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El Castillo, Rio San juan, Nicaragua


Francis J Mansfield, Pensilvania

Everything you could hope for From arrival to departure our stay at Montecristo was excellent. Upon arriving at San Carlos airport Augustin was there and waiting for my wife and me. We loaded our luggage into Agustin's truck and took a short ride to our waiting boat. This was followed by a one hour boat ride down the Rio San Juan to the lodge. During the boat ride Agustin asked us what we would like for lunch, he then phoned ahead so that it was prepared upon our arrival. Our trip to Montecristo was for 4 days with 2 days of tarpon fishing. I only wish we had planned to stay longer. We were at Montecristo from January 23rd until January 26th 2014. The food - If the cook at Montecristo lived in a big city you would be paying top dollar for the meals she served up. Nothing short of excellent. The service - unparalleled, the staff met every one of our needs and wants. Just tell Agustin what you want to do and he will make it happen. The living quarters - Very nice cabins conveniently located around the restaurant and tiki bar. The fishing - My wife and I landed many snook along with a 200lb tarpon caught by my wife. The monkeys - If you have never heard the monkeys in the jungle roar at sunrise, you will be amazed, as we were. Listening to them roar you would think they are 12 feet tall and weigh close to 600lbs, but in reality they are no bigger than a small dog. The bugs - No irritating bugs to speak of. Recommendation - Take a boat trip down to El Collisto. The fort and the history there are awesome. Agustin is a very colorful individual. Spend some time talking with him and you will leave Montecristo with a better understanding of Nicaragua. We will definitely make a return trip.

mofishmo Medford, Oregón

Fishing & Exploring The Mighty Rio San Juan's Monte Cristo Lodge I visited the Monte Cristo Lodge with good friends in Feb 2014...I am professional Fly Fishing Guide & Outfitter,who is on the water over 300 day/year on 5 different continents & 30 Island world wide...The owner Augustin was a gracious host and the lodge offers World Class Fishing for fresh water Tarpon(to 150 pounds) and fresh water Snook(to 30 pounds) as well as fresh water Bull Sharks....This is one of the few lodges in the world that this can be done...The Monte Cristo Lodge is rustic/clean/ beautiful and blends well with the beautiful Tropical Forest that surrounds it..The staff there is very professional and the food served is Outstanding...The lodge has many activities, from horseback riding to kayaking as well as amazing jungle hikes & exploring the history of the Rio San Juan and the villages along the river(My favorite was the boat trip from San Carlos to the lodge & the Historic river community of El Castillo) This is a place you can leave your troubles & striffes behind and become one with nature....I would recommend Augustin and his Monte Cristo Lodge to anyone who loves and wants to be one with Nature & all her Glory...This is an amazing place and if you are in Nicaragua or are looking to go there, this lodge is certainly one to visit for a true Nicaraguan Jungle/fishing experience....I plan a return trip in Feb of 2015 to Fish & Explore more of this wonderful Lodge !!

Trude57 Gili Trawangan, Indonesia

Fishing! Birds! Jungle and more!! Spent 5 nights with Augustin and family and had a grand time. We fished for snook with David and caught 4 between 8 and 11 lbs! Large tarpon were all around but mating season was on and they were not interested in our lures! Gladys cooked them up for us in a variety of tasty dishes. We had cabin #2 overlooking the river. We could watch the tarpon roll, river life go by and enjoy many species of birds from our porch that enjoyed a nice breeze. The cabin was very comfortable with good screens, a fan and 24 hour electricity. The shower was cool water only but the norm here, refreshing not cold! The river current is strong but if you are a good swimmer you can cool off and get some good exercise swimming against the current. It has a good pebble bottom. Augustin is a great character with lots of interesting stories and insights into the area and local life. The property is large and there are a few hiking trails through the jungle with howlers and lots of birds. Augustin likes his plants and there are small orchards and gardens around the place. The birds love it! He and his staff looked after us very well. Helping to coordinate another tour with Julio, a local guide to Boca Negra, as well as taking us to El Castillo for the afternoon. Some reviews have pointed out that some of the cabins are closed and that Augustin seemed overwhelmed, and complained that there was no one there. We found it wonderful to be there alone. Augustin also explained that he was trying to scale back as it had become difficult and expensive to keep all the cabins up when there were fewer guests. To each his own... Yes it is a beautiful, somewhat rustic river lodge and you should go if it sounds like your kind of thing. A little challenging to get there but worth it to us! It is the beginning of rainy season but it cools the place down. Bring DEET for you hikes! BYOB and beer. Call ahead so they can be prepared for your visit.

Marcus Y, San Jose California

Great fishing in the middle of nowhere, the jungle of Nicaragua If you want 3+ star accommodations and ocean fishing, then go elsewhere because this is for the hardcore fishermen! I had a great time in what people would say is in the middle of nowhere, the middle of the jungle with little pollution or people. For me, I was the only guest there having the entire place to myself including fishing the river. I rarely saw any foreigners or any sport fishermen other than subsistence fishermen with nets or hand line fishermen. I have a review of this place on my website: http://solvingforzero.com/?p=4158

Martin Cooper. Neptune Beach, Florida

Best Eco-lodge in Nicaragua My fishing buddy Bill and I recently spent a week at Montecristo River Lodge. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay. As the previous reviewer (who we met during our stay) so elequently stated, this place is awesome. Our main objective was fishing, I'm a birder as well, and we were not disappointed. Agustin Llanes (the owner), and his staff bent over backwards to accomodate our every wish, be it fishing, kayaking, or horseback riding. The kitchen staff also worked their schedule around ours. Several mornings we went snook fishing at 5:30 AM, so the coffee was ready early and sandwiches and cold drinks iced in a cooler for us.They would have had breakfast early had we wanted it. Regarding the food, I've never had better. Honestly, I told my wife that the food was better than any restaurant here in Northeast Florida, and it is. Gladys, Agustin's wife, is an amazing cook (best blackened snook ever). Regarding the area, I loved waking up every morning to the calls of the paraques all around and howler monkeys in the jungle. If you are a birder, you will not be dissapointed. There are trogons, flycatchers, oropendelas, hummers, etc... all over the grounds. Most of my birding was done from our front porch (overlooking the river), but I also saw King Vultures, Bat Falcons, and Sungrebes from the boat while fishing on the river (just to name a few). We caught some really nice snook, which were cleaned and cooked for us (we had guapote also which was delicious as well). Regarding the price, $75.00 a day, and that included horseback riding, kayaking, canoeing, and all meals and drinks (the fresh fruit juices are great). That's quite a bargain in my opinion. This stay was without a doubt, the best part of our Nicaragua vacation.

Matt Lewallen. Kenai River Drifters Lodge

We recently organized a fishing trip to visit the monte cristo for some tarpon fishing fun. It is very remote but the owner made it feel like home. He was there waiting for us in the dark at the boat ramp when we arrived to make sure we made it safely to his place in the dark. The fishing was world class and the guides very nice. Alfonso personally took us out a couple of days which was very nice. The food is amazing and they cook you 3 meals a day. Some of our party had a flat tire and left one of the tires behind. When they found out the rental car company was going to charge them 1500 dollars, alfonso had one of his staff deliver it for them back to Managua which by the way is 6 hours away. Overall very nice place and I look foward to a return adventure. Thank you Alfonso for everything it is appreciated!