Frequently Asked Questions

 If you can’t find the answer to your question on this list please send us an note at

Before your arrival to Nicaragua:
  • Both US Dollars and Nicaragua Cordobas are accepted at most businesses as are credit cards (except in some restaurants and small shops). If you pay in USD, you will receive change in Cordobas at the current exchange rate.

  • If you plan to use USD, make sure they are clean and free of markings, tears, folds, etc. Nicaraguan businesses are picky about what they accept and prefer new bills.

  • ATMs can be found at several banks in Granada though we suggest bringing an amount of cash you are comfortable carrying in case you can’t make it to an ATM.

  • Exchanging money is easily done at one of Granada’s money changers; your hotel can assist you with this.

Entrance into Nicaragua
  • Please check with your countries of origin and transit as to the rules and regulations of entering Nicaragua. Do you need a visa and/or proof of vaccinations? Does your passport expire in fewer than 6 months from your date of departure? If so, you may be denied entry.

  • There is a fee of US $10 for tourists payable at Passport Control when entering the country. You will receive a stamped paper that should stay in your passport until after you’ve left the country.

Packing Recommendations

Keep it simple, travel light, and stay cool. More tips here:


Solo Travellers

Nicaragua is generally a safe place for solo travellers and there are lots of opportunities to meet fellow travellers including on Isleta El Espino. Though we are a small island there are often like-minded travellers staying at the same time and because it’s small it’s easy to strike up a conversation. The staff will make you feel as if you are part of the island family and make sure you are well taken care of. Here is an article written by a solo traveller who recently stayed with us

Reservations Policies
  • MasterCard, Visa, American Express, and Discover are accepted for payment.

  • Any room reservation balances are due in full upon check-in.

  • A 15% IVA and 2% INTUR tax are added to the room rate (for a total of 17%) and collected with the deposit or upon check-in.

  • Guests departing early will be charged the entire balance of the original reservation.

  • Any credit vouchers issued for cancellations not transferable.

  • We encourage you to purchase travel insurance.

  • Any damages to the rooms or any property of El Espino, S.A. will be promptly assessed and charged to the credit card of record at the discretion of the management.


Transportation (car and boat)

  • You can view rates and reserve ground transportation for your arrival and departure here:

  • The drive from the Managua airport to Granada/Marina Cocibolca, where our boat docks, takes about 1 - 1.5 hours.

  • There is no regular boat schedule, just let us know what time to expect you for your check-in (only necessary if we are not handling your ground transportation).

  • When coming to the island from Granada, it’s best to get a taxi to Marina Cocibolca which is a 10 minute drive (map and directions:

  • Check-ins arriving after 5 PM are required to make special arrangements by contacting us two days in advance.

  • Boat service between Marina Cocibolca and Isleta El Espino takes about 10 minutes and is included in your reservation for check-in and check-out (between 7:00 AM-8:00 PM).  Additional boat service during your stay will be charged at a rate of US $5 per one-way trip. Boat service before 7:00 AM and after 8:00 PM will incur a US $20 boat charge. Any boat charges will be added to your bill.

  • If you plan to bring your own car, you can park overnight for about US $4 in a secure, guarded parking lot at the marina. The fee is payable directly to the parking attendant.

Before you check-in:

Check-in time is 2:00 PM and check-out time is 11:00 AM.  With advance notice, we can pick you up at Marina Cocibolca as early as noon so that you can have lunch and enjoy the pool while we ready your room.



No smoking or vaping is allowed anywhere at anytime on hotel property or in the boat. If you smoke on the property you will be charged a minimum of US $250.00, if you smoke in your room you will be charged US $500.00 for deep cleaning and bedding replacement.



Pets are not allowed on the island at any time.  Service animals must have official paperwork submitted at the time of the reservation.



Children 14 and over are welcome anytime.  If you are travelling with children under 14, it is necessary to book the whole island (5 rooms). A waiver will need to be signed for guests with children under 14 years old.


Room Comfort

  • Each room has a ceiling fan, there is no air conditioning since we are an eco-lodge and produce our own solar power.

  • There are numerous screened windows that can be opened to get a breeze in your room. It’s best to keep the doors closed in the evenings to keep the bugs out.


Services (Wifi, Laundry, Spa, Tours)

  • We offer free wifi to all guests.

  • If you need laundry done during your stay we can take it into Granda and you’ll have it back in 24 hours.

  • We offer a variety of spa services that can be done on your deck or in the massage ranchito.  Here is a menu of our services:

  • Want to do a tour during your stay with us or your time in Nicaragua?


  • The voltage (110V) and plugs are the same as in the US, Canada, and throughout Latin America; guests from other countries should check if a converter is needed.

  • Please leave your hair dryers, curling irons and hair straighteners at home. Electricity in Nicaragua can be unreliable and the eco-lodge is run on solar power and may not be able to adequately power your heat-producing appliances.

Food & Beverages

  • We have a full bar with a full-time bartender who will happily quench your thirst with a selection of cocktails, wine, beer, smoothies, and non-alcoholic drinks.

  • There is a corkage fee of US $10 for a bottle of wine and US $1 for a bottle of beer if you BYOB but please be aware that we do not store guest’s food or drinks in our refrigerator.

  • We have a restaurant with a full-time chef who can work with most dietary restrictions and preferences. Please let us know in advance if you have requests.

  • The only time that guests have access to the kitchen is if you are participating in a pre-scheduled cooking demonstration.

  • Can’t stay with us? Come for dinner:


We provide filtered water for guests, please bring a refillable water bottle for your travels.

  • Filtered water is provided in bottles in the room and can be refilled anytime.

  • Water in the sink and showers is carefully filtered but because we do not test the water daily we do not recommend drinking it straight from the tap.

  • All water used in the kitchen is carefully filtered to keep your food safe.


This is a tropical island, so there are geckos and bugs that fly and crawl.  We do our best to keep them under control but nature does what it wants.  Bring and use bug spray if you need it. Let us know if something is bugging you and we will try to remedy the situation.



Many of our staff members speak English. If you speak even a little Spanish the staff is always happy to practice with you.  Someone who speaks English is always available either in person or just a phone call away.



  • It is customary to tip 10% on food and beverage for good service in Nicaragua. Tips at Isleta El Espino are distributed to all staff, even those that you might not interact with while staying with us, since every team member contributes to a successful visit. It isn’t necessary to leave a tip at every meal, if you decide to leave a cash tip for the staff to share, it’s best to give it to a manager at the end of your stay and they will take care of the rest.

  • If you would like to tip your masseuse, driver, yoga instructor or tour guide please do so directly as they are outside service providers and not direct employees of Isleta El Espino.


Though many guests come to stay on the island for a peaceful experience, there is no shortage of fun activities to keep you busy and we are happy to make suggestions and arrangements. Please see the current offerings on our activities page can book in advance of your arrival or after you check-in. We always have complimentary kayaks available for lodge guests to use. 

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