The Greatest Family Vacation of the World!

Hoping on a swing!

Jicaro Eco Lodge and its sister hotels in the Cayuga Collection are inviting you to come down south and help us create the greatest green and sustainable family vacation in the world! You an apply through the Cayuga Collection website to help us with this vision.

Nicaragua is the place TO BE in 2015!  And how could it not? just at Lake Nicaragua you can go on an Island Tour, learn about pirate legends and search for pirate treasure along the many white sanded beaches that surround our lodge, kayak and stand up paddle.While you are here, there is also the possibility of taking a day trip to Granada and get immersed in the culture and culinary delights that this great city has to offer in the company of your entire family.

We recognize the power that a holiday can have on a family’s happiness and furthermore, we have seen first hand how a sustainable family vacation can leave a lasting impact on the environmental habits of the participants and we want your help to show others how green we can be.

Using the double kayak can be fun! Saves on paddle power.

Using the double kayak can be fun! Saves on paddle power.

Our participating properties are:
Lapa Rios Eco Lodge on the Osa Peninsula: Literally in the middle of the rainforest, surrounded by nature and wildlife, a true tropical Costa Rican experience.
Harmony Hotel Nosara: Laid back with yoga and spa for mum, amazing beach and surfing for everyone else, and the juice bar and sushi bar are not to be missed!
Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation Inn: Amazing culinary tours, birding, volcanoes, cloud forests and zip lines close at hand.
Arenas del Mar Resort in Manuel Antonio: The best of both worlds, with rainforests and ocean on either side, full service spa, and outstanding food.
Jicaro Island Ecolodge in Lake Nicaragua: Choose a lake experience, with swimming, kayaking volcano explorations, exploring the streets of nearby Granada and Baseball with the local kids.
Latitude 10 Resort in Santa Teresa: Family Surf Vacation or some horseback riding along the beach. Staying in your own private casita has many perks.
Hotel Grano de Oro in San Jose: Exploring the vibrant capital city of Costa Rica, colonial charm with museums, theater and great restaurants close by.
You can apply here and deadline is May 17th.

Beautiful People

View from Jicaro at Lake Nicaragua

Recently, Nicaragua and Jicaro Lodge were featured in United Airlines’ Hemispheres Magazine, the article spoke about all the wonderful adventures and relaxation time you can have in Nicaragua and of the different places you should visit while in our beautiful country. Jicaro EcoLodge was extensively featured in the article and that made us very proud.

However, what made us really swell up with pride was the following passage, that speaks to the warmth and wonderful worldview of our Nicaraguan people.

“While I wait for my meal, William reveals that he has spent three decades living in various South and Central American countries. The last eight years he has spent here in Granada, not far from the market, where he eats breakfast every day. When I ask why he settled here, he tells a story about a doctor’s visit when he first arrived. “I was really sick, and they paid for everything. I told the doctor I wasn’t a citizen and he said, ‘You’re a person, aren’t you?’”

Guests and school children

This is what we think makes Nicaragua so special, and we hope you get to witness this in person some day.

For the full article you can go to http://www.hemispheresmagazine.com/2015/03/01/three-perfect-days-nicaragua/3/ or you will find it in your seat pouch when you book your trip to Nicaragua with United.

Nos Vemos!

Luxury and Sustainability.

NIC_131213_00480

Every day we hear or read on the news and social media  how business and ecological preservation are at odds with each other. Oil pipelines, dams, industrial manufacturing developments, and Gran Turismo resorts promise progress and economical well being at the expense of our planet. The general sentiment is that  this is a zero sum game where you can either have a profitable, first class business or you can be ecologically and socially responsible.

However, we at Jicaro Ecolodge think differently. The corner stones of  our business model at Jicaro Ecolodge, and of the Cayuga Collection in general, are sustainability and luxury. We believe that it is possible to have the best of both worlds and our actions speak louder than words.

Jicaro strives to reconcile a taste for luxury living with a consciousness of the environment. The showers in each of the nine lakefront bungalows are heated by solar panels, and the rooms are cooled by cross ventilation rather than air conditioning, and our 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.

This measures however don’t take away form our guests’ luxury experience as our little Island offers a  full service spa, a saltwater infinity pool, a sunset-facing yoga deck and a fancy alfresco restaurant where the chef can customize a dinner menu from local ingredients.

Prawn tacos with rice and tomato and corn salsa

 

In collaboration with US-based  Earth Equilibrium, Jicaro has developed a community-based outreach program focused on the support and implementation of educational projects that encourage sustainable community development. At the forefront of these projects you can find 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, Monday through Friday, from 7:00am until noon. The school has just 4 classrooms: one which is used for kindergarten and the other three for elementary education. Each classroom is used to instruct two different grade levels simultaneously by one teacher.

You can mix business with sustainability, we are a living proof of that. All you need is to commit truly to an idea and an aspiration, with out compromising the core values you started with.

 

 

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!