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Indio Maiz Biosphere Reserve 1km West, El Castillo 92200 Nicaragua
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Traveller (38)
Room & Suite (5)
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About

#4 of 8 Specialty lodging in El Castillo
Location
Cleanliness
Service
Value
Guacimo Lodge runs 100% on renewable energy and has only six bungalows in order to minimize impact. Its 50-hectare primary and secondary forest provides a true Central American lowland rainforest experience. The lodge is only accessible by water and it is located in Indio Maiz buffer zone.
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Property amenities
Pool
Free breakfast
Canoeing
Hiking
Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly)
Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Airport transportation
BBQ facilities
Pool with view
Bar / lounge
Restaurant
Horseback riding
Fishing
Shuttle bus service
Baggage storage
Mosquito net
Non-smoking hotel
Sun loungers / beach chairs
24-hour front desk
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Room features
Housekeeping
Private balcony
Room service
Seating area
Bottled water
Clothes rack
Bath / shower
Complimentary toiletries
Private bathrooms
Wake-up service / alarm clock
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Room types
Mountain view
Non-smoking rooms
Family rooms
Good to know
HOTEL STYLE
Romantic
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish

Location

Full view
17Reviews0Q+A3Room tips

Reviews
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Chiara D wrote a review Apr 2022
8 contributions5 helpful votes
+1
My partner and I had the loveliest time at Guacimo River Lodge. This place is simply amazing. If you’re planning on visiting Nicaragua you should not miss out on this area of the country and you should definitely stay at Guacimo. We were incredibly lucky to have the whole place for ourselves and we got spoiled rotten by all the staff. The team booked our boat tickets from San Carlos and picked us up from El Castillo. They upgraded our room to the bungalow as we were by ourselves, which was super fancy. No bugs were in sight as the cabins have mosquito nets all around. The bed also has an additional mosquito net around it. Going to bed with the sound of crickets and frogs and waking up with a thousand different types of birds singing is a one in a lifetime experience. We did the Adventure Package which included a hike in the forest, a night tour of the river, a kayak tour in the smaller river Bartola and a city tour of El Castillo, which included a visit to a cacao cooperative. Gustavo, our guide, is the nicest person, he is extremely knowledgeable and you can tell he loves and respects nature. We did the tour in Spanish, but Gustavo speaks English, French and German as well. We got to see a lot of animals, including a super rare type of poisonous frog. The food at Guacimo is delicious. Margarita, the chef, makes everything from scratch with fresh, local ingredients. Both my partner and I are vegan and we thought it would be tricky to eat plant-based in such a remote location. Margarita was extremely accommodating and prepared delicious and balanced meals for us. Henry and Manuel were very responsive both before, during and after our stay. We feel extremely grateful for this experience and can’t wait to go back.
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Date of stay: April 2022Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Room Tip: If you get to San Carlos by car, there’s a car park in the port that’s guarded 24/7 and costs...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Jen wrote a review Sep 2021
4 contributions4 helpful votes
We had a flawless trip to Rio San Juan and much of it was due to the efforts of the manager and staff of Guacimo Lodge. Lucia was a terrific host and made it so easy to get connected to local tours with knowledgeable guides. We found the cabins very comfortable - new mattress, comfy hammock chairs, and window screens and mosquito netting worked perfectly. At night we fell asleep to just the sounds of nature. The cabins are all situated with gorgeous views of Rio San Juan so you can catch the sunsets and daybreaks from your patio. The lodge food was healthy and tasty. We liked the local fish, ensalada de repollo, frijoles liquados, and gazpachos. My kids loved the lemonade and gallo pinto. Our favorite experiences that Lucia organized were with our guide, Gustavo, who took us on a rainforest hike through the Indio Maiz and the forest right on the property. He was able to show us the colorful frogs and river otters. He was wonderful with our kids as well, and talked about the ways locals have been using native plants and trees to make everything from roofing to brooms. As we walked he even made them little brooms from the leaves of palm tree and a piece of vine. He showed us and them the magic and science of the forests. Finally, we took the tour of the Castillo which was a surprising hit with all our kids and offered the best views and family pictures of our trip. This is probably our most memorable trip in Nicaragua and we've already lived here for two years and done a lot. Thank you, Guacimo!
