We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“What an experience!”

We can't find prices for this hotel
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this hotel, but we can search other options in Masaya
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
La Mariposa Spanish School and Eco Hotel
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Masaya
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Leon, Nicaragua
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“What an experience!”
Reviewed January 1, 2014

I visited the mariposa this winter for three weeks, to learn spanish and immerse myself in the culture of Nicaragua. I am so happy I selected this business to support and spend time at, Paulette has created such a fantastic place! The Mariposa is a place where students learn, make friendships, and grow. During my time volunteering with the animals, and also in the kitchen, I made close connections with some amazing Nicaraguan people, and practiced my spanish. The community that centres around, and flocks to, the mariposa is such a group of fantastic people. It was a pleasure to spend time there, I wish I had longer to stay! The food was amazing, the library of books was a treat to explore, and living in the cabaña was a very fun experience. I can't recommend this business enough. Learning spanish in a smaller town in Nicaragua was such an immersive and fantastic experience. It's also amazing knowing that your money is going to support a community, as the mariposa is the largest employer in San Juan. Thank you Paulette, see you again some day! xx

Room Tip: I stayed in the cabaña and loved it, for a rustic experience.
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ksaquilla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

440 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    407
    23
    4
    6
    0
See reviews for
92
54
218
9
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (105)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
OR
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed December 31, 2013

What a fabulous way to learn about the culture, people, beautiful natural wonders, and language of Nicaragua. Although I chose to stay with a local non-English speaking family (arranged by La Mariposa), between the meals, language classes and activities, I spent a great deal of time at the hotel. The one-on-one language classes are terrific; obviously tailored to each student's specific needs, extremely professional, friendly, proficient teachers, beautiful outdoor classrooms tucked away in "hiding places" in the shady, tropical property of La Mariposa. As a volunteer with one of the many local projects, I was able to use my Spanish throughout the day, AND learn about organic gardening. From the employees who tend to the many rescued animals, to those that I worked with on the farm, to the drivers who transport students to activities, to the gracious and accomodating kitchen staff, to the owner, Paulette, and her dtr, everyone at this place goes out of their way to make you feel welcomed. Such a relaxing and inviting atmosphere, out of this world food, and warm, kind people. What is there not to like about this place? (Oh, and you get to meet some pretty cool students and fellow-travelers, as well).

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank PDXORgal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leipzig, Germany
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed December 26, 2013

I have been at La Mariposa two times - in 2010 alone, mostly to improve my Spanish skills and in 2013 again with a group of 15 geography students from Leipzig.
I’m sure anyone who has been here once will probably forever remember La Mariposa. Right in the moment you arrive you can feel that this place is exactly the one to discover Nicaragua that in general offers a great travel experience and carries a lot of positive energy. The owner Paulette impresses with all the work she has done and still plans to do in the future and all the stuff around her and the interns are really passionate and lovely, too and try to give deep insights into their work whenever it is possible, so that you can understand the mentality and things that happen in the country a lot better.
The mostly “one by one” Spanish classes are excellent and apart from that you will always find an opportunity to practice and get in touch more, if you like to. Especially through all the options of volunteering you can become a true little part of Nicaragua and improve your skills apart from learning just a language.
For groups to stay at the new “Study Center” is a perfect option. Up to 16 people can be accommodated, including a full-day care by volunteers with an individually knitted program, suitable to the focus of the group. You can educate yourself/your group in history and actual political problems of the country or learn more about agriculture practices and medical plants, help out with teaching kids, in the community garden (…) and – as I think the most important thing – you will get the chance to understand a little more about how the world is connected, about what is going wrong and what real concerns exist. You get the chance to see yourself or your nation from another point of view and to start thinking your everyday “business as usual” through…. Well… and after you have finished a day full of (super well organized!) trips and work experience, you can enjoy the unique view on the Masaya volcano from the Study Center and relax, while the impressions of the day pass on by.
Only a few minutes’ walk from the Study Center you can find a small family-run kiosk, in case you need something - but you won’t need much, because the kitchen is incredibly good and you can enjoy wonderful, mostly vegetarian meals three times a day. At this point – also in the name of my group – I would like to say a big, big THANK YOU for the great service provided during our stay. Everything went on just perfectly and especially our “personal intern” Ruth did a really great job!
To relax on a Sunday morning the best is to join a wonderful ride on one of the horses that have been rescued. Apart from that a bunch of happy dogs will always be around you and even former wild animals, like little white-face monkeys receive their charity here…
And the VERY, VERY BEST of the whole La Mariposa Concept is that not only visitors, but ESPECIALLY THE LOCALS benefit from this comprehensive project through jobs, environmental education and, and, and…..
In the end, no matter whether you travel alone, with a friend or a study-group, for sure you can’t do anything wrong while visiting La Mariposa! It is a great mixture of learning, experience and enjoying! I wish Paulette and everybody who gives energy for this unique project all the best for the future… hasta la vista* Jessica

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank 705JessicaS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sweden
1 review
Reviewed December 22, 2013 via mobile

Me and my family visited La Mariposa in 2008 and came back in 2010 and 2012. It is very friendly and a good place to visit with kids. Paulette, her staff and the spanish teachers all made us feel very welcome. We will definitly come back again!

Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank Sara H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
96 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 129 helpful votes
Reviewed December 5, 2013

I love this place... I carefully read La mariposa's website and the more I read the more I knew it would be the perfect place for me to start my visit to Nicaragua. My children are all attending university and my husband was too busy at work to travel with me so I was on my own.
La Mariposa is the perfect place for someone travelling on their own. I felt relieved the minute I saw Oscar outside the Managua airport late at night holding the La Mariposa sign and waiting to drive me to the school. All the staff were friendly and inviting. I enjoyed the diverse collection of animals that live at the school. They all love attention but they will also leave you alone if you are busy. I didn't find them to be very noisy and I think it was quieter at La Mariposa then a lot of other places I have travelled. The food was fresh, local and mostly vegetarian. It was delicious!
The school had a nice selection of optional activities during my visit. I signed up for everything as my time was limited. I went horseback riding, visited the Masaya Volcano at night, toured the some of the Pueblo Blancos and had dinner overlooking the Laguna Apoyo, joined a walk to different artisans in San Juan, drank beer at a neighborhood pub in La Concha, read stories to children at the reading corner, toured the community vegetable gardens and much more.
This was my third experience with spanish immersion classes as I have studied in Antigua Guatemala and Merida Mexico also. I felt that the school was well organised and that the teachers were professional yet friendly. The school does a very good job in determining your spanish level and then coming up with a plan to build on your knowledge. I learned a lot about the history of Nicaragua, the economy, education and health systems and had interesting discussions with my teachers about their experiences living in Nicaragua. I spent most of my time practising the subjunctive mood and I feel that my spanish is improving.
The wi-fi worked well. There were lots of workbooks, spanish books and english books to borrow in the student lounge area. Even thought the water is solar heated I had a nice warm shower every morning. There were very few bugs around when I visited and this was at the end of the rainy season. My ground floor room was a bit damp but that is to be expected when you are staying in the jungle in November.
Paulette is a friendly , approachable woman. What she has set up here amazes me. She has worked incredibly hard to ensure that La Mariposa adds to the community around it. I felt confident that the money I spent for my stay and on my outings into the community was spread around and that it benefitted many people.
One of the best things about this place were the people I met. The three interns (Amanda, Diede and Ruth) were very welcoming and helpful. The others travellers were interesting and engaging individuals as were the interns :) . I really enjoyed learning about them and their travels. I wish I could have stayed longer and I intend to return here in the near future. During the week I was there I met three people who had been at the school previously and returned for another stay. I think this says a lot about the quality of the experience here.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank passionfortravel9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
paulettelamariposa, Owner at La Mariposa Spanish School and Eco Hotel, responded to this review, December 14, 2013
Thank you so much for this very comprehensive review. As you point out we get many return visitors who want to continue improving their Spanish and we certainly hope you will be one of them in the future!!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
1 review
Reviewed November 27, 2013

I could not have properly prepared for the full immersion learning experience of language, social issues, and Nicaragua geography that is La Mariposa. The homestay and volunteer opportunities were equally if not more valuable than the custom-paced, fun Spanish lessons. The animal sanctuary, relaxing forest canopy, and delicious warm food at the hotel provide a comfortable space to reflect on your transition into a developing country. The staff are glad to help with travel ideas and encourage you to consider environmental and socially just decisions. I arrived to Nicaragua with very little Spanish skills and after two weeks I felt confident in my ability to live and communicate independently in a rural part of the country for four months. Unlike many expat businesses in Nicaragua, your money is well spent at La Mariposa. It visibly supports sustainable and just development in the surrounding communities.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Nomadvocate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
paulettelamariposa, Owner at La Mariposa Spanish School and Eco Hotel, responded to this review, December 14, 2013
I am so glad that your time at the Mariposa helped with your longer term stay in rural Nicaragua. Such adventures can, at least initially, be daunting! Thank you especially for your comment " The homestay and volunteer opportunities were equally if not more valuable than the custom-paced, fun Spanish lessons." There is no doubt that living out in the community with a family and volunteering is a great experience for further exploration of Nicaragua as well as of course helping enormously with Spanish!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, Costa Rica
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed November 27, 2013

I am originally from the U.S. but presently living in Costa Rica. My spanish was extremely week(previous experience was High school and college 35+ years ago) and needs a lot of work. I stayed one month at the school and after a month I feel like I have an excellent base to start working from and feel much more confident using the language. Teachers and staff were excellent and extremely professional. The one on one approach was great for me because I could pick my pace and was able to work on the areas I felt were most beneficial. I met people from all over the world and the daily activities the school provided gave me an opportunity to see some of the country and experience the culture. In addition, I was introduced to a number projects taking place for the local community(building community centers, helping with schools, supporting and paying the workers at the local bakery, providing wheelchairs for handicapped children etc. etc.) Accomodations at the school were good and the food was excellent.
Bottom line is this was a great life experience and worth every penny !!!!!
Rich V

