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“Best Surf Vacation Ever! We've already stayed TWICE!...and rebooked for next season.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Rancho Cecilia Nicaragua

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Rancho Cecilia Nicaragua
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Las Marias, Playa Maderas, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Playa Maderas
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Port Townsend, WA
1 review
“Best Surf Vacation Ever! We've already stayed TWICE!...and rebooked for next season.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2009

Great accommodations, wonderful hospitality, and, best of all, AWESOME SURF!

From the moment we arrived, Scott and Liz went out of their way to help us feel right at home on the Rancho. The Casita exceeded our expectations and the fully stocked fridge was exactly what we asked for. Katy went above and beyond preparing fresh tortillas for us and helping us to keep the Casita spotless!

Scott and Liz assisted us with rides, restaurants, shuttles to the surf, and even hung out with us in the surf line up. Evening dinners at the local Tres Marias (walking distance from the Rancho) were filled with smiles, laughter, and FLOR DE CANA.

The surf was PERFECT. Playa Maderas was our main hang out because of the close proximity to the Rabcho, but Scott and Liz hooked us up with drivers, and we explored several other surf beaches as well. We were often the ONLY people surfing! The waves were consistently 3-6 and we had a few days of 10-12!

During our stay, we had the opportunity to see several other accommodations in the area, and we were SO HAPPY to be staying at the Rancho.

Thanks Scott and Liz for everything! Can't wait to be back for our THIRD visit!

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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118 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    97
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Wilmington NC
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2009

If you are planning a surf trip to Nicaragua then plan on Rancho Cecilia. Located near Playa Maderas, a fun consistent surf break Rancho Cecilia is close enough to town yet far enough away. Liz and Scott are the perfect hosts and will treat you right. They can show you all the local hot spots and other nearby breaks. They are awesome people to hangout and party with; they will truly give you a one of a kind vacation. You will come as guest but leave as true friends. Bring some Tona and tell em’ Fred sent you!!

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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New England
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2009

Rancho Cecilia is secluded in a most beautiful spot outside San Juan del Sur, close to remarkable surfing and a delightful restaurant. Our hosts, Liz and Scott, went out of their way to make our vacation the best ever. We flew into Managua, took a joyful cab ride to San Juan del Sur, then sailed on to Mexico with other friends. Spending New Year's Eve at Rancho Cecilia and the nearby town was truly a highlight.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Montreal
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2009

I've been coming to Nica for several years now and it is a wonderful country well worth a visit. My mate and I initially met Scott and Liz out at the beach as well as some local parties and decided to give them a hand tiling their floors. We worked hard, took off surfing for a few hours, ate and got merry like real kings. They live about a 10 minutes drive to the beach and 20 minutes to San Juan Del Sur up in the jungle hills. The cassita is a lovely little one bedroom home away from the main house which provides a neat seclusional feel. Liz's food is exceptional with most of her ingredients coming from the organic garden or local area farms. Wow, the food was awesome. Scott is a cool cat and wicked surfer who spins a good yarn about all kinds of stuff as well as their sailing experiences spanning a dozen years.

If you are looking for a wonderful adventure in a rugged wild country that is quite safe and want a secluded hideaway relatively close to the waves as well as the nearby town, Scott and Liz's is the place and as a bonus you get to meet 2 really fun, kind, and really interesting individuals.

Cheers

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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santa cruz, ca
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2009

i could not have asked for a more relaxing enjoyable vacation. coming from santa cruz, ca to be able to surf in warm water with good waves was a refreshing change. the casita that i stayed in on the property had all i needed. seperation from the bustle of town for quiet down time, yet close enough for entertainment and surfing. as you can see by the picture, i was able to completely forget my problems while i was there. i am looking forward to going back soon.

  • Liked — location and hosts
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Ketchikan, Alaska
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2009

Visiting Nicaragua has always been high on our list but we were a bit worried about finding a place that would suit all of our needs as we were looking for not only a clean place to stay, but it had to be close to the beach, be close enough to town to enjoy the city life but far enough away to be able to spend some time winding down.

Rancho Cecilia filled all of our wants & needs - and more! We arrived in town & were immediately intrigued. The Nicaraguan people were incredibly welcoming and friendly. We arrived at Rancho Cecilia and realized we had found the perfect place. The casita was stocked with everything we wanted or needed - and a hot meal was waiting for us when we arrived (this was pre-arranged as we knew we would be starving when we got there!). Scott & Liz were so easy to communicate with before we arrived and during our entire trip we felt catered to. This was so much better than staying in a huge resort - this was really like living in Nicaragua.

The surf beach - Playa Madera - was spectacular as well. I am a newbie and had my reservations (ok, so I'm scared to death!) but both Scott & Liz were incredibly patient with me, explaining the basics and helping me learn the proper way to surf, without injury. Playa Madera is perfect for all skill levels as it has a re-form wave which is where I spent all my time, but Scott & Liz were amazing on the big waves. I never felt pressured to do better and they were always complimentary to my progress. I am happy to report that by the time I left, I was standing up! woohoo!

We spent a month in Nicaragua. Upon Scott & Liz' recommendations, we also visited the island of Ometepe and stayed at a similar hotel for a few days. We hiked up the volcano to the most fabulous waterfall ever! It was absolutely spectacular. And best of all...we would have never gone if Scott & Liz hadn't given us the info.

Being in the casita, we could hear all of the wonderful sounds that lulled us to sleep every evening. It was such a treat to have the windows opened since they were covered with screens so we didn't have to sleep under a mosquito net! Oh, and don't let me forget the howler monkeys! They were spectacular! One day Liz came over & guided me down to the river where we watched them for hours!

In my view, Rancho Cecilia is the perfect place to stay. Rates were extremely resonable, the casita was stocked with everything we needed, it was clean & comfortable, the interactions with Scott & Liz were 100% pleasant, they showed us the town & guided us to great spots & were always helpful.

  • Liked — The variety that was offered and the ease of making plans!
  • Disliked — Having to miss some of the spots that were recommended because of time constraints
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rancho Cecilia Nicaragua

Address: Las Marias, Playa Maderas, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
Location: Nicaragua > Rivas Department > San Juan del Sur > Playa Maderas
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Playa Maderas
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Bienvenidos a Rancho Cecilia, with everything for your Playa Maderas, tropical beach or surf vacation in San Juan del Sur. Wake to the sounds of the howler monkeys in the trees. Enjoy your morning coffee with the woodland birds. Then, head on down to the beach for a day of surfing, warm water and world class waves! Come and spend some time with us on your vacation and enjoy our slice of paradise! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Rancho Cecilia Nicaragua Playa Maderas, San Juan Del Sur

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