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Date of stay: September 2021
Location
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Service
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
2 Helpful votes
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Response from Lucia Barrios, General Manager at Guacimo Lodge
Responded 11 Nov 2021
Dear Jen, thank you for such a glowing review and for pointing out every detail of the stay you enjoyed. We are really happy to know you and your family had a great time and delighted yourself with our local cuisine thanks to Margarita. And that the available activities were all easy and suitable for all the family where you could simply connect with nature, something unavoidable when you visit to Rio San Juan, and learn a lot of this part of Nicaragua, besides having the opportunity to get to know the charm of its people. Due to comments like this is that we can prove you fully lived the Guacimo Lodge Experience. Undoubtly, your feedback is also encouraging to us to continue improving in every aspect as much as possible so that in each visit our guests can always feel though somehow far from home, way tranquil and as at home with only memorable experiences. Cheers from Rio San Juan, The Guacimo Lodge team
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Lisa S wrote a review Jul 2021
4 contributions
Our family of 4 (parents and 2 teen boys) had an amazing adventure in the still-wild region of Indio-Maíz natural reserve at the riverside Guacimo lodge. There are simple but lovely wooden cabins that are immaculate, have private bath and a deck with views of river and lush vegetation backed by the eerie sounds of howler monkeys and unfamiliar birds. The friendly bilingual staff will arrange transportation (largely on small boats) and day trips to explore the area in depth. I would particularly recommend the ‘Community Tour’ with Gustavo in which he takes you to his remote community to see how the people make a life of subsistence farming. The people are as lovely and open as the countryside. The other tour was led by the incomparable Juan Ardilla- a canoe trip and hike through the jungle to identify plants, trees and incredible animals. He then cooks a gourmet meal over a wood fire on the river beach complete with coco-loco in ice-cold coconuts. At the end of a ln eventful day, relax on your cabin porch while Margarita prepares your locally sourced fish dinner. The entire experience allows those of us who are toxic on gadgets and packaging and processed food to get a glimpse of what an environmentally sustainable life might look like (at least on vacation).
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Date of stay: July 2021Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Response from Lucia Barrios, General Manager at Guacimo Lodge
Responded 7 Jul 2021
Dear Lisa, Thank you for taking the time to review your experience and for such detailed feedback on your trip to Rio San Juan. We are beyond happy to confirm you had a wonderful time, enjoyed a peaceful and comfortable stay in our lodge while exploring the outstanding Indio Maiz nature reserve and learned about the local community in Bartola. Once again, we appreciate so much for having chosen Guacimo Lodge and Rio San Juan for your family adventure. And if you ever think of visiting the country again, please bear in mind, here in Guacimo Lodge, we will be delighted to welcome you back as in your home. all the best,
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Katalina M wrote a review Jul 2020
Washington, District of Columbia, United States15 contributions2 helpful votes
Such a stunning location! I truly felt like I was living in the pages of a Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel. The town, the river, the landscape... all of it felt like magical realism. The hotel was super comfortable and a 10 minute boat ride from the main town. It was its own retreat. We loved our local guide Gustavo and Manuel the owner was super hospitable. We can't wait to go back!
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Date of stay: July 2020
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Response from Manuel Bejar, Owner at Guacimo Lodge
Responded 29 Sep 2020
Dear Katalina, thanks so much for your kind words! We enjoyed so much your visit and that you enjoyed the activities and people you met. Looking forward to see you again!
