Morgan’s Rock Did you know that the Panama Canal was originally going to be built in Nicaragua? Supporters argued that building a water route through a country that offered an optimal canal terrain, composed of abundant bodies of water and flatter lands, was a better alternative. In the early nineteen hundreds, plans where drawn for building a canal that would cross from the Rio San Juan into Lake Nicaragua and cut across the strip of land between San Juan del Sur and Rivas, the latter being the area where Morgan’s Rock Hacienda and Ecolodge is located today. The plans were actually completed and approved by the American Congress. However, the canal never became a reality due to political and economic interests that favored a route through Panama.
An Alabama senator by the name of John Tyler Morgan (1824-1907), often referred to as the “champion” of the Nicaraguan route, believed that building a canal in Nicaragua would create a more efficient transportation route than in Panama. Larger business interests tipped the scale towards the Panamanian route. Despite Senator Morgan’s tireless efforts supporting a Nicaraguan waterway, fierce lobbyists defending the Panama Canal won this controversial debate. To commemorate “the canal that never was” Morgan’s Rock Hacienda and Ecolodge was named after Senator Morgan. Nicaragua would have had a completely different history if the canal that never was would have been.
Side note: Some guests think that the name “Morgan’s Rock” refers to the infamous Caribbean pirate, Captain Morgan. While the lodge is not named after him, it is interesting to note that Captain Morgan actually sailed up Rio San Juan in 1665 and occupied the colonial city of Granada, only located one hour away from the hacienda.
Morgan’s Rock’s owners visualized the idea of playing with time and working with nature. The lodge’s concept and operation reflects this whimsical feeling. Playing with time invites you to shift into reverse and drive away from the modern day hassles of itineraries, meetings, cellular phones and agendas while resetting your biological clock to countless sunrises and sunsets. At Morgan’s Rock, taking life on the tranquilo lane won’t be a problem at all.
On the other hand, we invite you to play with time from a historical perspective, allowing you to learn about the rich history of Nicaragua, in particular the area surrounding the lodge. From the highest point of the hacienda, you can see the once proposed canal route that would have connected Lake Nicaragua to the Pacific Ocean. Take a historical tour back to the 19th century and learn why the Nicaraguan canal was instead built in Panama.
When do you really get to work with nature? We do at Morgan’s Rock, and the generous and exuberant nature, very green during the rainy season and beat down by the sun and wind during the dry season, generously embraces you. The lodge was carefully built to minimally impact the surrounding nature, creating a unique architectural blend of tropical comfort, where a tree may be growing inside your bungalow, while showering in the privacy of your own deck will uplift your sense of pleasure and well-being. Our bungalows let you feel typical the tropical dry forest winds, while strong heats can be cooled off in our infinity pool. The lodge’s lighting was carefully designed to not disturb or distract the giant sea turtle’s orientation system that comes to nest on our beach.
Working with nature also refers to the fact that the lodge is part of a model eco-and-agro tourism project. Working to protect nature through the private nature reserve and saving sea turtle’s eggs laid on the private beach are important activities that guests at Morgan’s Rock will become involved with. Planting over 1.5 million local hardwood trees (some for flora-and-fauna enrichment and some for tree-farming purposes) guarantees the survival and reintroduction of native animal species as well as a certified supply of precious wood used for furniture, boats or houses. Our working with nature will ensure that other trees, found in surrounding ecosystems, remain untouched.