Morgan’s Rock really rocks. The Ecolodge is set on one of Nicaragua’s most gobsmackingly gorgeous and deserted, private beaches….a bay of sugar-fine sand and gently lapping Pacific waves. Gallop along the mile-long stretch of beach on horseback – “giddy up Pirata” – or saunter along it to watch sea turtles laying their eggs. The Ecolodge itself comprises 15 wood and thatched bungalows – so eco they’re enough to make anyone weep recycled tears of joy – with simple local furnishings, almond tree floors and the grooviest of upcycled copper taps and shower fittings. There’s no air-conditioning – just the freshest of sea breezes, plus fans and views to beat those in Adam and Eve’s back yard.
The whole place is set in an 4500-acre private estate of mahogany forests, mango trees and bamboo – chokka with everything from howler monkeys to possums and herons. Plus there’s an awesome – and vertigo-inducing – walnut and nispero wood suspension bridge over a gorge, connecting the villas to the reception, restaurant and bar area.
The staff come wreathed with smiles and are super-attentive. The food is fresh, organic and local – with ceviche so good you’ll probably think about smuggling it home. There are enough activities on offer to make a guidebook creak – including deep-sea fishing, exploring the estate on two wheels, a kayaking trip down the mangrove estuary for tropical bird-spotting, and a jungle tour by torchlight. (In the last, you get to spy mud crabs, tarantulas and skunks under a star-spangled sky).
Morgan Rock’s French owners also have a hacienda on the estate with a reforestation project – they plant fruit trees to hardwoods – and an organic dairy and shrimp farm. Visit the dairy farm for a spot of agro-tourism and to re-confirm that milk doesn’t come from cartons – you get up at crack of dawn to milk the cows yourself, pick out the brownest eggs from under the butts of free range chicken, and then feast on your pickings for breakfast alongside authentic rice and refried beans with tortilla that you’ve been shown how to make yourself. Or simply lie in your hammock watching the sunset, knowing that your holiday spend is helping sponsor six local schools. Barefoot luxury at its best.
Journey Latin America specialise in tailor-made holidays to Central & South America, including Nicaragua. A 7 night stay in Morgan’s Rock Hacienda costs from £1,944 per person based on two people sharing, including transfers and international flights with United Airlines (who offer three daily non-stop services from London Heathrow to its hub at Houston/George Bush Intercontinental Airport, with onward connections to Managua, Nicaragua, and over 300 other destinations across the Americas).
Tel – +44 (0) 208 600 1881
Caroline Phillips is an award-winning freelance journalist who contributes to publications from Sunday and daily newspapers to glossy magazines and various luxury websites. To see more of her work, go to www.carolinephillips.net.