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Salome Santos wrote a review Jun 2020
London, United Kingdom5 contributions3 helpful votes
We wanted to visit the Indio-Maiz reserve and be immersed in the jungle with some level of comfort. Guacimo Lodge is definitely the best choice. Guacimo arranged for our transportation from Managua - San Carlos - Granada. We made some enquiries locally, but Guacimo's price and flexibility were really the best option. They picked us up at our hotel in Managua and drove us to San Carlos where we took the "colectivo" boat to El Castillo. Guacimo can only be accessed via boat so the staff can pick you up and drop you off at El Castillo for free (also during the stay). When we left, we asked to be driven from San Carlos to Granada. It was very convenient and time-saving. Our 3-day stay at Guacimo was unforgettable. It's in the middle of the jungle with all the comfort and luxury one can ask for. We stayed at one of the standard bungalow and it is beautiful. It overlooks the river and is surrounded by trees. The balcony is perfect for bird watching at dusk and dawn. We slept so well! We were extremely lucky that we were the only ones in the whole lodge, so had the full attention of the amazing staff. There is a common open living room where we ate and relaxed; there is a stunning swimming pool and there are loads of activities you can book either via the hotel or in El Castillo (this is what we did). The food is really nice, and it is just sublime to eat breakfast and dinner under the stars in the jungle, listening to night creatures and the river. We highly recommend Guacimo!
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Date of stay: September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Caldeluna wrote a review Apr 2020
Berlin, Germany17 contributions11 helpful votes
Guacimo Lodge is far away enough to enjoy the beautiful natural sorroundings of Rio San Juan, but close enough to arrive by boat without much of a hassle from San Carlos. We're picked up from El Castillo and 20 min later we arrived at the beatiful lodge. Even though we organised our booking last minute, Manuel (the owner) and all his staff were very accomodating and super helpful. They can even contact the boat company on your behalf to confirm your seats. Also, I'd suggest purchasing an inexpensive "Claro" sim card if you need to be reachable or send a whatsapp while in Rio San Juan. The internet signal in the area is poor. We really enjoyed our stay here, and we even got an upgrade to the superior cabañas which are filled with small details, very romantic. The "regular" cabañas are more rustic but very charming. You can just relax or walk around the property’s rainforest, take a boat trip down to the Rio Bartola - beautiful scenery amongst the forested river banks with lots of flora and fauna (birds, turtles, cocrodiles). We even had a swim- no crocs in the shallow water :) The lounge area is a lovely place to relax and drink a couple of 'toñas' while watching the sunset. Food was tasty and spicy (we asked for it): river fish and prawns, gazpacho, quinoa salad, lots of fresh fruit etc. Beef isn't part of the menu as livestock ranching is one of the main causes of deforestation in the region. I also liked that local ceramics are used in all meals. Beatiful Jinotega bowls and plates. Overall a really nice experience! Recommended.
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Date of stay: March 2020
Value
Location
Service
Room Tip: All cabañas have a nice view but the older ones are higher up and it's a bit steep in case...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
1 Helpful vote
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Response from María Soler Iglesias, Propietario at Guacimo Lodge
Responded 2 Apr 2020
"Thanks so much for your review and feedback. Hope that you had the chance to unwind, enjoy the nature of the place and recharge for further adventures!. Good luck and hope to see you visit us again in the future!"
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Frances D wrote a review Dec 2019
13 contributions3 helpful votes
+1
We visited Guacimo Lodge intending to stay 2 nights, but changed to 3 as soon as we arrived! It's very isolated in glorious grounds right on the bank of the San Juan river. So quiet and still except for birds and frogs. The staff are very helpful and arranged two excellent tours for us. All our food was prepared to order in the kitchen right next to us and it was excellent. I had some massive "shrimp" (looked like small lobsters!) straight from the river, and fish also. We were met at El Castillo by Jimmy who expertly handles the small motor boat which also took us on tours. We saw lots of wildlife and could watch a huge variety of birds right from our cabin window. Spotlessly clean, and the cabins fully mosquito protected. You may need to know that you get to the cabins up steep slopes, on good stone paths and steps. Also, it is pricey, but when you understand how isolated it is, you can see why. Highly recommended
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Date of stay: December 2019Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Lau74SXB wrote a review Nov 2019
France143 contributions103 helpful votes
A wonderful lodge on the banks of Rio San Juan. Beautiful grounds, superb views, very comfortable and stylish, great food and an amazing team managing it all! We loved everything about our stay, including the broad array of tours and activities to do in the area (colorful - and “culturalful” El Castillo, cacao, bird watching, hike through the property’s rainforest or just unwinding at Rancho Grande as the sun sets by the river...). A place to relax, to experience and to discover. We look forward to our future stay! Thank you to all of you at Guacimo for such a memorable time.
