14 Top-Rated Resorts in Nicaragua

Written by Carri Wilbanks
Aug 21, 2019

With coastlines on the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea, a giant freshwater lake with islands of its own, and active volcanos amid a jungle landscape, Nicaragua is an active adventure enthusiast's dream holiday destination, filled with resorts catering to this type of traveler. Nicaragua's top hotels also tend to care about the planet, making sustainability part of their platform and operating as eco-friendly properties.

Nicaragua's capital city of Managua has plenty of hotels and resorts for all budgets and types of traveler, from families to couples, mid-range to relatively luxe. It is also home to Nicaragua's main airport. Many people also enter Nicaragua by land via the border with southern neighbor and tourist hub, Costa Rica. The Emerald Coast along the Pacific Ocean begins just north of the border and is home to the popular surf town of San Juan del Sur, where there are a number of boutique resorts and hotels.

From here, it is easy to get to other parts of Nicaragua, including Grenada and Lake Nicaragua for a freshwater lake and cultural experience and some unique ecolodges. Further afield off the Caribbean coast, Little Corn Island is another relaxing beach experience. The area around the active Masaya Volcano is also filled with lodging options and active excursions, from ziplining to horseback riding. Find the best place to stay for all your adventures with our list of the top resorts in Nicaragua.

1. Jicaro Island Lodge Granada

Photo Source: Jicaro Island Lodge Granada

Jicaro Island Lodge on a private islet in the middle of Lake Nicaragua near the colonial city of Grenada is a truly special place. This boutique ecolodge has one-of-a-kind lodging in two-story casitas built into the jungle landscape. They don't have air-conditioning, but screens and fans keep the air moving, and you can fall asleep listening to the sounds of nature outside.

The food at this all-inclusive lodge is very good and focuses on locally sourced produce. There is an infinity pool fronting the lake and a yoga deck right at the edge of the water, and classes are free for guests. There are also stand up paddleboards and kayaks for guests to take out on the lake. If you're traveling with kids, Jicaro welcomes children aged 12 and up.

Address: Granada, Isletas de Granada 100, Nicaragua

Accommodation: Jicaro Island Lodge Granada

2. Morgan's Rock Hacienda and Ecolodge

Photo Source: Morgan's Rock Hacienda and Ecolodge

Whether you are on a romantic holiday or family vacation, Morgan's Rock Hacienda and Ecolodge allows guests to indulge. Set in a private jungle reserve next to a gorgeous, long, sandy beach near San Juan del Sur, this ecolodge features rustic luxe casita lodging. These come with lots of screened-in living space, so you can hear the sounds of the ocean and jungle from your bed. They also have high-tech air-conditioning systems that deliver cold air just over your bed.

Amenities include a swimming pool and an open-air restaurant that serves an included breakfast. There are also options to book full-board. Morgan's Rock can arrange a slew of activities for guests, from horseback riding on the beach to surf lessons.

Address: Playa Ocotal, 12 kilometers north of San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Accommodation: Morgan's Rock Hacienda and Ecolodge

3. Pelican Eyes Resort & Spa

Photo Source: Pelican Eyes Resort & Spa

In the popular surf town of San Juan del Sur, Pelican Eyes Resort & Spa is just two kilometers from the sea. The resort is built into the hillside, so it looks down at the ocean. There are a mix of rooms and villas on offer here. The rooms have rustic luxe decor and tile beds. Some also come with kitchenettes, which is a perk for families traveling with kids. The villas are even larger, with two floors and multiple bedrooms.

There are two restaurant choices and three infinity-edged swimming pools on-site. If you need a massage or facial, there is an on-site spa. All sorts of activities can be arranged, including sailing excursions on the resort's 20-person boat.

Address: De la Parroquia 1 1/2 cuadras al este, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Accommodation: Pelican Eyes Resort & Spa

4. Calala Island

Photo Source: Calala Island

Private Calala Island in the Pearl Cays, which are off the Caribbean coast, is only accessible by boat or helicopter charter. Once you reach this remote 10-acre isle, you'll be treated to a unique barefoot luxe hotel experience. There are just four suites, which can be rented individually, or you can book the entire island for a multigenerational family holiday or a tiny destination wedding.

