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“A beautiful place”

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La Bastilla Ecolodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 28, 2011

I stayed here with my boyfriend in December and we had a fantastic time. The setting is idyllic with fantastic views of the cloudforest.

The cabins are very well done, perfectly clean, very comfy beds and great baconies where you can relax and enjoy the view. I was very impressed with the solar powered shower which was the hottest I've had in all of Nicaragua!

We were very well looked after by all the staff, with very tasty Nicaraguan food, fresh juice and coffee all day. It was really great to walk amongst the coffee bushes where the beans you are drinking were grown!

We went on some beautiful and relaxing walks and it was really interesting to see the school and farm projects too.

Overall, we were extremely impressed. It was well worth the 5km walk from the road! (if you don't want to arrive exhausted I would recommend orgainising a taxi!)

Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Elly T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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77 - 83 of 108 reviews

Reviewed August 30, 2010

I recently stayed at La Bastilla as part of a volunteering programme package offered by their Technical School and had a proper chance to enjoy the place as I spent the best part of 1 month there!

I was very well looked after and really made to feel at home at this beautiful place – I stayed in one of their cabañas (cabins) with spectacular views over the Datanli-El Diablo nature reserve and spent my days at the school site, downhill a short distance from the hotel.

The cabins are very spacious, simple but attractive, well-kept and clean with homely touches (I loved the rocking chairs on the patio!). Because you are right in the middle of the reserve, and surrounded by nature I would recommend taking a torch and insect repellent, although the cabins are served by solar-powered lights and hot water inside.

The hotel restaurant has an open-air terrace and shares the same views as the cabins and deck-camping tents. Highlights for me were the Nica-style breakfasts, complete with super-fresh fruit juice and coffee from La Bastilla Coffee Estates, especially when eaten looking out over the cloud forest.

I combined my volunteering package with a refresher one-to-one Spanish language course, all lessons taught onsite. I would highly recommend this experience to those who are looking to improve their Spanish whilst spending time in Nicaragua, as you get all sorts of insights into the culture, history and language of the country at the same time.

Although La Bastilla site is relatively remote, I was able to use it as a base for travelling to other cities within Nicaragua at weekends, using a combination of the various local bus services on offer and taxis.

I can highly recommend the whole experience to anyone interested in spending time in a beautiful part of the world, in volunteering with an incredibly friendly team and a fascinating education project, or as a shorter break if travelling through the country or Central America.

Stayed: July 2010, traveled solo
1  Thank LJB096
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 28, 2010

If you are interested in any of these topics in the Central American context, you should definitely visit La Bastilla Ecolodge. The lodge is located in the midst of the gorgeous La Bastilla Coffee Estates, which is a Rainforest Alliance-certified coffee farm that includes much shade coffee and some primary forest. The lodge is administered by the students and staff of La Bastilla Technical High School (also located on the farm) as part of their effort to build a self-sustaining technical educational opportunity for rural Nicaraguan youth. The school offers classes and intensive experiential learning in eco-tourism, animal husbandry, vegetable production, and apiculture.

I highly recommend staying in the lodge or deck camping for anyone who wants to experience rural Nicaragua, learn about the sustainable development and educational project being established there, or learn about sustainable coffee production. Birdwatching opportunities are excellent - parrots, bellbirds, hummingbirds, warblers, and toucans can all be seen or heard from the lodge. The food is deliciously fresh and characteristically Nica. I aslo highly recommend getting to know the students of the high school, they are very fun to chat with! Spanish is helpful for talking with the students, but not necessary.

Most importantly, all of the hotel costs directly fund the high school, which aims to provide rural youth from resource-poor families with technical skills and experience that will allow them to pursue sustainable, entrepreneurial ventures. It's an exciting and lovely place to visit! Contact the lodge also if you're interested in volunteering.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled solo
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Thank DCMitchell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 12, 2010

Working for the U.S. Peace Corps, I hosted an organic pest control workshop at the Eco-lodge. Local producers, myself, and 5 students from the La Bastilla Technical Secondary School participated in the workshop and we all enjoyed a quality lunch at the lodge.

