Remote Paradise: A Unique stay on Ometepe Island, Nicaragua

Sleep with a view on Isla Ometepe, Nicaragua: Totoco Eco-Lodge

An island given shape by two massive volcanos and positioned in the middle of Lake Nicaragua. Isla de Ometepe is, without a doubt, one of the highlights when visiting Nicaragua. The two incredible forces of nature are reason enough to fall in love with this uniquely composed island. But, the diverse range of activities, incredible sunsets and friendly inhabitants don’t do any harm either. When discovering an  island this extraordinary you’ll need an accommodation to match  the experience. Here is the best accommodation tip for Ometepe Island we can give you!

Totoco Eco-Lodge

The best accommodation on Ometepe island

Waking up in the morning in a wooden cabin, surrounded by howler monkeys and tropical flowers. When the first thing you lay your eyes on is an active volcano, situated on the opposite of the island and therefore on the opposite of your bed end. Sounds like a dream right? Well, the wooden cabins of Totoco Edo-lodge,  located high-up on the slopes of the Maderas Vulcano, make the above an uncommon reality.

All cabins at the property feature a double bed, an outdoor bathroom (that enhances the remote tropical spheres you’re in), hammock and plenty of closet space. But, surely the most important feature of the lodges is the complimentary view. Keep in mind that the ecological property is located remotely, which gives it its charm, but be ready to meet insect species you’ve never met before.

Responsible Tourism

As the name indicates at Totoco Eco-Lodge, the owners are very active in eco-tourism. The whole property for example runs for 100% on solar energy and they’ve started a foundation to support the local community as much as possible. One of the ecological efforts you’ll encounter during your stay is the compost toilet. Which, we’ll be honest, takes some getting used to. But, keep the environment in mind and you’ll be just fine.

IMG_8040Pool at Totoco Eco-Lodge in Ometepe Island Totoco Eco-Lodge in Ometepe Island

How to get to Totoco Eco-Lodge

Totoco Eco-lodge is located in Balgue, on the slopes of the Maderas Vulcono and a 45-minute drive from the Moyogalpa ferry dock. The last 1.5km of the route towards the accommodation is only partially paved and very, very steep. Therefore the best option to get there is by 4WD taxi, which bumps the price up with another $40. However, we’ve seen a few people trying to get up there with scooters or on foot; not fun is an understatement.  If you give the reception a call prior to arrival, they are happy to help arrange transport from the ferry dock.

Price of a night at Totoco

Nicaragua is very budget friendly, however accommodations like these always tend to come at a slightly higher price tag. For our 1-night stay we paid a total of $157,42 (€134,58), which included a breakfast buffet. Because the location is remote, it is somewhat difficult to have lunch and/or dinner elsewhere. Which is why they offer meals throughout the day at set prices,  $12 for lunch and $18 for a three-course dinner.

More information

Dinner at Totoco Eco-Lodge in Ometepe Island Dinner at Totoco Eco-Lodge in Ometepe Island

Prefer a budget accommodation?

Looking for a cheaper alternative? Casa Mauro is located just a few minutes from the ferry arrival point and run by a wonderful family under the motto “mi casa, es su casa’. It’s basic but the hospitality makes more than up for it. The rooms are clean and the location is perfect. They’ll also happily help you out with arranging a bike to discover the rest of the island. We paid a total of $50 (€42,72) for a 2-night stay. Breakfast is not included but offered at a rate of $4.

Casa Mauro

Afbeelding uit fotogalerij van de accommodatie

More information

Always on the hunt for good hotel deals just like us? Check out

*All prices as of 31 May 2018 in US Dollars and Euro, converted on

Click here for all our articles on Bali-3

HOTEL TIP – Granada, Nicaragua

Selina Granada

Right within the centre of the color washed streets of Granada, you”ll find the large  and playful Selina. A hostel, part of an innovative hotel chain, that offers “hotels for millennials” and plays in to all the needs and wants their diversified audience might have. From the organization of parties on the weekends to rental of neat work areas during the day and arranging adventurous must see day trips.


Selina Granada is generally operated by young staff members, some more experienced than others, but overall very friendly. Location wise, it is not going to get much better than this colorful hostel. Located just steps away from the evenly bright Granada Cathedral, lively Parque Central and the bar- and restaurant street. Once finished exploring the beauty of Granada’s colonial architecture, the hostel is also a perfect jumping off point for other adventures. At the reception, they offer a variety of day trips that are  easily arranged and well executed.


