Morgan´s Rock check in and check out times
Check in time begins at 2:00 pm. If you should arrive earlier at Morgan’s Rock, we will do everything possible to have your bungalow ready. However, if you should have to wait for your bungalow to be ready don’t waste any time! Go ahead and take a refreshing swim in “our pool with a view” or enjoy one of our many fascinating tours. The ecolodge’s check out time is 12:00 pm. If you would like to leave later in the day, please consult the front desk to make appropriate arrangements.Does it make sense to rent a car in Nicaragua and is it safe?
While renting a car in Nicaragua can be called a challenging adventure in driving and mapping skills, it is certainly an option. The main roads are generally in good conditions, but smaller roads are in poor conditions and there is virtually no signage. If you have already driven in Latin America, then finding cows or horses crossing the streets should bring back good memories. Street vendors or people walking on the sides of the roads are also very common.
Can everything be paid in US dollars or do I need local currency?
Nicaragua’s currency is called the Cordoba. One US dollar is approximately 25 Nicaraguan Cordobas. However, while you are staying at Morgan’s Rock cash will not be necessary. All your expenses can be charged to your room and when you check out, we will accept US dollars, Cordobas or all major credit cards.
If you plan on doing excursions to nearby sites like Granada, los Pueblos Blancos or Masaya Volcano, carrying one, five and ten US dollar bills would definitely be recommended as well as some local currency. Most businesses and restaurants accept US dollars. Euros and other currencies are not commonly accepted in Nicaragua. We will gladly exchange your US dollars for Cordobas at the ecolodge.
What is the bungalow like?
The bungalows are very spacious with no walls inside that allows a very comfortable stay.. All fifteen bungalows face west, letting you revere dramatic sunsets disappear into the Pacific Ocean. The surrounding forest adds indispensable privacy and peace to each unit. While they have been soundly designed to offer shelter from rain, sun or wind, each bungalow breathes nature. Some may have a tree growing out through the roof but all enjoy an indoor beach garden hosting your own private outdoor shower. The architect has carefully used mainly local materials and the wooden furniture was custom made by local artisans.
All bungalows feature a king size bed, a comfortable sofa bed, a desk and a private deck with a day bed. The bathrooms feature two sinks and a solar heated shower. There is plenty of room to store away your clothes and a wooden chest with a lock that serves as your safe deposit box. There is 24 hour electricity available and laundry service is available daily.
All bungalow access requires stair and path walking. We will attempt to accommodate specific bungalow requests when possible, but due to the nature of our location we cannot always accommodate such requests. Important:Morgan’s Rock needs advance notification regarding any inability to walk steps or crossing the hanging bridge.
How many people sleep comfortably in one bungalow?
Each bungalow features one king size bed a very comfortable queen size sofa bed that can accommodate up to two people. While the bungalows are ideally suited for a couple, families with smaller children (ages 2 to 10) can enjoy staying together in the same room. However, families with older children or other parties traveling together should consider reserving two bungalows for optimal comfort.
Is the 100 meter hanging bridge safe? Is there an alternative to get to my bungalow?
The awesome, scenic hanging concrete bridge was built and designed by a German engineer living in Nicaragua. All applicable safety standards were taken into account, creating a unique walkway for reaching your bungalow. Halfway across the bridge savor life, watching gaping views of our private Pacific beach, colored with watercolor sunsets every afternoon. If you would prefer not crossing the hanging bridge to get to your bungalow, there is an alternative route by the beach.
What about bugs and insect repellant?
Depending on the time of year or hour of the day, mosquitoes can become an issue at Morgan’s Rock especially after periods of extended rains. Usually, mosquitoes are only active between 5:30 and 6:30 pm during sundown. The bungalows are completely screened in to protect you from incoming bugs. Past guests have not found mosquitoes to be a bother and were actually positively surprised by how few they saw. Furthermore, at the hotel we have bug reppellants and bug cream available for our guests to use.
Is the beach safe for swimming?
While the Pacific Ocean has always been known for its infamous currents, our crescent-shaped bay naturally inhibits rip tides, making your morning and afternoon swims, safe and enjoyable. Be cautious during high tide as you might feel some light undercurrents. Since the lodge does not offer lifeguard services, we encourage that you use the “buddy system” when swimming.
Is Morgan’s Rock suitable for children?
