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We ascended a dirt trail, crossed a foot-long wood bridge, passed s for rooms 8, 9, 10 and then climbed steps carved into a steep ridge. Opening the door to my room unveiled a sweeping, degree panorama of the Pacific Coast with almost no other structure in sight.
Straight below were the hacienda and restaurant and pool where I had checked in; beyond that was a beach that snuggled into a perfect crescent almost a mile around. Fifteen years after revolution and civil war, the now peaceful country is throwing its energy into tourism.
Many Americans assume Nicaragua is still dangerous, yet it is safer than most countries in Latin America. And the scenery is stunning, ranging from rainforests, to impeccably symmetrical volcanoes.
The architecture of two colonial-era cities Granada and Leon rivals better known cities like Antigua. The lodge is owned by the Poncons, a French family that has been in Nicaragua for three decades managing coffee farms and reforestation pro-jects.
They acquired the nearly 4,acre property and began planting 1. The result is dramatic. The 15 rooms feature the best in upscale lodge living, with king beds, quality linens and in-suite bathrooms. A large deck wraps around the structure, with private sun patio, an outdoor shower and a mattress suspended from ropes. Though wrapped by screens open to the breeze, the structures are memorable for their use of renewable hard woods, including eucalyptus, almond and teak, plus hand-cut volcanic stone for retaining walls. All face west, positioned at different elevations above the sea.
The bellow of howler monkeys provides the eerie morning wake-up call, followed by coffee delivered to the room. Activities include kayaking, walking tours, horseback riding, trips to the Masaya volcano, canopy tours and surfing lessons. Clients can even snorkel for lobster with a local fisherman. Although the meals could use improvement most portions were small, selections limited and the entrees hit-and-miss many of the ingredients are sourced fresh on-site, and the stone-and-thatch dining room was a beautiful venue that almost surmounted the culinary liabilities.
Most activities are priced as an additional charge. The lodge is a minute drive north from San Juan del Sur. David Swanson Contributing Writer. Tell Us What You Think!
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