We booked a flight to San Carlos on a Sunday and only realised afterwards that there was no river transport that day after our flight arrived. After reading what the guide books and many people online have to say about San Carlos we were cursing our stupidity until we found this place. On arrival at the airport we were met by the very friendly Roberto who escorted us across the Rio Frio to La Esquina del Lago. There was no charge for this service.
We were pleasantly surprised by the town of San Carlos and the lodge. Make no mistake this is not a super luxury place but is way better than any of the other options in San Carlos. The staff were super friendly and helpful doing everything possible to make our stay pleasant. The lodge is across the river from town but they are quite happy to take you across any time you need and for no charge. We really enjoyed these little excursions as they gave us a chance to observe the bird life across the water (including the marvellous Roseate Spoonbill) from close up.
The lodge has two stories and the views of the sunset from the upper level are superb, those from the lower level slightly less so. There are chairs and hammocks on the upper level where we sat and enjoyed a sundowner every day. Our room and bathroom were a reasonable size and the bed was comfortable.
The food at the lodge was prepared in accordance to our tastes and was good. A meal that stood out for a meat lover like me was the filet flambed in cognac and served with a French style pepper sauce. And then there is the river shrimp ... The meals and drinks were reasonable priced. There was no question of price gouging at this lodge which we appreciated.
The lodge has kayaks which you are welcome to use while you are there. We made good use of them paddling up the Rio Frio towards Costa Rica as well as around the nearby lake shore. There are lots of monkeys and good birdlife in this area. For backpackers like ourselves this was a definite bonus as the free use of the kayaks more than compensated for the room being a bit more expensive than we were used to paying in Nicaragua.
When we were there the river was really high and had flooded much of the property severely limiting access to any of the land around. This meant that it was not possible to access the walking paths normally available to guests. The dogs too were marooned but we found them to be very friendly and good company !!
Philippe is an excellent host with a wide knowledge of many subjects and a very interesting man to talk to. We learnt a lot from him. Tshampa is an excellent guide and has a knowledge of birds unsurpassed on the river. We were unfortunately too poor to take full advantage of his services but he was more than happy to answer our questions in any case :-) The lodge has a number of fishing boats and the fishing tackle was plentiful and in good condition.
Perhaps the highest praise that we can give is that we ended up staying here for 3 nights at the beginning of our river odyssey and returned for one more at the end before continuing on to the Solentiname.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- La Esquina del Lago Jungle River Lodge is located only at five minutes from the town of San Carlos, on the other side of the river and on the corner of the lake (hence the name). The place is set in the peace and tranquillity of the Los Guatuzos National Park. La Esquina del Lago offers a wide variety of activities and services. There is a FREE BOAT SHUTLE from San Carlos available at any time, and kayaks can be used in and around the property free of charge as well. Equipment can also be provided to practice fishing around the hotel. The hotel has GUIDED TOURS in motor boats (there are 6 boats of various sizes, all fully registered). ... more less
- Also Known As:
- La Esquina Del Lago Hotel San Carlos
- La Esquina Del Lago Nicaragua/San Carlos