Vacationing at Morgan’s Rock Hacienda and Ecolodge is an immeasurable experience for the whole family. Children age 2 years and older, can unravel the magical world of nature right at their fingertips. Animals of the tropical dry forest, among them monkeys and sloths live in the reserve while sea turtles arrive to our beach during their nesting season. The functioning hacienda offers a myriad of activities. Learn while observing typical Nicaraguan farming, go fishing and return with a freshly caught fish for everyone’s dinner or horseback ride through the property. And of course, play for endless hours on our private and safe beach, enjoying life’s simple pleasures.
What is the average water temperature in the beach?
The water temperature in southern Nicaragua varies throughout the year. From May to December, the water is very warm in the 84 to 86 degree Fahrenheit as one would expect in tropical waters. From January through March and certain days in April, the Humboldt current, which touches the Pacific coast of Central America during this time of the year, sharply affects the temperature of the water, making it a little chillier. Since this is also the hottest and driest time of the year, cooling off in fresher waters feels great.
What to bring?
The lodge’s dress code is informal. Guests are encouraged to bring lightweight, casual clothing, sunscreen, a bathing suit, sturdy shoes and hiking boots. And don’t worry about bringing too much clothes since the lodge offers laundry service for cleaning tough forest trek stains! Below is a suggested list, please ask us if you have any questions!
Climate & Weather
Throughout the months of December through May, rain is quite rare. These months are logically known as the high season tourism months due to the endless amounts of tropical sun which will bathe your days. There are days, however, when strong winds, passing from the Atlantic Ocean over Lake Nicaragua towards the Pacific Ocean, may slightly affect the almost idyllic weather. The advantage of these winds is a cooling effect and a truly natural experience. During this dry summer season, most trees lose their leaves, offering a somewhat bare-looking landscape in parts of the hacienda. Even in the tropics trees experience their own seasons!
Following high season arrives the vibrant and fresh “green season”. Typically the season will begin around May and extend through mid November. Morgan’s Rock Hacienda and Ecolodge turns into a green paradise, offering rich, dense abundant nature. Rain in the dry tropical forest is not as much or as often as in a tropical rainforest. And when it rains you’ll be enthralled by its refreshing smell and sound.
Outdoor activities will not be spoiled by tropical rain showers. On the contrary, trekking through a wet and “growing while you walk” tropical dry forest will clean your lungs and make you feel alive. But if you feel like listening the tropical rain’s symphony, simply retreat back to your bungalow and maybe even catch an afternoon nap. Generally, it will rain two to three times a week most likely in the early morning around sunrise and mid afternoon. The days are evenly distributed between partly clear skies or overcast. You will experience this rain for what it is: the catalyst of life in the ecosystem.
Due to afternoon clouds, the months of August through November may bring cooler weather, i.e.--high 70s. However, during January through April the temperature rockets to the mid-80s. July 15th is the middle of a 6-week mini, dry season. In recent years, however, the weather has turned less and less predictable. This weather period is often referred to as "Canicula" and though it is not guaranteed to be rain free, the possibility of rain during this time of the year is much less than the rest of the green season.
Health Concerns and Medical Emergencies
An experienced general practitioner in San Juan del Sur is available 24 hours. He can travel to Morgan´s Rock or see patients at his office on short notice. Furthermore, a state of the art hospital which opened in 2004 in Managua provides high quality medical services with qualified personnel.
Giant Sea Turtles
Morgan’s Rock private beach is a nesting ground for giant sea turtles and both the spawning and hatching of baby sea turtles can be observed by guests. The sea turtles arrive between August and November and lay about 90 to 120 eggs, hatching approximately 45 to 50 days later. Morgan’s Rock has created its own sea turtle protection system. Nests have been labeled and 24 hour protection is provided from their greatest predator, human beings. Once the sea turtles have hatched, guardians make sure that they successfully make it into the ocean.
If you come to Morgan’s Rock between the months of August through December, you are very likely to observe nature’s perfection and see a turtle lay its eggs on the beach, most likely in the middle of the night, while bay turtles hatch in the early morning. However, we cannot promise anything since the temperature of the water, the tides and the phases of the moon all influence the turtle’s behavior. The Olive Ridley turtle or Paslama (Lepydochelis olivacea) is Morgan’s Rock’s most frequent visitor. It weighs up to 90 pounds and can live up to 60 years. About once a month during nesting season, the Giant Leatherback turtle (locally called Tora or Baula, Dermochelys coriacea) can also be observed on the beach.
