Aqua Wellness Resort
What We Love
- Private and empty horseshoe-shaped beach
- Yoga and more taught by qualified instructors
- Treehouse-style accommodations, some with decks and private plunge pools
- Healthy meals made from locally-produced ingredients
- Community outreach programs give guests the chance to help locals
- Plenty of outdoor eco-activities
- Treehouses are high up on a hill, and some have beach views
- READ MORE: Find Your Perfect Nicaragua Vacation
What To Know
- Members are required to contact the resort directly and provide contact and flight information so they can coordinate the pickup and adjust for flight delays
- Guests renting a car at the airport should avoid driving at night unless they’re familiar with the area
- Low-key resort with few bells and whistles
- Steep uphill hike from the beach to your treehouse
- More suited to young travelers than families with kids
- A 10 percent service charge per night will be collected at the property upon checkout
- Free WiFi
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
Just south of the tiny fishing village of Gigante in the Tola district of Nicaragua (within 30 miles of the Costa Rica border and about a mile from world class surfing spots Manzanillo and Colorado) lies the Aqua Nicaragua Yoga Wellness Retreat & Resort. Twenty-four eco-friendly treehouses dot the verdant jungle hillside of ginger, banana trees and bamboo, connected by lava stone pathways and wooden bridges. It’s the type of escape where yoga and meditation sessions kick off the day and are followed by a treatment or two at the swank spa, with the Pacific Ocean providing the perfect soothing soundtrack to complete the Zen ambience.
Bed and Bath
Set on stilts overlooking the empty beach below, the 24 treehouses are constructed with nature in mind. Think cathedral ceilings with exposed rafters, hardwood floors, natural stone surfaces, teak rainfall showers and indoor/outdoor living spaces. The low-slung platform beds are wrapped in white linens, and violet throw pillows add a pop of color; it’s worth upgrading to a Luxury Suite for a fully equipped kitchen, outdoor Balinese shower and private plunge pool.
The emphasis here is on health and wellness. Book a yoga class (the morning class fronting the Pacific Ocean is free), go for a hike, surf, snorkel or fish. When hunger strikes, the open-air Bromelia restaurant serves a mix of Nicaraguan and American food and takes pride in using products from local farmers and ranchers. The chefs get their produce from a nearby organic farm and the catch of the day from a neighboring fishing village; the menu changes regularly, depending on the bounty of the hotel’s herb garden. After dinner, head to the beach bar for a stiff nightcap with friends and family.
In the Area
In the summer, fishing for mahi mahi, red snapper, rooster fish and mackerel is excellent in this region of Nicaragua. The resort organizes tours to nearby Ometepe Island, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The island consists of two dramatic volcanic craters rising out of vast Lake Nicaragua, the largest body of freshwater in the country. And if you’re looking to catch a wave, the isolated beach on which the resort sits is a great place to learn; you can simply book surfing lessons with Aqua’s instructors.
How to Get There
I went here for a yoga retreat. The resort is gorgeous, the ocean views are amazing. The cons are that there is A LOT of steps and walking... especially up hill. When we first arrived there was a lot of bees in the room and they upgraded us to an amazing huge room which was very nice. The staff seemed to be a little too laxed. We were the only ones in the resort and they weren’t really big on customer service. The cleaning service would come at 12-1. There are no phones in the room to call reception so you have to walk.. which is far. When you get to the beach they don’t set up the chairs or even have enough towels. There is a bar on the beach.. but they don’t come over to take your order you have to go up to the bar. The yoga bungalow was very far.. but very beautiful. The spa was awful.. weak massages. But the jungle/treehouse overall experience was wonderful. The rooms are all wood which is gorgeous, beds were comfy. It’s like you are living in a legit tree house. The food was great but SLOWWWWWW! The staff could have been better.. and be prepared to walk. Lots of bugs and monkeys on the property because it’s all outdoors. But really stunning place.
The resort itself was okay. The views were nice but christ were their lots and lots of insects. Be aware there will be many insects around, unfortunately sometimes in your actual room. When you walk from your room to the restaurant or the beach, keep an eye out for the huge spiders and grass hoppers in the way. Occasionally, I had to knock down the webs when I left my room. The private beach was nice however taking that trip back up those stairs will be challenge for anyone. I am in my 20's, in decent shape and I had to take a break half way. Unfortunately, when we went out to eat at the resort there was ALWAYS flies, so please be aware of not enjoying meals. It got to the point where we just ordered the food and had them deliver it to our room. The food however was delicious. The people at the resort were super friendly and approachable. They speak both Spanish and English.
Make sure to request to clean out the room before you get there. I had to clear the room when I got inside (insects on the wall). My 3rd day there, I got stung by a scorpion. It was in my shoe. The front desk's response was, it happens sometimes, but nothing over in this area is poisonous. He then gave me pain medicine.
Everywhere from the resort is far. I am talking at least an hour. You have to either rent a car or request a taxi. Taxi will run you $80 (US) round trip.
Website claims to offer Yoga, nobody ever discussed that with me. They claim to offer certain types of food in the book in the room, but some weren't available (Pizza). Why would you display the food if its not available?? In addition to everything, be prepared to hear Monkeys howl early in the AM on your first day then randomly throughout the day.
Look, if your into the nature, this is the trip for you. Other than that, I would stay away. GET BUG SPRAY!!!
ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS! This place is out of this world, the rain forest, the beach, the staff and the food were just incredible! Our room was beautiful, small and simple with everything we needed for tree house living. My only regret is I wish we stayed longer!