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Date of stay: November 2019Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Response from Cruiser757053, Propietario at Guacimo Lodge
Responded 7 Dec 2019
Thanks so much for your words! They mean a lot to us! It was a pleasure to host you at Guacimo. Your knowledge of Nicaragua, your curiosity about rio San Juan and your passion for cocoa are all contagious! I hope you have the chance to visit again in the future and wish you lots of luck! Hasta pronto, Manuel
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mmwhytravel wrote a review Apr 2019
7 contributions9 helpful votes
My dad and I stayed at Guacimo for 3 nights and loved every minute, from the boat ride down the San Juan to the lovely bungalows in the open air. The service was great- especially Marjory who helped us along the way with all our activities and transportation. There’s a lot of relaxing to do, as well as activities in the jungle, like trekking through the amazing Indio Maíz reserve and kayaking in the smaller rivers. I’d recommend Guacimo to anyone who loves to be in nature in comfort and get away from it all in a unique place. There’s also El Castillo 20 minutes away, which was a huge highlight of the trip, with its fortress views, history, good lunch spots and peaceful streets. There could be a wider selection on the lodge menu and as far as drinks go, but tourism had been at a lull since last year’s uprising so a more limited selection understandable. Overall it was an amazing experience.
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Date of stay: April 2019Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
1 Helpful vote
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Colin O wrote a review Jan 2019
Knutsford, United Kingdom33 contributions53 helpful votes
+1
From the moment I first contacted Manuel the owner of Guacimo we were brilliantly looked after. We chose not to take the public boat from San Carlos and instead took the Guacimo boat, we were met incredibly efficiently at the port, shown around the town, and taken for lunch before embarking on the 2.5hr journey down the river to El Castillo..the lodge is 10 minutes further down the river towards to the reserve. We eventually arrived at the stunningly lit lodge as night fell, it was very dream like and there we were immediately made to feel at home by Manuel and his superb staff. The rooms are perched on the hillside above the restaurant and are absolutely perfect, with fantastic views towards the river. We only spent a couple of days in the area which was enough time to visit the town, the amazing the castle, the reserve which is 10 minutes away and also to chill out by the delightful pool area and listen to the birdsong. From here our plan was travel all the way down the river to Greytown and then up the Caribbean coast via Punta Gorda, Monkey beach (ancient burial site) and onto Bluefields...I was struggling to organise this from the UK because its quite an unusual trip but Manuel once again took it upon himself to help and contact people locally and he organised the whole thing for us...it was a tough-ish journey but one we will always remember. Only regret was not spending more time at the lodge to explore the primary forest that belongs to the property......next time maybe.
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Date of stay: December 2018
Location
Service
Sleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled with family
Room Tip: You can't fail but if you're fit maybe the one at the top.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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PRICE RANGE
US$147 - US$164 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
LOCATION
NicaraguaRio San Juan DepartmentEl Castillo
NUMBER OF ROOMS
6
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Frequently Asked Questions about Guacimo Lodge
Which popular attractions are close to Guacimo Lodge?
Nearby attractions include Reserva Biológica Indio Maíz (3.4 km).
What are some of the property amenities at Guacimo Lodge?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free breakfast, a pool, and an on-site restaurant.
Which room amenities are available at Guacimo Lodge?
Top room amenities include a mosquito net, a view of the mountains, and a seating area.
What food & drink options are available at Guacimo Lodge?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge during their stay.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Guacimo Lodge?
Yes, guests have access to a pool during their stay.
Does Guacimo Lodge have an airport shuttle?
Yes, Guacimo Lodge offers an airport shuttle for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Does Guacimo Lodge have airport transportation?
Yes, Guacimo Lodge offers airport transportation for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Are pets allowed at Guacimo Lodge?
Yes, pets are typically allowed, but it's always best to call ahead to confirm.
Which languages are spoken by the staff at Guacimo Lodge?
The staff speaks multiple languages, including English and Spanish.