Room Tip: Downstairs rooms are a bit more damp but I visited during the end of the rainy season where overall...
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Richard V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
paulettelamariposa, Owner at La Mariposa Spanish School and Eco Hotel, responded to this review, December 14, 2013
Rich...thank you SO much for this review. It means a lot to us to know that you learnt so much during your time with us! Stay in touch and let us know how it goes in Costa Rica, maybe see you again some day when you are up this way.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Masaya
6.2 mi away
Madera's Inn
Madera's Inn
#3 of 5 in Masaya
61 reviews
15.5 mi away
Hotel Plaza Colon
Hotel Plaza Colon
#3 of 43 in Granada
1,028 reviews
3.8 mi away
Hacienda Puerta Del Cielo Eco Spa
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
9.9 mi away
Pacaya Lodge & Spa
Pacaya Lodge & Spa
#1 of 1 in Catarina
102 reviews
19.5 mi away
Jicaro Island Ecolodge Granada
Jicaro Island Ecolodge Granada
#2 of 4 in Isletas de Granada
330 reviews
3.1 mi away
Hotel y Restaurante Hacienda San Pedro
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to La Mariposa Spanish School and Eco Hotel? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about La Mariposa Spanish School and Eco Hotel

Property: La Mariposa Spanish School and Eco Hotel
Address: De la Cancha, 200 metros al sur, 50 al este | San Juan de la Concepcion, Masaya, Nicaragua
Location: Nicaragua > Masaya Department > Masaya
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Masaya
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
La Mariposa is a small, friendly non-profit Spanish school and eco-hotel, just outside the small town of La Concepcion, Nicaragua. Only an hour from Nicaragua's major attractions - Granada, the Pacific Coast, the Laguna de Apoyo, Masaya volcano - and 45 minutes from Managua airport, La Mariposa is surrounded by organic coffee, banana trees and flower gardens. Our cool, green climate (we are 500 meters above sea level - makes a real difference to the temperature) is ideal for studying Spanish! Our conservation efforts - though small scale - have vastly increased our bird population, butterflies and even frogs! We offer intensive Spanish classes in our purpose built classrooms or in outdoor classrooms in our delightful grounds, full of tropical plants and rescued animals. Classes are mostly one on one (max 2 or 3 in a class) and we cater for all levels form beginner to advanced, including specially designed classes for children. We have an extensive library with Spanish study materials and a selection of books in English on Nicaraguan history, development issues etc. We organize a full week (that includes weekends) of activities, including cooking and salsa classes, classes on the history of Nicaragua and a weekly update of what is happening in the Nicaraguan news. These are delivered in Spanish to help with progress in Spanish and with English translation if necessary. On 3 afternoons and Saturdays we offer trips out to local places of interest as well as the Masaya volcano by night, the Masaya markets and artesanias, Granada, Leon, the Laguna de Apoyo, the Pacific beach, Managua, Catarina, the Pueblos Blancos and more! The trips are rotated on a monthly schedule. There are various accomodation options - Students can stay in the eco-hotel (ensuite rooms) or our eco rooms (cheaper). There is a also a large (en suite) family room. Situated about 5 mins from the main school/hotel is our nature reserve. There are now 2 cabins in the reserve, each with two bedrooms, seating area, shower and compostable latrine, private terrace and garden, small kitchen (though you can of course eat all meals at the main hotel) - these are ideal for families with kids who like a bit more space to run around! There are of course a few friendly rescued dogs to keep the kids happy!! We use solar power - for heated water in all of the showers as well as to provide electricity, conserve rainwater,have a number of recycling schemes and have started our own successful organic farm which provides some of the eggs, veggies, coffee consumed at the Mariposa. And much more. We use our income to maximise the employment of local people (currently employing 80 teachers, maintenance and kitchen staff) and undertake a number of projects in the local community. You can opt to volunteer at one of our community or environmental projects, living in a homestay with a local family. Amongst other projects, we are currently offering volunteer placements in the nature reserve, in local schools, with a day care project or with disabled children. You are also welcome to help out the Mariposa workers - whether feeding our rescued animals or cooking up our healthy meals. All of which is a great way to improve that Spanish! We have also recently opened, on another but close by site, a study centre specifically designed to cater for groups of students. We offer an individualized curriculum which can include Spanish classes, activities and classes on the history, culture and environment of Nicaragua. We can also arrange community service work for groups. Accommodation is in two eco built dormitories, each of which has 10 beds (bunk style). The eating/meeting hall is a lovely structure built of straw bales and thatched roofing. Classrooms face a terrace with great views of the Masaya volcano. Meals are always freshly cooked, often using organic veggies from our farm. And of course there are solar heated showers and solar powered electricity. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
La Mariposa Spanish School And Eco Hotel Nicaragua/Masaya

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing