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“Not exactly as the pictures, but still a great place”

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Surfing Turtle Beach Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 5, 2012

We were there a couple months ago. We loved the location, the beach, weather, the travel to get there is also quiet an adventure, once there you feel the beach is only for you. They offer what you can see on their website, but the photos are kinda old or maybe they haven't had much efforts to keep the place looking good, so the walls are loosing their colors, furniture looks old, place is not that clean, the bungalow bathroom had some minor issues, but you can't complain as the price is not that high. One thing to note, I woke in the middle of the night and there was no electric power, also there was no water in the bathroom. Turns out they run on a gasoline power plant and turn it off at night. They should let you know that when you do the check-in. Reception girl and the rest of the people that work there are pretty nice, but you see them leaving at 8.00 pm. After that the only one in charge of running the place is the barman. We're not sure if he also leaves after closing the bar. I definitely would stay again and recommend this to a friend, but I'll let him know all these little details. It's a great place to chill out and relax, it's like having your own little island on the Pacific!

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Ivan S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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275 - 281 of 334 reviews

Reviewed April 21, 2012

This place is fantastic. I had an amazing time the nature was great a lot of turtles and good people around. If you want a chill evening with chill people this is your place.

Room Tip: bring cash no arms and a mosquito repellant.
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  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank Bailey M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 9, 2012

Me and a group of friends spent a night at the Surfing Turtle.
To get there we wanted to take the local bus but there were no seats availabe so we took a taxi from Leon. We were able to squeeze 6 people in one taxi and it cost us $10 for the ride.
When we got there was a motor boat that took us along to the other side for a $1 each.
There was a horsecart waiting on the other side which took us the rest of the way. We saw some wild horses, a volcano in the distance and locals looking for clam shells by the river bank.

At the lodge there was another group of 12 people .
We played some volleyball and enjoyed the beach.

The beach is probably the highlight of the lodge, it stretched as far as you could see and there was nothing else there.

The food was really good, especially the shrimp plate in Garlic sauce and the hamburgers which looked like they were made on the spot.

The Cabana's were cool, they were made out of wood and the roof was made out of thatched palms. There were large mesh windows with a view of the beach which allowed a breeze to come in.
After a whole day on the beach I fell asleep quickly. In the morning when we woke up there were two wild horses feeding near our Cabana.

We had to check out in the morning and I wish we had more time to stay and relax.
It was a great place in a quiet setting.

Room Tip: The Cabana's are really cool
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  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Andrew G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 8, 2011

We stayed for four nights at the Surfing Turtle Lodge. We loved it, especially because it is a great place to relax after you spent some time in Nicaragua's cities and nature.

You need to cross a river by boat and to walk about 10 min (you can also order a horse-carriage from the lodge) to get there. We enjoyed the simple but delicious dinner opportunities as well as breakfast and yoga classes. Unfortunately the waves weren't good enough to go surfing. Sandflies can get a little bit annoying in the evening.

Don't expect too much entertainment, it's just you, the staff and maybe some other tourists/backpackers. No bars, no restaurants, well, not even neighbors. A stay longer than three-four nights might get a little bit boring.

The rooms are simple, but quite clean. Bring cash as no credit cards are accepted!

We definitely enjoyed our stay!

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank elfarolillo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 6, 2011

My brother and I recently backpacked Central America. We started out in Leon and then spent three days at the Surfing Turtle. To get there we took a cab from Leon to Poneloya; where we paid $1 each to cross the river in a motorized canoe. After crossing the river it took us 15 minutes to hike through the woods to reach the Lodge.

There isn't much there: a few rooms, a bar, and the beach. The first night we were the only guests so we sat at the bar with the staff a fellow American and a Canadian. The next day five German/Austrians who had been studying/teaching in Leon arrived. So we had a bone fire on the beach. Sunday being a difficult travel day in Nicaragua, we decided to stay on until Monday.

The bar and common area had free Wi-Fi so with the use of my iPad I read; but mainly hung out drinking beer all day and night. The lodge is powered by Solor Panels, so after sunset the place only had a few hours of power. After that you're goingto be drinking by candle light.

