Isleta El Espino
Photo courtesy of Isleta El Espino
Isleta el EspinoReserve one of five rooms-choose from a rancho on stilts, a bungalow, or a secluded casita-at the solar-powered Isleta el Espino. The staff, nearly all resident islanders, can tell you the story behind every gorgeous hand-hewn detail, down to the hammocks (made in a hearing-impaired weavers’ workshop in Granada) and the towels (loomed in a women’s collective in León). To get a sea-level perspective on the archipelago, paddle one of the lodge’s kayaks between islands. Watch guardabarranco, the national bird, flit from tree to tree and local fishermen cast homemade nets to the mar dulce or “sweet sea.” El Espino can arrange lessons in the fishing technique known as atarraya (the graceful, circular toss of the nets is not as easy as it looks), as well as bird-watching and volcano tours and cruises to artisan villages.