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Adults-only eco retreat with pampering spa services, tropical decor and views of Masaya Lagoon and Masaya Volcano
Opened in 2010, the boutique eco-resort of Hacienda Puerta del Cielo is perched on the rim of a crater overlooking the Masaya Volcano, lagoon and wildlife sanctuary. The renowned artisan towns of Masaya and Catarina are close by, but sumptuous spa services, volcano views at every turn and an adults-only policy make it easy to enjoy as much or as little of these local treasures as you like. Open-air common areas have pitched roofs and stone floors, and the multilevel layout (the owner is an architect) means views from the low-slung hammocks capture Masaya Lagoon, the active Masaya Volcano and the lush tropical forest.
Bed & Bath
Suites are light-filled spaces splashed in tropical colors, but the five stand-alone Casitas are well worth the splurge for their private decks, outdoor showers and views across the National Park. Hand-painted murals by local artists brighten the dark-wood fixtures and stone floors of the Casitas.
While meals at some remote resorts can get monotonous, the talented chef at Hacienda Puerta del Cielo keeps the menu varied with local and international dishes; the nacatamales — a Nicaraguan twist on the tamale filled with pork, potatoes, rice, prunes and spices — at breakfast are not to be missed. Despite its secluded location, the resort offers a full roster of tours (led by local bilingual guides), from hikes and zipline tours through the jungles of the Mombacho Cloud Forest to shopping excursions in local villages to drives up to the rim of the active Masaya Volcano itself. When the day’s adventures are done, the peace and quiet of the resort, plus its lazy river–style pool and remarkably affordable spa treatments, welcome you home to your own little slice of Nicaragua.
In the Area
Peer into the very active Masaya Volcano (about 30 minutes away), which locals refer to as “the mouth of hell.” A daytrip to Mombacho Cloud Forest (about 45 minutes away) is ideally capped off with a zipline ride over the jungle for a bird’s-eye view of the vast sea of green below, or take in the gorgeous Spanish architecture preserved in the city of Granada during a horse-drawn carriage ride through the colonial center of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.