La Flor National Park
La Flor National Park is an 800 hectare tropical dry forest and wildlife reserve, approximately 45 minutes south of Morgan’s Rock. It is one of the most important nesting sites for sea turtles in all of the Americas. The park also conserves valuable mangroves and a small estuary. The beach is a precious 800 meter light tan-colored sand cove touched by green-blue waters.
Massive arrivals of turtles can be observed in the nearby La Flor National Park. Between July and January approximately 30,000 Olive Ridley sea turtles arrive at the park’s beach. The Leatherback sea turtles also arrive at La Flor, but with less frequency. It is an unforgettable privilege to see these 600 pound sea giants.
Female sea turtles dig holes with their rear flippers and patiently lay up to 120 eggs, covering them with sand and then calmly returning to the ocean. For approximately 45 days, the eggs incubate in the sand until the little turtles hatch all at once and make an instinctive run to the sea, while birds, crabs and fish prey on them. The La Flor Wildlife Refuge has a year round nest patrolling system, thus assuring that humans don’t become the main predators.
Park Entrance Fees:
Adults: C$ 210.00 (about $10)
Children: C$ 120.00 (about $5)
Morgan’s Rock is a bird watcher’s sanctuary. The private, secluded beach, along with the estuary and the larger 800 hectare nature reserve invite the experienced birdwatcher to explore different species. Ornithologists estimate that around 70 to 90 species of birds can be observed in the reserve. A complete listing of the birds that have been seen at Morgan’s Rock can be found on the MR website (Flora and Fauna Lists).
Morgan’s Rock is part of an 800 hectare private conservation project. Besides watching sea turtles and spotting different species of birds, there are a variety of other mammals to be observed such as howler monkeys, white face monkeys, spider monkeys, the two and three towed sloth, coatis, opossums, pacas observed quite frequently. Recently there have been reports of small cats being sighted in more remote areas of the reserve. For details on the wildlife at Morgan’s Rock, please consult our website at Our Wildlife.
Restaurant & Bar Services
While Morgan’s Rock is located in a relatively remote reserve, free of phones and any other kind of communication media, little would you expect to find in this remoteness such an exquisite level of food. Because Morgan’s Rock is a functioning hacienda, a large majority of the food is produced on the farm, while all the fish served in the restaurant is caused by our captain fisherman. Meals rotate daily, focusing on garden-fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh seafood, chicken and meat. A full service bar offers local fruit juices, tropical cocktails, wines and spirits.
Tours and Activities
The hacienda and private nature reserve host an abundance of different trees, plants, bird species, insects and mammals. Most guided tours at Morgan’s Rock support local community members and help the conservation of the forest and the acquisition of more land to be conserved and reforested.
An extensive variety of nature tours will allow you to explore the hacienda’s different ecosystems, while fascinating agro-tourism tours will allow you to learn about reforestation, traditional Nicaraguan sugar milling practices or butterfly farming. And within the vicinity are a myriad of interesting attractions, among them taking a day trip to nearby colonial Granada, visiting lovely artisan villages or exploring awesome active volcanoes. For more details please visit Tours and Activities
How is the surfing near Morgan’s Rock?
Nicaragua is a surfer’s paradise. During your stay at Morgan’s Rock Hacienda and Ecolodge you will have the opportunity to arrange at our tour desk one of our boats or vehicules that will take you to nearby surfing beaches. Morgan’s Rock does not have surf boards for rent but in nearby San Juan del Sur rentals are available.
One of the most popular surfing spots in Nicaragua is Popoyo, located a few beaches from Morgan’s Rock where you will find various surf breaks ranging from hollow, A-frame beach break to super fun, classic point breaks, to critical outer reef breaks. These surf breaks benefit from Nicaragua’s permanent Santa Ana condition, and enjoy offshore winds over 300 days per year. Nicaragua’s Santa Ana phenomenon is a phenomenon whereby the dominant NE trades from the Caribbean are accelerated across Nicaragua’s narrow land mass by the absence of mountains in this southern region and by Lake Nicaragua, a massive inland lake approximately one-half as wide as the country. As the NE trades sweep across the narrow isthmus of the country towards the Pacific ocean they blow straight into the approaching SW ground swells. The offshore winds groom these swells into clean hollow lines and almond-shaped barrels at the many points, reefs and beach breaks which bless Nicaragua’s Pacific coastline.
