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All reviews howler monkeys concepcion volcano local community breathtaking views outdoor shower lake nicaragua solar power cloud forest compost toilets hot water breakfast and dinner off grid beautiful experience close to nature remote location magical place bring a flashlight
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Reviewed May 23, 2012

All in all wonderful ecolodge environment with incredible hosts and only a few guests (4 bungalows at the time). A small pool overlooking the cliffs is a relaxing recent addition. Open-air bar and restaurant area with amazing views. Several tours could be arranged right on site (we did the coffee plantation tour which was a great value and very interesting). Accommodations were simple thatched roof bungalows with screens and small patio/decks. Ours had an open air bathroom with naturally heated water source and a compost toilet (which wasn't as rustic as it sounds). We had a beautiful view of the active volcano from our mosquito-netted bed! Make sure you bring your sunblock because once you are here- you are out of luck! Unless the nice owner will give you a bottle from her own supply as she kindly did for me :) Meals are all inclusive, fresh and delicious and they do always have a vegetarian option.

Cons: It is a bit difficult to get to...had to take a ferry to the island and then hire a driver to get us to the lodge which took about 45 minutes. This wasn't too bad until the last 1 km which was straight up a very steep road. I know that they were planning to do more road work on it but at the time, it was basically huge rocks and I ended up with a sore neck for a few days. It is quite difficult to do anything once here unless you have your own transportation or are willing to pay for taxi transport (which can be expensive and is unpredictable). We were lucky enough to meet another couple who had rented a huge pick up truck and allowed us to tag along with them. If you come here, I would recommend you simply stay at this ecolodge to relax and not try to do too many activities because the road is so bad that you may not want to go up and down it...may be better to stay somewhere closer to other attractions if that's what you're looking for.

Room Tip: One room has naturally heated water (which was really only lukewarm). I would advise against this room! But maybe that's just me!
  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank dreamery212
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 9, 2012

My first stay at Totoco was in the spacious dorm one night, and I enjoyed the atmosphere, location and service (and tasty FOOD) so much that at the end of my travels when my mother came to visit Nicaragua, I switched our plans and booked us in to a cabana at Totoco to enjoy the place once again. The views are unmatched on the island, and although it is the most 'posh' or 'luxurious' place on the island, you can feel confident that your money is supporting an incredible initiative that truly is an ecolodge (a rarity these days in the era of greenwashing virtually everything with the term eco!). Martijn is very welcoming and informative, and will make sure that your stay is a piece of paradise. Enjoy the pool facing Volcan Concepcion, while hummingbirds buzz around flowers and passionfruit vines nearby. The stunning array of flora and fauna is impressive year round, even at the peak of the dry season when I was there. If you are planning a trip to Ometepe, make sure you treat yourself to a stay at Totoco, even if you're a backpacker on a budget, the dorm is great and you won't regret it!

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank Cayla W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 2, 2012

PLUS
Location
The location is beautiful (probably the best of the island), where you have an amazing view of the Concepcion volcano and Lake. You can sit at the lodge’s bar and enjoy beautiful sunsets over the lake and volcano.

Food
The food was very good. You can choose a meat or vegetarian package meal, very tasteful, always accompanied by an appetizer and a desert. There is also an option of a lunch box that can be prepared for you for your day excursions.

Staff
The staff was very friendly and made us feel at ease. You can tell that they are happy when you can hear the women in the kitchen chatting and laughing.

MINUS
Internet
The internet access, only available at the lodge, is very poor. The hotel rules for internet are no Skype, no Youtube, no downloading.

Robery
When we were out for the day, the cleaning lady opened the bottle of wine we had left in the room, and left it lying on the floor. She also opened our Pringles chips, ate some, and left it opened, with crums around it.
Our bottle of shampoo was stolen, and we realized she had been through our bags.