Again, there isn't much to do here, but the views and solice are a nice change of pace from city life. My brother and I were more than content drinking the days away and going for an occational swim.

If I were to make recomendations for improvement: it would be invest in additional solar panels that can store more energy for the night: not for lighting but so that the fans (ventilators) are powered during the hot nights. And some sort of citrinella candles (tikki torches) because I got a lot of bug bites there.

So this place may not be everyone's cup of tea, but we certainly enjoyed ourselves.

Room Tip: Stay in a Cabanna
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  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled with family
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3  Thank McGrupp10799
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 23, 2011

I am a tour guide in Central America and we decided to change our trip itinerary just so we could stay at the not so well known, but extremely famous cabins at the Surfing Turtle Lodge. My group was 15 in total from some 7 different countries and we arrived at the lodge after an extreme day of Volcano Boarding at Cerro Negro in Leon. We arrived late in the evening at Sunset and the staff were more than welcoming! We were checked into our clean rooms with amazing views and were sitting down to dinner within an hour.
Out of our 17 day tour from Antigua-Guatemala to San Jose-Costa Rica, all of my passengers were all in accordance that The Surfing Turtle Lodge was the most memorable and enjoyable stay. We were sad to leave, in fact we could have got lost in time there. As a bonus the surf was good, horseback riding even better, and the bond fire under the full moon epic!!! A truly liberating and rootsy place to spend time. A big thanks to Pedro, Jimmy, and Katie.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Chizad93021
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 9, 2011

If you book by calling them, don't be surprised to hear that they are fully booked and call back later to findout that they have all 3 rooms available (without the occurence of cancelations....simply due to lack of communication between staff).
The so-called eco lodge is no such thing: plastic chairs and tables, no recycling of any kind, no filtered drinking water. The whole beach area was littered with plastic waste: bags, bottles, caps.....very depressing. They do have solar panels but they were broke.. (which meant a gasoline slurping generator at night). You enter through the back side of the premiss with garbage and other discarded stuff in full view.

The beach cabins are cute but badly maintained, curtains missing, locks broken, electricity sockets not working and no furniture on the little decks to sit on in 2 of the 3 cabins. The beach offers 3 thatched parasols but no beds to relax on.

We had a little piece of chicken with one spoon of rice and a very little bit of salad at every diner. No variation what so ever and not very filling. (for 7 USD). Drinks are expensive.

The website claims that they have a turtle conservation program: we were lucky to see a green turtle lay her eggs but no ranger to protect her from people standing too close and using flashlights (she actually stopped digging and moved a little further where she again was hindered. The "guard" was so fast asleep that he had to be woken up by the partying people on the beach who spotted the turle.

A positive note: the Dutch guy (Harmen) working there is a delight, very friendly and a real host. He was obviously very limited in what service he could offer. But he did make a big difference. The other staff was not interested in our wellbeing.

The high rating 3 of 5 is for the beautiful location, wonderful sunsets and awesome nightskies.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank GabrielleHilbert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Surfing_Turtle_Lodge, Owner at Surfing Turtle Beach Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded January 13, 2012

Dear Gabrielle,
Thank you for for your feedback. Since your stay, the Lodge has gone through a renewal of Management. All the issues which you experienced have been addressed. We are an island hostel and give our guests a wonderful rustic experience with great service and accommodations.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Surfing Turtle Beach Lodge

Address: Isla Los Brasiles, Poneloya, Nicaragua
Location: Nicaragua > Leon Department > Poneloya
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Poneloya
Price Range: $5 - $50 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Surfing Turtle Lodge is the only Island solar powered eco-friendly hostel in Nicaragua’s Pacific Coast. Located only 20 minutes from the historic city of Leon, Nicaragua, and a 5 minute boat ride from the beach town of Poneloya on a beautiful deserted beach in Isla Los Brasiles. The lodge strikes the perfect balance for everyone: Enjoy the island’s natural beauty while having comfortable, exceptional accommodations and services. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Surfing Turtle Hotel Poneloya
Surfing Turtle Beach Lodge Nicaragua/Poneloya

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