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“started out exited” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sabalos Lodge

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Sabalos Lodge
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Boca Sabalos
Certificate of Excellence
Saskatoon, Canada
Level Contributor
78 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“started out exited”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 28, 2013

i was so exited for this place but it fell short in every way. it was nice yaro the owner met us at the plane traveled to the lodge with us then helped us leave a couple days early thanks yaro. other than that this place was so disappointing the food is 12 US a meal which was not very good you can walk into sabalos 30 min and get o good plate of food for 75 cords (3 US) u have to order your breakfast the night before and supper at least 3 hours before your ready to eat. the bugs are carried away but its the rainforest. we stayed in the smallest room 35 a night we were quoted but ended up paying 45 as we were in such a hurry to leave to catch our plane that we didn't complain . any ways the room was so small me and my wife couldn't even stand in it together unless one of was in our bed which had stained sheets yuck. the trails they say are all around i walked in less then a hour. not much to do at night other than read a book or drink beer which we drank them dry of. the caiman night tour, indio miaz reserve and coco tour were all fun but overpriced. all in all this place is very expensive for what u get and the service provided we had booked 6 nights left after 3. 3 nights is more then enough also bring a flash light

Room Tip: if your going here dont cheap out in the fish cabins get one of the ones on stilts. just know the on...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BDulle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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118 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    80
    25
    9
    4
    0
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22
63
5
3
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (19)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Norwegian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 6, 2013

The owner was a terrible person!! He treated my family and I like garbage. The service was bad and the bed sheets were extremely dirty. The food is over priced while you can go to town and get food much cheaper. The owner is a. Money hungry person that doesn't care for his clients.mmy family and I were extremly excited to go because we had seen pictures and read good reviews. I think the post aren't real.... I couldn't believe how bad e owner and the how bad the service were!

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Dloor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orangeville, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
21 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 3, 2013

If you want to enjoy Rio San Juan region, this is a great place to go. Hosts Jaro and Raphael make you feel welcome and your visit rewarding. With the 2-story jungle lodges, you have a bird's eye view of the howler monkeys and tropical birds that are so easy to find here. You watch the hairy primates while they watch the naked ones. Relax on the dock or your own personal porch and watch the river go by. Good food and comfortable beds. Just crawl under the mosquito netting and enjoy the night. Trails through the jungle and pasture edge provide nice opportunities for watching monkeys, butterflies, reptiles, and birds. Rubber boots are provided for the muddy trails (called a rainforest for good reason!). Each day begins with the roars of howler monkeys, sometimes in the tree next to the cabin, and ends with the cacophany of Great-tailed Grackles and Montezuma Oropendulas roosting on the island nearby. Ringed Kingfishers fly by the dock and Pygmy Kingfishers visit the slough and little streams. Migrants like Golden-winged Warbler and Wood Thrush also can be found here. Caiman cruise in the slough right by the lodges. Good fishing right there! And this lodge is an important part of worthy charitible local causes (thanks!). We had 3 wonderful nights there in early December, often just relaxing in a hammock after a good walk or good meal. A must-visit place along Rio San Juan.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank TravelingToucans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 15, 2012

If you are planning to cisit Rio San Juan, don't look further for accommodation: this is IT. Spend there 3 nights and planned a lot, but at the end of the trip we did really nothing but just to chill out in the Lodge. Jaro, the manager, is a character; he really makes you feel you are at home, and the cooking is pretty good! If you’re bored, ask him a fishing-rod. Spend there hours to catch fish (hopefully not the 200 pound Tarpon; it will drag you in the water like you’re a fly)

Room Tip: I stayed in the family-cabin, but all the cabin's are on the riverside. The family-cabin is mayb...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Colonelwai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tilghman, Maryland
Level Contributor
42 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 4, 2012

My wife and I stayed five nights here in January 2012. We stayed in the "Jane" cabin, which was wonderful. If you can, choose Tarzan, Jane, Jaguar or Chita, all of which are elevated and extremely close to the river. You have to be ready for the rigors of a true eco-lodge -- no air conditioning, no hot-water showers, mosquito netting for the bed, etc. -- and for the rewards of a true eco-lodge: the knowledge that this place has a very light footprint on the environment and that it's very involved in helping the local communities. The food was consistently very good, the beer was cold, and the staff -- and especially the owner, Yaro, and his son Rafael -- were totally pleasant people. We were in Nicaragua for three weeks and stayed in other very interesting places, but Sabalos Lodge was THE highlight of our trip.

