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All reviews open air on stilts howler monkeys public boat the river rio san juan the owner watch the birds rubber boots unique experience boca negra cold water fantastic location an upgrade staff are very friendly and helpful jungle tour no frills
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Reviewed 15 August 2016 via mobile

Summary: I am a birdwatcher and discovered this lodge when I did a search for Nicaragua bird lodges online. I liked the idea of staying in a cabin by the river and having access to a private nature reserve. We stayed there for six nights and really enjoyed our stay. There is some room for improvement at the lodge, and it is overpriced, but I would stay there again.

Pros: The cabins are right on or near the river, so you can sit on your balcony and watch the river. Cabins have private bathrooms and electricity. We loved the communal veranda, the lounge with books and games, and the fact that everything is open-air. The grounds have a lot of nice birds and other wildlife. They have a bird list and eBird hotspot. Town is nearby but not too close. The staff is bilingual, friendly, and good at their job. The lodge has a fully stocked bar and cold beer. The food is tasty.

Cons: The bigger cabins are high up and some have sitting rooms that are open on the side facing the river. The minimalist guardrail would not have prevented a small child (or even potentially an adult) from falling onto the rocky beach below. And rolling objects may wind up in the river. There are no outlets in the rooms. The menu does not vary from day to day, and meals cost 4x what they do in the village for pretty much the same food. The minimal furniture made it hard to stow anything. One more table, a dresser, or solid shelves instead of sticks would fix that. The trails need some work, such as installation of small bridges where they cross a creek.

Neutral: rooms have cold water only. That didn't bother us because it was so hot and humid there and we were glad to take cold showers. I think bird feeders would be awesome. We saw part of an old hummingbird feeder but no feeders that were stocked. Maybe there's a good reason for this? Mosquito nets were a nice touch, but we actually had almost no mosquitos around the lodge even though it was the rainy season. There were bats in our room, which I think is awesome but a chiroptophobe might not be keen on. Those folks should just stay at home. No internet access anywhere nearby. Cell service is excellent, but data roaming is bloody expensive. That made it hard to adjust our plans on the fly or communicate with loved ones, but I enjoyed the break from email.

Stayed: August 2016, travelled with family
3  Thank Amber C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rafael C, Propietario at Sabalos Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 10 January 2017

Dear Amber.
We are happy you found a great place to connect with the environment. We are the truly destination for birdwatcher. Our adventure cabins are designed as a Tarzan style, open rustic and wild. Unique experience.
We have other cabins adapted for children when they are secured from the River.
Our food is the best we can get around, almost all meat came from the Capital, except for the fish that is fresh and supplied by local fisherman from San Carlos. The condition of no electricity connection to the town push us to do our best possible in the wild conditions of the jungle.
For sure we will see you again in your next visit to Central America.
Regards
Rafael

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 August 2016 via mobile

We spent 2 nights in this lodge. The cabanas and their view are incredible (make sure you have a river front balcony). The place is tidy and decorated with taste. Shame that the managing and the personal aren't anything more than efficient. They hooked us up with costly, short and not very authentic walk in Indio Mais reserve. We suspect the cozyness and the soul of the lodge has left with the missing founder.

Stayed: July 2016, travelled as a couple
2  Thank gfleurot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rafael C, Propietario at Sabalos Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 23 September 2016

Dear visitor.
Thanks for your opinion, it’s important for us.
Personally I talked with the workers at the lodge.
About the tours, all tours we offered are develop by the communitarian, they are microbusiness than receive benefit for their work. The Indio Maiz reserve became very muddy and the animals hide when they hear the noise.

Because of that, we communicate with one of the local guides and ask to develop a tour in a new area with abundant flora and fauna that we hope will provide better experience to visitors.
The new tour is called Boca Negra and tourists who have visited have returned very satisfied.

I really appreciate your comment because allowed us to improve our service.
Thanks.
Rafael ChoiseulPraslin
Co-owner

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Reviewed 12 August 2016

Fantastic base to go up river to see the most fabulous wildlife. We went with Eliecer from Jacamar and he was super (in Spanish). Lovely funny guy who knew where to look for animals. We paddled under a tree and sat below a group of howler monkeys and it was amazing. At the lodge, Ronny and Ilias were brilliant, sorting out our onward transport, getting up extra early to take us to the ferry and make us breakfast. They even taught us the Rules of Uno. Great guys, thanks.

Stayed: August 2016, travelled with family
Thank leaderrjaj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 August 2016 via mobile

We stayed here for two night and really loved it. The lodge is very clean and pretty. At night we heard many sounds from the animals inside of the jungle which was very exciting!

Inside of the lodge is not so much to do. You can relax in a hammock or do a tour.

The staff was super nice and ready to help with anything. If you want to do a day tour, do not do a Indio Maiz daytour from Meredith! It costs $110 for two but the tourguide was so unexperienced. She saw rarely any animals and was even a little scared herself.

Stayed: August 2016, travelled as a couple
2  Thank Marielle_k89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 July 2016 via mobile

We stayed 2 nights in this lodge. Bungalows are great, real jungle-feel, no windows, just a roof and mosquito net to cover your bed. Staff is very friendly and helpful, they provide great meals and do their best to make you feel comfortable and at home. Enjoyed a fantastic tour through the jungle and to El Castillo. Surely 100% worth the effort to get there (2 hours by public boat, an adventure on its own) and a great place to return one day.

Stayed: July 2016, travelled as a couple
1  Thank male_020
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rafael C, Propietario at Sabalos Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 8 July 2016

Dear male_020.

Thanks for visit us. I'm glad you enjoy your stay with Us.

Regards
Rafael

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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