For our stay, we chose the private room with shared bathroom. But, with 7m2 the room was very similar to that of Harry Potter. With no room to unpack even slightly, we decided to request an upgrade, which would bump up the room size with 200%. However, this proved to be rather difficult and unnecessarily expensive. Hence, we decided to pass, accept our rookie mistake and enjoy the rest of our stay in our closet-esque room.


That aside, this place is definitely recommended. Just make sure to double check your room size before booking, as it does like a little larger in the images, and you’re good to go. Breakfast at the hostel is fine but rather basic. With a lot of cool places around like these, we would recommend to start your day elsewhere.

IMG_4852 2

Want to kick off (or end)  your trip in Nicaragua in a relaxed atmosphere and as centrally located as you could possibly be? Check out the the current prices for a stay at Selina Granada on your desired date and time here.

For a two night stay in the standard room, with a shared bathroom, we paid a total of $45 (€36.5). Breakfast is not included and can be added for $4.50 (€3.60) p.n.p.p.

*All prices as of 10 March’18, converted on 

5x Where To Eat in Granada

Those who spread the rumor that food in Nicaragua is blend obviously haven’t been to Granada. This colourful city in Central America has a culinary scene as vidid as its streets, offering something suitable for every meal of the day. Laying out our top picks from morning till evening:

Garden Café

This picturesque café is centered around a small, but bright inner garden and offers exceptionally good coffee to start your day with. They might take a while to prepare it, but it is worth the wait. In addition to good coffee, they luckily also offer good food. With menu items ranging from American pancakes and Avocado toast to some more authentic Central American dishes. Next to the restaurant area, the Garden café also proudly enfolds a library, where visitors can enjoy a variety of books or choose to donate their own. For our breakfast at the Garden Cafe, which included 4 cappuccinos, we paid a total of $18.60 (€15).


Power B – 175 Cordoba

The restaurant is open daily for breakfast, lunch & dinner from 07:00 until 21:00. For more information visit

El Garaje

Hidden behind caged doors and run by a lovely couple from Canada, El Garaje is something special. The small restaurant, which proudly ranks on the 1st place on TripAdvisor, is only open for lunch during weekdays and the fact that, during your lunch, you will see a ton of locals stepping in for take-away says it all. With an open kitchen, similar to that of a pop up, and menus written on the wall, you’re lunch is served in a lovely home-like atmosphere. For our lunch we had the eggplant moussaka and the roasted spicy pulled pork sandwich for a total of $10.30 (€8.30)

Eggplant Moussaka – 170 Cordoba


El Garaja is only open on weekdays and welcomes guests from 11:30 until 15:30.

Taco Stop

Well, this is not the kind of place you’ll want to sit for an extensive lunch. But, for a quick snack or a basic Mexican lunch, it is quite good. The local fast food chain Taco Stop has several outlets throughout Nicaragua and is really decently priced. The kitchen serves a variety of tex-mex grill items -such as burritos, tacos and so on- and even offers deals of the day . Our lunch, with two sodas, cost us a total of $10.90 (€8.80).


Taco Stop, in Granada, opens every day of the week at 10:30. For closing hours and more menu items visit

Pita Pita

Middle eastern food in Central America is a no go, right? Wrong. Pita Pita proves quite the opposite. With its quirky interior, where empty bottles on threads grace the ceiling,  and the restaurant is always jam packed. For our dinner, we enjoyed a special tasting plate of $12.50 (€10) and the kebab of $10 (€8).


Pita Pita is open daily from 12:00-22:00.


Located directly behind the Granada Cathedral lies Calle Calzada, a bubbling street filled with restaurants and bars from start till end. Early on, you’ll see Nectar where, first things first, the cocktails are amazing. Nectar has a really long happy hour, from 15:00 until 18:00, where they offer two cocktails for the price of one and special discounts on the beers. With the price of cocktails varying between $1 and $2 this isn’t necessary at all, but still a nice thing to take in to account. The staff at Nectar is sweet and helpful, and -to compliment all those cocktails- the food is excellent. For our dinner -Jalapeño chicken and the tostada salad- we paid a total price $12.75 (€10.29).

Keep in mind that, in addition to the costs stated above, almost all restaurants in Nicaragua add an optional 10% tip to the bill, stated as “propina”.

*All prices as of 12 March’18, converted on