The property is all-inclusive, and meals can be served either at the house restaurant or on the terrace of your suite. Dinner is a four-course affair here. There are also beach barbecues and other rotating dining events. For activities, you can take out kayaks or SUP boards, go snorkeling, or just read a book relaxing on the white-sand beach. The island is also a hawksbill turtle nesting ground.

Address: Calala Island, Nicaragua

Accommodation: Calala Island

5. Hacienda Puerta del Cielo Ecolodge & Spa

Photo Source: Hacienda Puerta del Cielo Ecolodge & Spa

Couples love the adults-only atmosphere at the Hacienda Puerta Del Cielo Eco Spa on the edge of a crater overlooking the Masaya Volcano with its lagoon and wildlife sanctuary. This all-inclusive resort is super relaxing with accommodation in suites and stand-alone casitas. The latter come with private decks and outdoors showers, and decor in the form of hand-painted murals.

This is a relaxing spot where you can chill in hammocks overlooking the lagoon or indulge in treatments at the luxe spa. If you want a more active experience, however, everything from jungle hikes to zipline tours and volcano rim excursions can be arranged.

Address: Camino de los Bueyes, Nimboja #2, Masaya, Masatepe 42600, Nicaragua

Accommodation: Hacienda Puerta del Cielo Ecolodge & Spa

6. Marina Puesta del Sol

Photo Source: Marina Puesta del Sol

On Nicaragua's northern Pacific coastline, Marina Puesta del Sol is a boutique property that is popular with sport fishing enthusiasts. The resort is set on a full-service marina and there is boat and kayak access to a beautiful lagoon and its many mangrove lined canals. The beach here is also pristine.

Accommodation is in 19 spacious and new suites fronting the water. They are all quite luxe with lots of marble and tile, as well as pillow-top beds and soft linens. Each has a private furnished terrace with Pacific views-and the sunsets here are stunning. Best of all they have hydrotherapy whirlpool tubs in the bathrooms. There is also a restaurant and large swimming pool on-site.

Address: Playa Aposentillo, Aserradores, El Viejo, Aposentillo 26200, Nicaragua

Accommodation: Marina Puesta del Sol

7. Yemaya Island Hideaway

Photo Source: Yemaya Island Hideaway

On the tip of Little Corn Island in the Caribbean Sea, Yemaya Island Hideaway is set on a gorgeous white-sand beach and can only be accessed by boat. This boutique property is the most upscale accommodation on the island and a perfect choice for couples looking for a romantic holiday.

Choose from spacious suites or oceanfront casitas, all with local crafted wood furnishings and stone bathrooms with rain showers. There are also five villas with private plunge pools. Amenities here include daily yoga classes in an open-air studio and a wonderful spa that focuses on reiki and aromatherapy, as well as traditional massage.

There is also a restaurant, and guests can take out kayaks, SUP boards, and snorkel gear for free. The Wi-Fi here is also good, which isn't the case for everything on Little Corn.

Address: Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

Accommodation: Yemaya Island Hideaway

8. Aqua Wellness Resort

Photo Source: Aqua Wellness Resort

Just north of the Costa Rica border, Aqua Wellness Resort is on Nicaragua's Emerald Coast, which has a small airport with regular flights from Liberia in Costa Rica. This boutique ecolodge has a luxe wellness vibe and sits in a pretty tropical forest setting.

Accommodation is in tree houses, which is pretty awesome because you get some stunning Pacific sunset views from way up high in the trees. Building this way is also environmentally friendly. And you'll get to fall asleep listening to the squeals of the howler monkeys that live in the surrounding forest. Tree houses also come with private plunge pools on spacious terraces.

Address: 1 Redonda Bay, Playa Redonda, Nicaragua

Accommodation: Aqua Wellness Resort

9. Gran Pacifica Beach and Golf Resort

Photo Source: Gran Pacifica Beach and Golf Resort

The Spanish-colonial-style Gran Pacifica Beach and Golf Resort is on a pretty stretch of Pacific coast beach less than an hour's drive from Managua. It is a good choice for families, as all accommodation is in one- or two-bedroom beachfront suites with kitchenettes or larger resort homes with full kitchens.

Amenities include a golf course, as well as opportunities for everything from surfing (there are two breaks within feet of the resort) to deep-sea fishing and horseback riding. There is also an infinity-edged swimming pool on-site. For meals, you can cook for yourself or check out their waterfront restaurant serving fresh-caught fish and other seafood.

