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“Good stay ... not very tolerant”
Review of El Zopilote

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El Zopilote
Sherbrooke, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
47 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Good stay ... not very tolerant”
Reviewed February 24, 2013

Stayed there 2 nights ... nice setting, good food, basic accommodation (really hot in the rooms with lots of insects). We went to climb maderas with a guide and it was really great. Pizza night was awesome.

I personally didn't felt good in that environment, but I don't describe myself as "hippie" either. I guess I wasn't a perfect match for that place... so I left for another place on the island ! But if you fit in there, I'm sure you could stay for a really long time because it's a really nice setting !!!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank zosianne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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387 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (41)
Date | Rating
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English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed February 20, 2013

El Zopilote is an excellent choice for solo travelers or anyone traveling on a budget. It's very accessible as it's not too far from Altagracia and located right off of a paved road. It's a pretty steep walk from the entrance along the road to the lodge, but once you arrive, the scene is quite unique. The lodge and hostel are located in the jungle and everywhere you look are beautiful plants, flowers and crops. They have an excellent menu and most of their food is prepared from scratch right on site, even their flavored liquor!

The cabins and dorms are pretty open but ours had a place to lock our belongings (just bring your own lock). Our cabin did not have mosquito nets for the beds but some of the other cabins did though, so I would request one when you check in. El Zopilote has some full time staff but a lot work is managed by temporary volunteers. The quality of service for this reason depends on the dedication of the current volunteers. When I stayed, I had no complaints about the service but I could see how there would be a lack of consistency. There is also a strong hippy vibe, so come with an open mind and be ready to listen to guitar circles, make friendship bracelets and meet people from all around the word.

Room Tip: Request mosquito nets for the beds
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Hannah G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Catania, Italy
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed February 7, 2013

It's a great place to hang out and a wonderful idea....and some people working there and doing work exchange were very lovely. We had a problem when we arranged a guide to hike the volcano. He arrived, and didn't speak English but that was ok, we all spoke a little Spanish and one girl pretty fluent. It started torrential raining and we stopped under some trees and asked if we would continue, he said it wasn't a good idea because it would be a bit dangerous and we wouldn't be able to see anything. So we came back, and he took our money anyway. Which he hadn't mentioned he would do before, and obviously we would give something because we were gone for an hour and he had come from his home etc, but he took the whole lot. We asked the manager about it and he was INCREDIBLY rude and said we obviously couldn't speak Spanish well enough to understand the guide. That said, it's a beautiful setting, great pizza and good atmosphere, away from the rude Italian chap anyway.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank arris85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
47 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed January 23, 2013 via mobile

I really enjoyed the relaxed 'hippy' vibe of this hostel. The grounds are really beautiful and the prices of the rooms are super cheap!

The sandwiches are so delicious! I also had the homemade pasta which was really good, and a piece of the chocolate slice, also good! The toast I ordered for breakfast was pathetic though...the serving was SO tiny, I had to go an have a second breakfast elsewhere. Also the serving of the granola, fruit and yoghurt was not big enough.

The drop toilets were very cleaner, much cleaner than some 'normal' toilets I have come across.

Be aware that buses do not run on Sundays. We were told there was one at 5.30am, and we waited for an hour but nothing came. Thankfully a shuttle bus turned up and we made the 7.30 ferry!

Overall an excellent hostel and I would recommend it!

  • Stayed January 2013
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Helpful?
Thank TravelonTrend
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 21, 2013 via mobile

Just spent 4 nights at the finca. Very enjoyable and relaxing, friendly staff, great sandwiches, cleanest long drops ever (although hand soap at the wash basins would be nice). Big mistake on our behalf was eating elsewhere on pizza night and having to sit and smell the amazing smells flowing out of the wood fire. When we did have our turn for pizza night it was amazing, except for the 'chorizo' we added to our fungi pizza, it was processed 'hot dog' meat, next time I would go for a vege pizza as that seems to be what they do best!!.

I understand they have a few issues with trip advisor, if your precious stay at home, if your after a good relaxing environment with great pizza.....

  • Stayed January 2013
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Helpful?
Thank Tomoterror
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Altagracia, Nicaragua
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed January 9, 2013

El Zopilote is one of the more unique places to stay on the island, esp for backpackers or those traveling solo as it's a perfect place to mingle and get to know other travelers. The owner has made some great renovations and takes pride in the locale, food and quality of his products. The restaurant now looks over the hills of the jungle where you can have anything from homemade yogurt to limoncello, which I highly recommend! I believe Tuesday and Thursdays they have pizza nights, which are incredibly chill and are located in a peaceful outdoor kitchen setting, which is perfect for dancing should the homemade drinks and wine take you in that direction. The theme of this place is def jungle-rustic, so you will see bugs and be living more 'naturally', which is the pull that brings people here (the outdoor Japones shower is an awesome way to start your day). It's located a bit up in the mountains, but the beach is still accessible by a 10 - 15 min walk. If you're looking for more of the island experience, I would def recommend checking out this hostel.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Kelly O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manningtree, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
45 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed December 11, 2012

Basic is definitely the word to describe it, but along with basic you have beautiful, we stayed in a little thatched hut with a trapdoor to enter. Proper treehouse style and a childhood dream, there are mosquito nets which are well patched but the little buggers still get through so take your repellant. The toilets are great but one thing that could be improved on is a little sink near them so you can wash your hands with soap afterwards. There is a tap so it wouldn't be too hard to create. The showers are a good design, bit scary with no door being the prim and proper brit that I am but do the job, again just a small thing on them, they do smell, and a scrub to get the green slime off would do wonders. The petroglyphs are great and worth seeing and just wandering around the place is lovely with the hummingbirds and butterflies so I would definitely recommend it, just take your hand gel and repellant and don't have the yoghurt granola as it was the worst in Nicaragua (imagine grit in slime) BUT the rest of the breakfast choices are great!
Also they say they hate trip advisor which is a bit of shame as it's a very useful tool, embrace it and feel the love rather than slate something which helps a lot of people out, everyone reads the reviews and takes what they want from them knowing every one is different. Tear down the sign as it adds a negative vibe to a chilled out and beautiful place.
Someone put on here about the unfriendly volunteers, we didn't find this to be the case, one of the reception staff was a bit moody but the rest were lovely and we chatted to some of the other volunteers for ages so don't let that put you off. There are a few little things that could be done to improve it but I would still go back if they weren't sorted as it is just a great experience.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Kate W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about El Zopilote

Property: El Zopilote
Address: from Madronal 300m 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 7 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 and free filtered water. You can work with us in the permaculture garden and in the work shop and learn something nice (free). ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
El Zopilote Isla De Ometepe, Nicaragua - Santa Cruz

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