragua

Monkeys in Nicaragua

In the nearby islands of Jicaro Island Ecolodge, we have different types of wildlife like iguanas, agoutis and birds, but one of the most common are the Howler Monkey.

These monkeys can be found very close to the hotel. Early in the morning or in the evening, we can hear them when they are searching for food or a place to sleep.

The Howler is a friendly monkey. It is easy to find them if you take a kayak around our little island.

Come visit Jicaro Island Ecolodge  and have a nice time with us, exploring the little island and seeing this type of monkey.

Located on a private island on Lake Nicaragua near Granada, Jicaro Lodge is a boutique hotel offering a variety of tours and activities.

Where is Nicaragua? Loads of people are finding out firsthand

You would not believe how many people type into google “Where is Nicaragua?”. Now We’re a little biased since we live in this amazing country and have lived here our whole lives but we’re amazed.

Excuse me, have you seen Nicaragua?

Excuse me, have you seen Nicaragua?

The tourist market in Nicaragua is getting hotter and hotter with new direct flights being announced and magazine’s declaring Nicaragua as one of the hot places to travel in 2015. We’re not sure why it took so long but let us tell you a bit about what we have here.

  1. We’re blessed with a sandy coastline that makes for amazing surf and boating
  2. We have the 9th largest lake in the Americas, Lake Nicaragua.
  3. Granada is an incredibly beautiful colonial style city with incredible architecture, cigar makers, an full of history
  4. A rich culture and incredible people. The people of Nicaragua are really what make this country such an amazing place. We’re ranked as the safest place to travel in Central America and our people are a testament to beautiful culture we’re so proud of.

Make Nicaragua your next travel spot and find out what the fuss is about!

Padre Nello is all lit up!

Thank you, thank you, thank you to all the guests who have come to Jicaro Island Ecolodge and helped us turn this project into a reality. We have been working with Earth Equilibrium to improve the conditions of Padre Nello school which is a short boat ride away from Jicaro. Our first project is turning on the lights, something that seems so simple but our classrooms have never had a lighting system before.

Some of the upcoming projects include a freshwater treatment system and a solar panel electricity station.

It’s important to note that the improvements being done to the school do not just benefit the students but the entire community. The school is one of the central buildings in this area and the freshwater treatment system will benefit everyone in the nearby radius, ensuring that none of them have to purchase expensive bottled water for drinking anymore.

Guests meeting some of the students at Padre Nello

Guests meeting some of the students at Padre Nello

There is still a lot of work to be done but right now we are celebrating this accomplishment and we’re so happy we were a part of it. If you would like a tour of Padre Nello School while you are here at Jicaro we would be happy to help you get an up close and personal look at the school and meet some of the students and teachers.

Thanks again everyone and onto the next milestone!

A true island getaway

Located on the beautiful outer banks of Nicaragua, Jicaro Island Ecolodge invites you to a private island getaway. Dripping in luxury, Jicaro offers casitas or separate bungalows each featuring large master bedrooms, living areas, decks and views of the Mombacho Volcano and Lake Nicaragua.

Shuttle Boat at Jicaro Dock

Your transportation to and from Jicaro

Still not convinced?

All guests will have also access to a large open kitchen and restaurant, a pool with a relaxing lounge area, a floating yoga deck and a private massage and wellness treatment centre. Sounds pretty idyllic to us!

The pool at Jicaro

The pool at Jicaro

Although you have the privacy of being on a private island while staying at Jicaro Island Ecolodge, you still have complete access to everything around you and the team at Jicaro makes it all very possible! To celebrate Nicaragua’s culture, you can join us on a sunrise or sunset kayaking voyage, take a tour of Granada City, explore the island while arisanal fishing or participate in a full day of mombacho and ziplining through rainforest canopy.

Two guests hike past the crater of a volcano in Nicaragua.

Hiking on the volcano

At Jicaro, we make it our priority to provide eco-friendly service to our guests by using solar panels, minimizing the use of non-reusable waste, working only with organic and biodegradable spa products and using a chlorine-free system to clean the pool, energy-efficient lighting throughout the island and an underground electricity system to keep wildlife undisturbed.

Whether you’re looking for a soothing, peaceful escape or looking to embark on a learning adventure, Jicaro has all the components to create a personal getaway you’ll never forget.

Sunseting on the lake at Jicaro Island Eco-lodge

Sunset on Lake Nicaragua

Birding tips for Beginners

Black-collared Hawk

Black-collared Hawk

Among the many activities and tours you can take part at Jicaro one of our most popular is the birding tour. Every year more and more people take this activity as a dear pass time and they travel to locations such as ours in Nicaragua to catch a glimpse of the most spectacular birds in the world.

Here are 4 very important things to remember and that will make your experience even more enjoyable if you are just starting your career as a birdwatcher.

1- Get a Guide; even experienced birders look for a guide’s expertise when traveling to a new location, so if you are just starting make sure you use a guide and use his/her knowledge to locate birds and learn about them.

2- Invest in a good pair of Binoculars. Yes, this is not the ” No need to get a good bike until you get really good at biking” case. If you don’t get a good pair of binoculars all you will see is a fuzzy ball of feathers. Although you can see lots of birds at Jicaro using only your eyes, binoculars will enhance your experience, specially if you have decided this is an activity you wish to carry on with.

3- You need to know what to expect in the area and read about the birds. Knowing what you are looking for,  and knowing about what your looking for (where should you look, at the top of a tree, near the bottom, at a lake etc)  will make your first experience so much more exciting.

4- Take a tour with other birders, sometimes this tours are designed for beginners, but often you will have the expertize of a seasoned birder joining in. Birders are very friendly and love to share their knowledge.

Birds are waiting, come and find them!

Jabiru

Jabiru