Address: Villa el Carmen, Managua, Nicaragua

Accommodation: Gran Pacifica Beach and Golf Resort

10. Hotel Victoriano

Photo Source: Hotel Victoriano

In a historic Victorian-style building dating back to 1902, Hotel Victoriano is a charming property in San Juan del Sur. This boutique hotel is located just across the road from the beach and within walking distance of numerous restaurants in the beach town.

Rooms have a unique vibe, with colorful bedspreads, checkered tile floors, and hand-crafted wood furnishings. The best rooms are on the second floor and have ocean views. Amenities include a restaurant and a small swimming pool with sea views.

Address: Paseo del Rey, San Juan del Sur 050-088-4, Nicaragua

Accommodation: Hotel Victoriano

11. Real InterContinental Managua at Metrocentro Mall

Photo Source: Real InterContinental Managua at Metrocentro Mall

Managua's most luxe hotel, the InterContinental Managua at Metrocentro Mall recently underwent a renovation and is located downtown in the heart of the city's business and entertainment district. The rooms and suites are classy and modern, with polished wood headboards and, in some cases, accent ceiling beams.

There are three on-site restaurants, including one doing steak and seafood and another focusing on sushi. There is also a spa and fitness center on-site.

Address: Costado Sur Centro Comercial, Metrocentro Carretera Masaya, Managua, Nicaragua

Accommodation: Real InterContinental Managua at Metrocentro Mall

12. Villas de Palermo Hotel and Resort

Photo Source: Villas de Palermo Hotel and Resort

In San Juan del Sur on Nicaragua's southern Pacific coast, Hotel & Resort Palermo is an upmarket resort set on a hillside overlooking the ocean but not on the beach itself-the main beach is three kilometers away.

Accommodation is in two-bedroom villas that all face the Pacific Ocean and are split-level affairs. Both bedrooms have ocean views, and the upstairs balconies offer great views. There is a full kitchen in each as well, should you wish to cook, making this a great pick if you are traveling with kids.

Amenities include an on-site restaurant, as well as a swimming pool and spa. All sorts of day excursion activities can also be arranged, from ziplining to ATV rentals and horseback riding on the beach at sunset.

Address: Carreterra San Juan del Sur, km 139, San Juan del Sur 48600, Nicaragua

Accommodation: Villas de Palermo Hotel and Resort

13. Hotel Contempo

Photo Source: Hotel Contempo

About a 10-minute drive from downtown Managua and 20 minutes from Managua International Airport, Hotel Contempo is a stylish boutique property with a modern vibe. The rooms here are spacious, and each is uniquely decorated with cool features-wood beam ceilings in one, plush red pillows and a red writing desk and closet in another. Some even come with Jacuzzi tubs.

Amenities include a lovely garden area and an outdoor swimming pool and hot tub. The on-site Azul Restaurant cooks up delicious French fare. There is also a spa should you need a massage or facial.

Address: Carretera a Masaya, Km 11, 400 metros al Oeste, Residencial Las Praderas, Managua 14293, Nicaragua

Accommodation: Hotel Contempo

14. Elements Hotel Boutique

Photo Source: Elements Hotel Boutique

If you need to stay in Managua, Elements Hotel Boutique is just 10 minutes from the city center in a residential neighborhood within walking distance of a number of restaurants. The small hotel is a tranquil spot with contemporary decor throughout-take a look at the beautiful chandelier in the lobby.

Each room here is uniquely decorated and features striking modern art. All are also clean and comfortable. Amenities include a free a la carte breakfast, Wi-Fi, an outdoor swimming pool, restaurant, and a small fitness center.

Address: 32 Calle Sureste, Managua, 14308, Nicaragua

Accommodation: Elements Hotel Boutique

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Exploring Central America: If the idea of seeing more of Central America intrigues you, begin by having a look at some of our guides for inspiration. Always popular is Costa Rica, with its volcanoes, beaches, wildlife, and resorts. Another good option is Panama, with similar features to Costa Rica, but with its own unique character and a lovely historical center in Panama City. Honduras is another great destination in this area. And if you want to expand your reach just a bit, Colombia is another country worth checking out, including the lovely capital city of Cartagena.

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