The views and new facilities are certainly worth a visit. Visitors will enjoy the off-the-beaten path feeling as they travel through small communities along the road to La Bastilla. Also, the Eco-lodge has a great solar powered hot water system...something difficult to find while staying in Nicaragua. I recommend supporting this lodge which respects the local environment (a beautiful natural reserve and coffee farm) and proceeds help sustain a progressive education program.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled on business
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Thank inanefx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 15, 2010

If you are looking for something different to do, which helps the local community, this may well be it. This rather picturesque eco-lodge is atop a hill within a coffee estate, which is within a nature reserve. It offers a lovely view of the forest and the surrounding estate, which contains the technical school. Students are availble for guided walks/hikes and may even show you around some of the projects they are involved in e.g. dairy farm, bee-keeping. Accomodation-wise, I went for a tent, which is set on a roofed deck with a private shower (with hot water). Cabins are also available. Night time was pretty interesting - it felt like sleeping out in the open with whispering winds, chirping bugs and singing birds. Being a city girl, this creeped me out out a bit, but I soon got used to it. Tip - bring a torch light!

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled solo
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Thank LaraToft
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 8, 2010

I had been travelling through Central America for 2 months and visited La Bastilla for a week as part of this to do some volunteering at the school. I am so glad I did. The whole experience was fantastic, from waking up on a camping perch in a cloud forest to working with the students who showed me all about the life at school - from the bee keeping to the pig rearing!

I would recommend La Bastilla to anyone. Although a few buses, it is not difficult to get to and the journey up to the school is butterfly inducing as you wind through the dense greenery and gushing rivers. I camped on the camping platform and it was so hassle free as all was set up for me and very comfy. The lodges looked great as well and I was very impressed with all the sustainable features - from solar powered water and lighting to all the food waste being fed to the pigs.

The pupils and staff are so welcoming and although I spoke virtually no Spanish I felt everyone made such an effort. It's great to know you are staying somewhere that has such a great social element with money being invested back into the school and pupils learning skills that will hopefully set them up for life.

If nothing else, go for the beauty of the place. The views are just breathtaking and now I'm back in London, a flash back memory of them is all I need to feel zen again!

No worries if you don't speak Spanish as there are English speakers to help you out and everyone really goes out of their way. Thank you to all there!

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled solo
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Thank Knoxo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 4, 2010

Un Eco lodge de lo mas excepcional. Very exceptional ecolodge. in the middle of a coffee estate, run by a college and with very nice accomodation, very nice service and lots of possibilities to hike and to get to know local culture and the coffee farm. can only recommend it

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled with friends
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Thank Mfischer51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about La Bastilla Ecolodge

Address: La Bastilla Coffee Estates | Las Colinas, Jinotega, Nicaragua
Location: Nicaragua > Jinotega Department > Jinotega
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 10 Specialty Lodging in Jinotega
Price Range: $38 - $70 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
On a coffee estate within the stunning Datanli El Diablo nature reserve, La Bastilla Ecolodge offers beautiful eco-friendly accommodation, with all profits supporting our educational project.We are a not-for-profit Ecolodge set in the mountains of northern Nicaragua, enjoying stunning panoramic views over the forested valleys and Apanás Lake. In this breathtaking atmosphere with limited mobile phone connection we invite you to disconnect from the worries of daily life and unwind.We offer cosy wooden cabins with all the creature comforts, including private balconies with rocking chairs to enjoy the sunset, solar hot water showers and fluffy towels. Those travelling on a budget can choose to stay in one of our comfortable dormitories and deck-camping platforms, which offer you the same amenities as the private rooms. (Please be advised that there are no sockets in the rooms, but you can charge any equipment on our events’ platform.)All room rates include continental breakfast, but for a small charge we also offer the traditional Nicaraguan breakfast, Pancakes, Omelettes etc. All delicious meals are made from local produce (where possible directly at La Bastilla Technical Agricultural High School) and freshly prepared in our onsite restaurant, where you can enjoy a variety of meals between 6am and 9pm. Apart from relaxing in a hammock on our platform common area or enjoying the views and breathtaking sunsets, we invite you to take one of our several guided tours (hikes in the nature reserve, or tours through the coffee farm, including a tasting session, tour of the High School’s production areas), or walk our trails by yourselves.We offer the highest standards of environmental sustainability including our own system of solar electricity and solar-powered hot water, recycling, composting and bio-digestors.Please note:Cancellation Policy: 24 hours before the arrivalCheck in time: please contact us to arrange your arrival timeCheck out time: 11.00 amMethod of Payment upon arrival: both credit cards and cash (US$ or cordobas)Breakfast is included.Taxes are included.We offer discounts for children under 12, under 6's go freeIf coming in your own vehicle, a high 4x4 is highly recommended as roads are steep and rocky. Any other vehicle can get to the High School (10 minutes walk up the steep hill to the Ecolodge)We are a social enterprise; your stay contributes directly to supporting La Bastilla Agricultural High School which provides a comprehensive technical education for young people from impoverished backgrounds: 100% of our profits go towards the operating costs of the school ... more   less 
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