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Basecamp Bartola

Leon, Nicaragua
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3 posts
5 reviews
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Basecamp Bartola

I just wanted to write to recommend Basecamp Bartola as an incredibly wonderful place to stay to explore the area around the Refugio Indio Maiz nature reserve. This is a great community tourism project that is very welcoming and so tranquil, so removed from the rest of the world, so imbedded in the natural wildlife. I still remember waking up to the most incredible cacophony of birds in the morning and watching them swoop over the treetops of the reserve.

We saw 37 species of animals staying just 2 nights there, wish it could have been longer. The wild macaw pairs were stunning, both red and green.

These guys have a whole blog post about it:

twowheeledwanderers.ca/blog/…

Also check out the Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/indio.maiz

7 replies to this topic
El Castillo...
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6 posts
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1. Re: Basecamp Bartola

.Is very remote, you must be determined to get there, you need a special guide to reach Base Camp Bartola. I try to go there in my canoe with a group of tourism and we did not reach the place, it was too long from the mouth of the San Juan River just for a day trip. Nature is untouched, if you can handle the rain forest this could be a must go and see place. Is just not for everybody. For University student on a journey will be ideal

Leon, Nicaragua
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3 posts
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2. Re: Basecamp Bartola

If you contact the people at Basecamp Bartola they'll come bring/ guide you up. Only about an hour and a half from the mouth of the RIo San Juan. Very relaxing and beautiful!

El Castillo...
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6 posts
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3. Re: Basecamp Bartola

If you go with a motor boat is a lot easier than rowing a canoe, and like I said, if you go with one guide that know the place well it would be a nice place to go campling..

Diriamba, Nicaragua
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1 post
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4. Re: Basecamp Bartola

a beautifull place with wonderfull people. here I started to know another kind of country and people, very positivly. you need to love the nature and to live simply, then you enjoy it really. we have been a group of 4 people and spent three nights there, so it wasn't so expensive. so look for some other travelers or stay there for several nights - then it's much cheaper (the expensive thing is the trip from castillo to the camp, it takes you about 2 h and a half).

Montpellier, France
1 post
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5. Re: Basecamp Bartola

I lived in the community Bartola for 5 months, doing my research for my Master thesis there. I can only recommend the place! You are surrounded by tropical rainforest where you can listen to the sounds of "Mono congo" - howler monkeys all day long. You will most likely see at least one of the three most common monkey types - howler monkey, spider monkey and white-faced capuchin. In anycase, you can observe a huge diversity of birds, among others"lapas rojas y verdes" (macews), toucans and parrots. There is a sloth bear living close by to the Basecamp which you can observe. Moreover, there are colourful poisonous frogs to see.

Apart from all the beautiful wildlife and nature it has to offer, what I most like about the place is that it is a community run project. Several families are participating and it really makes an important difference for them. They live in a very isolated place so there are no job opportunities and a very restricted market for their agricultural produce. This makes most of them go to Costa Rica for 3-6 months a year to work in the coffee harvests in Costa Rica. However, the tourism project has actually made some of the families break this cycle of migrating to Costa Rica every year.

Moreover, in order to survive (thus cultivate) these farmers have been cutting down the forest in the past. Their tourism project gives them a new perspective on the value of forest and they have obtained the interest to preserve it. So your visit is not only contributing to local employment, but also to the preservation of the forest.

I do not consider is at that expensive, considering what I have paid for other tourist attractions and knowing how much each person involved gets, I can tell you it is not a lot since many people are involved. All the money is managed by local people and goes directly to them.

You can go there as a tourist, taking one of their packages (1 night, 2 days or 2 nights, 3 days) or as a volunteer (in most cases to teach English) - contact the local NGO Fundación del Río for that (http://www.fundaciondelrio.org/). The more people you are the cheaper it gets - up to a maximum of 6 people.

If you go there as a tourist, make your reservation

- over their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/indio.maiz/info

- via email: indio.maiz@gmail.com

- in El Castillo in the hotel "Nena Lodge"

- my recommendation: call them on their phone and people from the cooperative will directly reply to you, give you all the information you need and make your reservation: 00505 8913 8215 - do not be confused if they just answer the phone with "hola" - remember that they do not have an office - the phone is answered by a local family - just explain them you are a tourist and want to visit and they will do everything to give you the best service

Watch a video about the project: http://vimeo.com/57073799

So go there and enjoy and do not forget to talk to the people - they will be happy to answer all your questions - and swim in the river - if you stand still for a while, you will most likely be able to feel small sardines eating the dead parts of your skin, an interesting feeling :)

And a last comment for "montecristoriver" - the whole charm of the Basecamp is that it is rum by local people. The transport from El Castillo to the Basecamp is not just a boat ride. You will see wildlife and enjoy the beautiful river "Bartola" - I have made that trip many many times and still enjoy it. Moreover, you will get to know how to steer a canoo by "Palanca" - a wooden stick. I would recommend everybody to try it, it is fun. Just ask them and they will be happy to teach you!

Granada, Nicaragua
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6. Re: Basecamp Bartola

It is definitely a place out of this world. Nice food, fantastic trails on their premises and also on the Indio Maiz reserve, nice boat trip on the Bartola river, Wildlife lovers are more than welcome if looking for luxury is not the place to come.

Lyon, France
1 post
1 review
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7. Re: Basecamp Bartola

We had the chance to spent 3 days in Bartola's community. It was an amazing experience :) People were really professional, but even if they are professional you also have the chance to live like the community.

The place is magic, people are open-minded, and sooooooo intresting ! There are so many things to learn while staying at this beautiful eco-lodge with all those people. It's really a great experience, and people are really nice, trying to offer you the best of all what they have, and share their knowledge.

We definitely recommend anyone looking for an incredible experience ! You will come back to reality with no words to explain what you've just live in Bartola :)

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