If it were easy, everybody would do it!

The challenges and rewards of reopening Jicaro Island in Nicaragua, among other things…

At Cayuga, we don’t shy away from “difficult”! This is why for almost 20 years, we have been working on perfecting the symbiosis of luxury and sustainability in hospitality in remote places of Central America.

Jicaro Island in Lake Nicaragua. www.jicaroisland.com Check out the floating deck for romantic dinners on the upper left of the picture.

We ran lodges on the Costa Rican Osa Peninsula when there were no bridges to get there.  We opened hotels in Nosara and Santa Teresa long before they were trendy and the celebrities showed up.  We brought luxury hospitality to Uvita and Puerto Viejo when those destinations were barely getting discovered by backpackers.  We put our lodge in Panama’s Golfo de Chiriqui on the map as a luxury getaway when Panama was mostly about the canal and shopping.

Cayuga Map
Location of the eight Cayuga Collection Hotels and Lodges in Costa Rica, Panama, and Nicaragua.

We have also been developing and managing hospitality projects in Nicaragua since the early 2000s.  And yes, promoting Nicaragua as a tourism destination has been one of our biggest challenges without a doubt.  Costa Rica has a strong brand that almost “sells itself”,  but Nicaragua always raises eyebrows. 

“Nicaragua?  Really?  Is it safe there?”  Yes, it is safe to travel there.  Our team just came back from a visit to help reopen Cayuga Collection’s Jicaro Island in Nicaragua.  Everybody was so excited and motivated about the experience and we can assure you that it is a very safe place to visit as a tourist.  It is also an incredible vacation experience.  Right now, Nicaragua is totally off the beaten path.  Besides some backpackers, mostly from Europe, there are very few tourists. Getting there is still a bit of a challenge post-Covid. Mostly due to the fact that only a few international flights are available. But most likely this will change soon.

There are convenient options like a vacation in Florida or at an all-inclusive resort in the Dominican Republic.  However, if you want an experience that will impress your friends and colleagues at the next cocktail party, tell them you just got back from Nicaragua.  “Nicaragua?  Really?  Is it safe there?” Yes, it is safe to travel there. The friendliness of the people and the somewhat raw and very authentic vibe of the country really set it apart from other more mainstream destinations.

Felipe Fernandez, the General Manager of Cayuga’s Centralized Reservations Office during his recent visit to Jicaro Island. The artisanal fishing experience is one of the tours included in the rate!

Jicaro Island used to be a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World before the pandemic.  Unfortunately, Nat Geo discontinued this program when they were bought by Disney in 2020,  but the ethos of the Nat Geo Lodge stayed.  We reopened Jicaro as a Private Island Retreat that can host groups of up to 21 guests in 7 treehouse-style casitas.  The rates are all-inclusive of lodging, meals, and non-alcoholic beverages. Even some tours are included.

If you are looking for a luxury hospitality experience that will make a real difference in the community and support a staff of 17 of which most of them have been part of the Jicaro team for over 10 years, then Jicaro Island is for you. 

The Jicaro Island Team in March 2022. This is the month that we received our first guests after being closed due to Covid for two years.

During Covid, many Nicaraguan tourism professionals went to work for call centers or left the country for tourism opportunities in the United States or Costa Rica.  But our incredible Jicaro team stayed intact.  They love their island and are proud to be spearheading sustainable luxury hospitality in Nicaragua.  Led by our veteran General Manager Howard Coulson, the team of Diamanda, Janeth, Julio, Mario, and Arge are eager to welcome you back.  They will take care of you as if you were part of the family and tailor all activities and adventures according to your interests. 

Many guests that have returned really appreciate seeing familiar faces, like Diamanda, the Food & Beverage Manager of Jicaro Island.

Are you interested in getting off the beaten path?  Have you been dreaming about exploring a new and undiscovered destination?  I will make sure you get the royal treatment and a unique and authentic vacation experience like no other.  E-mail me please:  hans@cayugaonline.com

4 Responses

  1. We loved our trip to Jicaro in pre-Covid 2019! Rarely have we been treated so well by everyone, the food was truly fantastic, the excursions were great, and the place and area are beautiful. We’re delighted to hear that Jicaro has reopened! Yay!
    Bruce and Natalie Tobias

    1. Dear Bruce and Natalie, thanks for taking the time to leave this great comment. We hope you can come back soon. To Jicaro or any of our other Cayuga Collection Hotels and Lodges.

    1. Thank you Arnie and Ellen. We are very thankful for all of your support. Please try to come back as soon as you can. Send me a message to hans@cayugaonline.com to figure out how we can make this happen.

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Hans Pfister

Co-owner & President