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All reviews concepcion volcano local community breathtaking views outdoor shower cloud forest rocky road compost toilets hot water breakfast and dinner beautiful experience close to nature remote location magical place bring a flashlight stayed nights hour drive guided hike
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Reviewed June 2, 2009

We stayed at Totoco for 2 nights on 13th and 14th of May, as part of a two week holiday in Nicaragua . I have lots to say, so this is going to be a long review!!

We loved everything about Totoco and were sad to leave, we would have been happy to stay much longer and would recommend anyone thinking of going to Ometepe to stay for more than 2 nights if you have time. We regretted our decision to go to San Juan del Sur after Ometepe and in hindsight would have stayed another two days at Totoco had we known!

I had exchanged many emails with Roslyn before our stay at Totoco and she had been so helpful in offering advice on not just our stay here, but other general information. I was disappointed therefore that our stay clashed with when Roslyn and Jonathan were in Europe so we didn't get to meet them in person. However, we did meet Martijn and Patricia the other couple who are responsible for creating this amazing place. Roslyn had arranged for us to be collected from the ferry and we were met by Fernando and Jose Luis, two great guys who's family have a little hostel just down the road from Totoco and who also run the only local "taxi" service. The trip from the ferry to Totoco is quite a bumpy and very dusty ride, but enjoyable all the same - all part of the adventure and we saw monkeys along the way.

Once we arrived at Totoco it took our breath away, the location is just perfect with a beautiful, unobstructed view of the Maderas and Conception volcanoes - they couldn't have found a better position on which to build. Our cabana was lovely, spacious, clean and with lovely furniture and an all important mosquito net around the four poster bed. The mosaic bathroom has been lovingly created with a hot shower and a compost toilet, which is cleaned twice a day, but as the urine is separated from the "other stuff" it is not smelly - men just need to sit down to spend a penny!! The water from the bathroom is recycled to use on the gardens. We had a beautiful terrace with a hammock and again lovely wooden furniture, there were also recycling bins for the rubbish.

We were greeted by Martijn on our arrival who was very welcoming and over the two days was a very interesting and friendly person to chat to and we really enjoyed his company. It was great to learn how the "dream" of Totoco had come about and the future plans the owners have for the continuing development. The main bar and restaurant area was beautifully constructed with gorgeous wooden furniture. Just next to this area is a lovely dorm with, I think, 6 beds but this is going to be moved to another building which is being constructed in the future and the current dorm area will make a bigger restaurant and bar.

We took ourselves off on a walk on the first afternoon down to the lake and we went to visit Fernando the taxi guy who welcomed us to his home and gave us fresh mangoes the like of which I have never tasted before, absolutely delicious. He took us through his garden down to the lake then we went along to the local school where the teenagers were doing a presentation about environmental issues. Fernando then kindly drove us back up the steep hill to Totoco for dinner!

Our meals were cooked by the lovely local ladies, who made us fantastic food, me being a veggie it was great to have something nutritious and delicious and in fact the food we had here was probably the best we had on our travels.

We made the mistake of having some lights on for a bit too long on our first night and were visited by quite a large number of bugs! So be warned not to leave the lights on for too long unless you want visitors. There is a candle which we made more use of on the second night.

On our second day after a lovely breakfast, we went on a walk with Victor an English speaking guide, who was very nice and knowledgeable about all the flora and fauna. We saw quite a few howler monkeys along the way. We walked to the Fina Magdalena and coffee plantation where we had a drink then went on to see the Petroglyphs before heading back. I must say the final part of the walk nearly killed me as I am a little out of shape and the heat by the time we were walking back was exhausting, so do set off early on any walks and if you are not very fit like me, then be prepared for the final stint back up the hill! After lunch we went for a snooze then the taxi guys collected us in the afternoon to go Kayaking. I chickened out when we go there, as the water was looking a bit rough but Greg really enjoyed the experience and I sat on the beach.

After a lovely second evening spent chatting with Martijn and Patricia we retired to our cabana and swung in the hammock listening to the insects and frogs. Hundreds of trees have been planted at Totoco as well as lots of beautiful flowers and vegetables, the plan is to be as self sufficient as possible in the future, with the help of volunteers who come to assist with the vegetable gardens etc.

Martijn asked us for any thoughts or comments we had after our stay and the only small thing we could think of was that a cool box would be good to have some drinks in our cabana, but this had already been thought of and was in hand.

On the way back to the ferry the guys took us to see a beautiful clear lagoon, the name of which I can't remember but if I find out will add it in.

Our only regret is that we didn't spend more time on Ometepe and at Totoco, we can't praise it highly enough. Just remember a good torch, sturdy shoes, sunblock and be prepared to chill out .with nature .......

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Caroleuk10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 18, 2009

I stayed at Totoco for 2 nights with my wife who was 4 months pregnant. The couple who have built and run Totoco are extremely friendly and go out of their way to make sure your stay is comfortable and help plan any activities you wish to do.
The lodge is in an amazing location on the side of a volcano surrounded by jungle. As an eco-lodge, the owners have made great efforts to ensure that their impact to the environment is minimal and they add to the local community and economy.
We stayed in one of their recently built huts which was clean and comfortable.
The accommodation included all food which was the best we had in Nica - you could almost stay at the Totoco just for it.
One things to note - the road to the lodge is quite bumpy and quite a distance but its worth it.
I would not hesitate to recommend staying at Totoco if your in Nica and planning to go to Ometepe.

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank Sticks3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 11, 2009

Stayed 2 nights at this lodge. It's so new and therefore not in any guidebooks. At the moment there are only two lodges and some dorm beds so you should make a reservation via their website/phone. They arranged for a car to pick us up from the ferry ($30). After a bumpy ride (a little over an hour from the Moyogalpa ferry) we ended up at the most gorgeous lodge in Ometepe. It is located on the slopes of the Maderas volcanoes and the view of Concepcion Volcano and the two lakes is spectacular. The food is delicious. It is mostly vegetarian and is so fresh. The owners, Martin, John, Patricia and Roslyn are such warm and friendly people. We had great conversations with them. They also helped arrange our "tours" in Ometepe (we visited Ojo de Agua and kayaked Rio Istian). They arranged for a car to pick us up from the ferry to take us to Granada for $30 (b/c it was night, in the daytime it would have cost $25). The room was clean and spacious and very private. The mattresses were great. They had hot water. The compost toilet was cleaned daily. Staff was very friendly. You cannot beat the sunsets here. You could hike an hour (one way) to Finca Magdelena to visit the coffee plantation from their lodge. You can see howler monkeys after hiking a few minutes and you hear them everywhere. I would highly recommend staying at this lodge for the experience, comfort and the view. It is a very special lodge in a lovely setting. Would highly recommend this place.

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank Frances L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2009

I went here to rejuvenate and it was fantastic. Love the view! The service was fantastic. Do keep in mind that if you don't have a car, you will be hiking a lot to get there...but it is well worth it.

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled solo
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Thank katica500
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2009

My husband and I had 3 days in Omotepe. The island is absolutely lovely and what added to our delight was this wonderful place we stayed at. From the moment we arrived, till the day we had to leave we felt like we were at home. The owners are warm, kind and beautiful people and the place they have developed represents it perfectly. The cabins have all the necessity required and are in perfect locations with amazing views. The food is very good to and healthy. Their purpose is to help the local people with a comfort stay for the travelers. I wish them all the best and know they will succeed well.
They did not have 1 night available for us so accommodated for us with a friend who also has cabins to rent out. If Totoco does not have space, I recommend this place highly. Wonderful Italian/Australian couple with beautiful clean cabins and great food.

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank NainaMadan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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