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Jicaro Island Lodge

NN-300, Jicaro, Nicaragua
| +505 2558 7702

Jicaro Island Lodge

On a private islet in Lake Nicaragua, about 20 minutes by boat from Grenada, Jicaro Island Lodge impresses before you even set foot on dry land. Get ready to be wowed as the boat ferry cuts its motor and anchors at their wooden dock. Named a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World recently, an event that plucked it from relative obscurity to instant popularity, we’re happy to report Jicaro lives up to its now sustainable famous image. It’s both gorgeous and relaxing.

With just 9 rooms in rustic chic tree house style casitas, it’s an intimate boutique spot most well suited for couples in search of romance in the wilderness (although children over 12 are welcome). The tree houses are spacious two-story affairs done up completely in wood and screen, so you fall asleep and wake up listening to the sounds of nature in the jungle canopy above and the lake around. There is no air-con, but the ceiling fans do a good job of cooling things down at night, and the mosquito netting keeps the bugs at bay. We loved the thoughtful extras like the coffee face scrub with coconut oil set up by the sink and the decanters of local rum and beer as a welcome amenity.

Rates include three meals a day, which are absolutely delicious, and of the locally sourced variety (you order dinner at lunch). There are a lot of Nicaraguan choices, but also some Western mainstays like a grilled cheese sandwich at lunch. There are a number of activities offered. We tried the horseback ride to the caldera of the volcano that then takes you on a hike to the natural swimming pool at the bottom (an amazing experience), and there are also options for day tours of colonial Granada and other experiences farther afield.

Jicaro is often visited as part of an organized priva-te tour to other parts of Nicaragua or Costa Rica with a local tour group like Namu Travel. A perk to using a tour company is that all your costs, like private transport, guided tours and even meals, can be included in the price you’re originally quoted at booking, so you’ll know exactly what you’re paying for in advance and not have to worry on the road.