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“Beautiful, peaceful, and healthy!”
Review of El Zopilote

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El Zopilote
Oakland, Ca
1 review
“Beautiful, peaceful, and healthy!”
Reviewed April 9, 2013

So far El Zopilote has been the best place I've found in Nicaragua. It took me a day or two to settle in, and then I didn't want to leave, and stayed for several weeks! It's in a beautiful setting, the nature is wonderful, and there are two towers you can climb up to and see the lake and volcanoes, watch the birds....tranquilo!
The food at the restaurant is also delicious, especially the fruit salad with home-made yogurt, the salad they grow in the garden, and the frittata sandwich on their own fresh-baked bread. Don't miss the nutella and chocolate either, that they make themselves! Delicious. And I love the Japanese showers....divine.
It is a heaven for people who feel comfortable in nature and in themselves, rather spend time outside then at the tv, there are a lot of opportunities to connect with people- daily yoga classes, pizza night 3x a week, a nice hang-out space next to the school bus at the road, and if you'd like to help out in the garden/kitchen, you can do that too!
I feel it's the kind of place you can really feel at home in, the trick is to relax, smile and try new things! What it is not is a luxurious expensive hotel! It's basic and rustic, if you are the type who can't face that you are living in the jungle in the tropics with a lot of other beings, rather find a more suiting environment....

Room Tip: Ask for the cabana Mariposa or Iguana if you are 3 people, it's very nice.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank LalalilydeCali
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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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (41)
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bogota
1 review
Reviewed April 8, 2013

I stayed at the Zopilote for a month, I slept in hammocks, the dorm and a few nights in a cabin and aall of them were very good, I specially enjoyed the cabin, an awesome natural construction ,very comfortable and well set. I think all the options were very cheap too. There is a restaurant with a lot of good options, reasonable prices, and delicious an healthy food, because most of the ingredients they use are grown or made out from their garden. I got involved with the garden job ( just talk to the people in charge ) and learned about composting, alternative clean water, natural building ... the place is really compromised with the green concept, and that part is one of the most interesting things there, it makes most of the magic. About food there's also the pizza night like three times a week. The home made Italian pizza is delicious and the environment perfect, drinks, music..party time. the people there is really good vibe,. i wanna come back sooon!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank Nataliacaro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ljubljana, Slovenia
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed April 4, 2013

Hmm, it's the only place I have ever been where they ask you not to pee in the toilet but outside (because it is not good for the compost). They have nice japonese shower where there is bamboo instead of walls. Private cabins are good value for the money. Bring flash light with you as at night it gets really dark. Staff was friendly. They have also restaurant with a nice view of the forest.

You have to walk 5 minutes from the main road uphill, but you can ask if they have free rooms in their shop which is in an old school bus near the main road. There are many bikes for rent nearby.

Don't have toast with jam for breakfast as the portion is really small. We didn't like the atmosphere so much as people who stayed there were not very sociable,

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Janez Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sherbrooke, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
47 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
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.
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.
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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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