When complaining to the hotel manager about the incident, the only solution he suggested was for us not to get cleaning service to our room the next day, to avoid any robery. (a service we are paying for)
And perhaps because cleaning service was not provided to our room, we found a snake (alive) in our room, when coming back after our whole day excursion.

Two days after the incident, we heard nothing from management : no compensation, no apologies from the owner (whom we had met the day before), nothing. Even though it was only a bottle of shampoo that was taken, the fact is that we did get robbed, which made us feel unsafe, and forced us afterwards to lock everything in the car, and unfortunatley, the hotel managed the incident poorly.

Pool
The pool is beautiful, but they stopped filtering it after most clients left. The last 2 days of our stay was in unflitered pool water.

Guided Tour
We took a guided tour with the hotel in order to climb the Maderas volcano (do not underestimate this hike!). The guide that was provided was doing this hike for the 89th time, and so we felt safe following him.
However, he lacked to adjust to his group. Since we were slower walkers, we arrived at the top later than planned. He let us swim in the volcano lake, when he shouldn’t have, because of time restrictions. He would lie to us on the time remaining (« only 20 minutes… » when it was actually 40 to 50 minutes), and we ended up coming back at night, which was dangerous.

Also, I had previously told him I hated snakes and did not want to see them, and the first thing he did when he saw one was to point it out to me.
And, because we decided to switch dates for the excursion, he let us know that because we cancelled the previous day, he had missed on a personal activity.. which made us feel unease and guilty.

Even though he was very friendly, I found that his lack of knowledge, lack of adjusting to his group, the fact that he put us at risk by not calculating well the time to return, and the fact that he would lie about the distances, did not make it worth while.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Genevieve L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TOTOCO_Management, Owner at Totoco Eco-Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded May 11, 2012

Dear Genevieve & Eduardo,

Theft is a very serious issue and I have spoken with our staff abut informing me promptly if it ever occurs again and I have explained to them how better to deal with a similar situation if I'm not available. I can promise you it was not our staff but someone who entered the lodge by climbing the wall of the outdoor shower and entering through the bathroom door. We've installed a bolt lock to prevent recurrence.
Likewise I've spoken to your guide, Francisco, about your comments as well as to our maintenance crew who should know that the pool needs its 4 hours of daily maintenance every day without exception.
I'm so sorry these incidents have detracted from your Ometepe experience and hopefully we can host you again one day at Totoco.

Best regards,
Martijn Priester
General Manager & Co-owner

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 28, 2012

Totoco is a special place. We loved everything about it. The location is beautiful with jaw dropping views of the volcanos. The hiking is superb and right in your back yard. The food was great and the service is very accommodating and friendly. The place is all Eco friendly Which is a plus. They are doing great things for the community and I recommend taking the tour thrOugh their community so they can show you all the great things they are doing. Overall, a special and beautiful experience! we stayed in the bamboo house. Loved the outdoor shower and the view was incredible. I recommend a massage on your front porch. My only complaint is the road getting here is rough, but it only last about 10 mins. They are working on getting it fixed soon. Don't bother to stay anywhere else on the island. This place is awesome.

  • Stayed: April 2012
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1  Thank Abeard7776
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 24, 2012

We found Totoco from other reviews on Trip Advisor and decided to give it a try, even though it was a little bit above our price range. 4 of us stayed in a private chalet that could sleep 6 very comfortable. The rooms where beautiful, clean and peaceful.
The main lodge had a wonderful pool with chairs surrounding it and views of the lake and volcano. We hiked up the volcano with a guide provided for by the lodge, he was fantastic and it was a great hike.
The food is simply delicious and Totoco, healthy and definitely worth it. We decided to stay and extra night as we were enjoying it so much, moved into the dorms as our room had been booked and these were as comfortable as the other rooms, best dorm I have stayed in.

Really worth while place to stay and Eric who works front of house was fantastic, helpful and friendly.

Room Tip: All rooms are great !
  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Carlandcaro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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