Room Tip: Pay extra for one of the elevated cabins!
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank marylandtravel007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
20 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 3, 2012

I pinched myself every morning as I woke up at Sabalos Lodge. The howler monkeys would get going at dawn, and then the birds would kick in. We’d crawl out from under the mosquito net and stand on our porch overlooking the river to watch the water gushing by and the birds flying and diving and the fish jumping. The cabins are about as basic as you can get, but they are perfect. I felt like I was living the dreams I had of Swiss Family Robinson growing up. We were in the “Jane” cabin with a comfy bed, open air shower, and private front porch.

The food at the lodge was very tasty. A typical “Nica” breakfast is included with your stay (yummy and filling), but there is also a menu to order other items if you’d like. There was a pretty good variety of lunch and dinner options as well. The food is more expensive than in other areas of Nicaragua ($15 for dinner), but when you factor in the logistics of getting food to the lodge, it seems reasonable. Plus dinner was a huge plate of food, plus plates of plantain chips, rice, black beans, and then dessert.

The setting of the lodge is perfect, but the staff really made the whole experience. Everyone was so nice and accommodating and they were all eager to show us the nooks and crannies of the property that make it special. Plus, we were met at the San Carlos aiport upon arrival and taxied to the boat terminal, where we had spots held for the boat to the lodge (about a 2 hour ride). This was essential because we met people who waited 5 hours for spots on a boat. The owner Yaro was in Managua for most of our visit, but he still set up a tour for us and chatted with us for a while when he got back. He’s a very interesting man and I wish we had been able to spend more time with him.

Our first full day at the lodge, we got boated around the bend to Boca de Sabalos with kayaks and we were able to kayak on our own up the Sabalos River and then back down to the lodge. We also did a full day tour which included about 2 hours in the Indio-Maiz reserve, the fort in El Castillo, and a wonderful trip up and down the river where we saw caiman, monkeys, tons of birds and even a crocodile! The tour was awesome, and we were really grateful that the lodge could provide us both with rubber boots (and we both have huge feet!) because the reserve was really muddy!

I highly recommend Sabalos Lodge and I truly want to return some day soon.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank rahoffma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Searsmont, Maine
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 27, 2012

If you are looking for the road (or in this case, river) less traveled than the Rio San Juan is for you. And the place to stay is Sabalos Lodge.
The owner Yaro, his wife and crew truly understand what being a good host means. Yaro is informative, helpful, and best of all, entertaining.
The charming thatched roof cabanas sit right on the rivers edge. Sitting on the deck watching birds and listening to the sounds of the jungle and river is wonderfully atmospheric.
You can also rent kayaks, and a leisurely paddle up the Sabalos River is a fun way to spend half a day.
And the food is great!

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Bill M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sabalos Lodge

Property: Sabalos Lodge
Address: | Boca de Sabalos, El Castillo, Boca Sabalos, Nicaragua
Location: Nicaragua > Rio San Juan Department > Boca Sabalos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Spa Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Boca Sabalos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Sabalos Lodge 2.5*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
SABALOS LODGE You can explore the beauty of the Nicaraguan wilderness along the Rio San Juan. Relax after a long day in our hammocks while you take a cold drink, and enjoy an amazing view of the river This is the place for the true adventurer and our goal is to give each of our visitors a genuine experience that will last for a lifetime. The biodiversity of the area offers you the chance of seeing exotic wildlife right outside your cabin. ... more   less 
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