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“Now this is a getaway!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of El Zopilote

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El Zopilote
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from Madronal 200m south, Santa Cruz, Isla de Ometepe 044, Nicaragua   |  
Hotel amenities
Houston, Texas
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Now this is a getaway!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2013

Truly majestic place to be in the midst of it all. Fantastic place to retreat from the the norm with excellent scenery and there is so much to keep all of your senses on overdrive. The food on site is terrific.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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167 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    100
    38
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    12
    2
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (22)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2013 via mobile

What a beautiful place this is! The vibe is chill, people are nice and the nature is amazing. I stayed here for more than two weeks!

The many pluses:
- Free activities: During my stay there was free yoga 5 days a week, free reiki and also salsa lessons provided by a guest. They include their visitors and encourage you to partake.
- Cheap camping or hammock rental: 3USD - dorm beds at 6USD
- Astonishing views from the two look-outs.
- Really good pizzas (pizza night four days a week)
- El Zopilote seems to attract really nice people :) Both volunteers and guests here are great!

The few minuses:
- No communal kitchen and a slightly pricy restaurant
- The people working in the kitchen/reception are really nice! However, expect the laid-back Central American service style where you only get the info you ask for :)

TIPS
- Make sure to bring a flash light! It gets DARK at night and the paths aren't lit.
- From what I know, they don't take reservations and they're often full! The earlier you arrive the better. But if full, there are other affordable places to stay nearby.
- Watch a sunset from the tower furthest away from the reception. WOW!
- If you wanna camp during the rain season make sure to have a GOOD tent! Alternatively rent a hammock (under roof) for the same price.
- Walk 20 minutes to The small town of Balgue and have a delicious and affordable meal at 'Compostre' -Highly recommendable!

Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
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1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2013

Zopilote is a magical place-- the architecture is all built sustainablely and beautifully from the natural environment, the organic meals (pizza night is a must) that are grown and served are all deliciously fresh, and the location is truly spectacular. I appreciate their involvement with the local community via employment and support of language classes taught by a local woman. I also enjoyed the donation based yoga classes as a refreshing way to start each day of exploration and wonder around the farm and greater island.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Istanbul, Turkey
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2013

Lord Of The Rings, Harry Potter, The Flintstones, T-Rex, King Kong,Izland, Volcanos,... all in one concept in El Zopilote. :)) Here poossible to people enter all this diffrent anbiances in diffrent time. Wonderfull colors from jungle, forest, mangos, diffrent fruits, animals, singer birds everywhere....

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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California, United States
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2013

my first impression was great. but this place is past its prime. security is low and the manager is horrible and rude. I got bed bugs and was forced to pay anway. all my baggage got infected and i was itching over th place. as proof i saw a huge colony of bed bugs under my bed. i got them climbing on my at night. like i said, they forced me to pay otherwise they would not return muy passport deposit. many others got bed bugs too, but no one is fixing the problem. there is a huge bed bud problem here so just go somewhere else and relax in peace of mind.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ometepezopilote, Owner at El Zopilote, responded to this review, August 3, 2013
this fact had happened in april and is strange that in august you still referring to this in present tense like if the problem is still going on. thats was our first time dealing with bed bugs, never had them here before, those are a huge problem for every hostel because this insect travel all americas with the tourist inside their bags and clothes and spread really fast once they get in a dormitory room, anyway immediately after we got to know that we had an infection of bed bugs we start a pest control. we get rid of them in the first 2 week but we still doing the pest control 2 times a week for be sure to don't get another infection in the hostel .
I would like to know how you can say that nobody was doing anything to resolve this problem when you have left the hostel the very moment you discovered there were bed bugs and we haven't see you anymore . is difficult that you know what was going on here after you left.
anyway I'm sorry for you and the other tourist that had the bad luck to be here in that specific period and that you couldn't enjoy the life that is usually going on here in El Zopilote
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Sao Paulo, SP
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2013

My friend and I arrived at Ometepe looking for some days in the nature to rest after volunteering for two months in Granada, and El Zopilote was a perfect choice: with an extensive green area, was not difficult to find a quiet place to read a book or appreciate the view, and the yoga in the morning was a relaxing way to begin the days. The restaurant and the pizza were really good, besides all the products and cakes that they produce at the farm. We learn a little about compost toilet and gardening, too. I believe that is a good choice for those looking for peaceful days among the nature.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Montpellier, France
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2013

Hello,
This could be the perfect place for un eco friendly hotel to stay long enough to loose yourself in the beautiful nature of Isla ometepe.

But this hostel is really poorly managed, with a grumpy and unwelcoming owner. It is really expensive for what it is. The room was dirty (dirty toilet paper under the bed and on the floor) when we moved in. And some friend who stayed there as well got their phone stolen and by talking with some other guests, they learnt it wasn´t the first thing to be stolen in this hostel.

The best is the restaurant with its view and obviously the 100% ecological place, which is brillantly done honestly.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ometepezopilote, Owner at El Zopilote, responded to this review, July 28, 2013
Hi I'm really sorry you find your room not clean probably must have had some problem with the girl make the cleaning is not usually like that we clean the room,dormitory, hammock place, the toilet, and the common area every day of the week.
About the price you can have your opinion of course but I don't see expensive hammock at 3$, a dormitory at 6 $ for person, and room from 14$ for two person.
The problem of things stolen is not a problem that affect just our place but unfortunately is a problem of every place and hostel in central america and mostly of south america, we provide to the guest safety iron boxes big enough for a big backpack an something more, 2 in every room and 1 for person in the dormitory and hammock place, we also have a safety box in the reception for valuable things like pasport, money, laptop, and phone, we always suggest to the tourist to use it, but sometime someone still think to be in the safety of europe or north-america and prefer don't use it. We also have 2 security guard working all the nights from 10:00 pm to 5:00 am controlling every place of the farm.
I'm sorry your friend get stolen but we are doing our best to prevent this things but everything is more difficult if you don't help us using the safety boxes
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Additional Information about El Zopilote

Address: from Madronal 200m south, Santa Cruz, Isla de Ometepe 044, Nicaragua
Location: Nicaragua > Rivas Department > Isla de Ometepe > Santa Cruz
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Santa Cruz
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
El Zopilote is a permaculture farm/hostel. We have hammock, dormitory, and rooms. We have a organic restaurant serving Nica and Italian food (like handmade pastas, lasagnas, fettuccine, melanzane alla parmigiana) open at breakfat, lunch and dinner tevery day and 3 nights a week we have pizza night ,cooked in wood-bricks oven.In the reception we sell food and organic product hand made here.The land is completely planted with fruit trees, bananos and much more...Our goal is to be 100% sustainable. We have a look out tower where you can see the Volcanos and the farm. We organize tour to both volcanoes, horseback riding, spanish lessons, yoga classes (free), ceramic, bread and bees courses and there is free WI-FI 24h. You can work with us in the permaculture garden and in the work shop and learn something nice (free). ... more   less 
Also Known As:
El Zopilote Isla De Ometepe, Nicaragua - Santa Cruz

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