Your own private island? Yes Please! I spent my 27th birthday in Nicaragua at an off-the-grid ECO LODGE on the tiny island of El Espino. Where monkeys and mango trees are your friends and life is simple and sweet. This private island on Lake Nicargua is quiet and beautiful and overlooks the dormant Mambucho Volcano. It’s a very special place and I feel lucky to have been able to experience it right when it opened. It won’t be a secret for long because in January, Conde Nast Traveller UK named it one of the best private islands in the world. One of my favorite things was taking a chocolate making class with the two ladies that prepare all of the food on the island.
We left the Tribal Hotel in the charming colonial town of Granada – and took a quick 10-minute private boat across Lake Nicaragua to Isleta El Espino. When we arrived the small staff greeted us with cocktails and fresh facecloths.
There are only three bedrooms on this tiny island and two of them are in a treehouse (I do love a treehouse). The rooms are simple and comfy and truly get you back to nature. This off the grid lodge has a swimming pool, yoga platform and cozy bar and restaurant. Exotic birds, monkeys and warm breezes are your constant companions and the power is courtesy of the sun.
Mornings start with yoga on the deck to a soundtrack of singing of birds and days are filled with relaxing by the pool and watching the local fisherman bring home their catch. The end of the day brings beautiful sunsets, made even better with a fresh cocktail in hand.
Local ingredients are brought in everyday by boat and everything from the tortillas to the ginger beer is homemade. While we were the only guests staying on the island, we were joined by visitors who arrived for a romantic dinner each evening.
Owners, brother-and-sister team Andrew and Kristin Werner’s aim was to create a sustainable but also gorgeous eco-lodge out in the middle of Lake Nicaragua. The island retreat opened in 2015 and is environmentally sound with electricity from solar panels and filtered water straight from the lake. When the Werner’s bought the island in 2014, the only inhabitants were a 100-year-old man and his son who had lived on the island for many years, fishing for their food and living the simple life. They’re still living on the back of the island today and in a newly renovated home :).
Doubles from $95 per night or $300 for the whole island.