Is there any sportfishing available?
The waters off the Nicaraguan coast are famous for great fishing and charters are offered at the hotel in our Fisherman for the Day tour and the exclusive Argonauta boat tour. Depending on the tide and weather conditions, the sport fishing excursion leave right from the beach at Morgan’s Rock.
The inshore Pacific waters off the Nicaraguan coast are teeming with a wide variety of fish such as rooster fish, king mackerel, jack crevalle, bonito, hound fish, snapper, grouper, snook, and blue trevally. The rooster fish average 40 lbs with the occasional monster. If you choose not to run offshore you can try for sailfish at La Piedra de Brito, a small hump, located ten miles from San Juan . Occasionally you will run into dorado, yellowfin and wahoo there, although not nearly as abundant as offshore.
Offshore you will encounter blue, black, striped marlin, sailfish, yellowfin tuna, wahoo, and dorado. The prime months out of San Juan del Sur are from May through November. Our fast boats will quickly get you offshore and back. Offshore fishing consists of running 30 plus miles to get to the humps and the drop. We are billfish and game fish friendly, so we practice catch and release with all billfish.
Is there any diving available?
Our diving operations are currently handled by San Juan del Sur Surf Sport, located just 20 minutes south of the lodge. The owner of the company is a dive instructor from California that has lived and worked in Nicaragua for many years. He received a NAUI instructor certification in 1992, and hasbeen a certified PADI instructor since 1998. To arrange a dive, just contact Reception at the hotel.
The diving conditions on the southern coast of Nicaragua are calm and filled with marine life. You will see lots of dolphins, manta rays and other rays, groupers, bull sharks and the occasional whale shark. Depending on the season, you may be fortunate enough to see one or more of the various species of whales which frequent these waters. Because the area is previously unexplored by divers, lobsters and other small sea life, such as shrimp, octopi and seahorses are also abundant.
In addition, a nature preserve, where Leatherback and Green Olive Ridley turtles come to lay their eggs by the thousands, is located only 22 kilometers south of San Juan del Sur, so the likelihood of seeing these creatures is high, especially during the egg laying season from October to December. Water temperature is generally between 82 and 86 degrees F, and visibility ranges from 40 to 80 feet or more. The best visibility is generally in the dry winter season from November through May.
Please find below approximate rates that an operator from San Juan del Sur has quoted. These prices are subject to change.
Boat Dives (including all equipment): $115
What else is there to see in Nicaragua?
Granada, Nicaragua’s colonial gem
Morgan’s Rock Hacienda and Ecolodge is located about an hour and a half south of Granada. The ecolodge can organize daily excursions. Granada was founded in 1524 and is the oldest colonial city in the Americas. It is situated next to Lake Nicaragua, surrounded by the impressive Mombacho Volcano and the famous Isletas. Granada is full of colonial charms, where Renaissance and Baroque style churches touch the sky while mustard, peach and salmon-colored buildings huddle around a Spanish-style Central Plaza strewn with shoeshine boys and horse drawn carriages resting in the shade. Granada’s little cafés and shops were once the congregation center of Nicaragua’s Vanguardia poets such as Joaquin Pasos and Pablo Antonio Cuadra. To this day, Granada continues to cater to art and literature and host the International Festival of Poerty in February.
Granada is located only half an hour southeast of the capital city of Managua. It has a relaxed atmosphere and its many museums, shops, churches and colonial buildings make it a favorite stop for any Central American traveler. The city is filled with history. At one point in time, Granada was attacked by both the infamous Caribbean pirate Captain Morgan and the notorious filibuster William Walker. Among the city’s most prominent sites are the Parque Central, La Gran Francia, Casa de los Tres Mundos, and the Convento e Iglesia de San Francisco.
The lake front area is actually a park frequented by locals, offering cool breezes and bold views. Nearby Granada’s shores are found more than 370 isletas (little islands) which were created thousands of years ago by a powerful eruption of the Mombacho Volcano. You can visit the isletas by boat or take a tour to the Mombacho Volcano and then visit the islands. Don’t miss the mystical cloud forest found on top of the volcano, where you can not only visit an interesting biological station found within the forest, but also engage in other activities such as horseback riding, bird watching and take a ride through the Canopy.
What other places do you recommend in Granada?
Why not stay on a secluded island getaway a short 20 minute boat ride from the colonial town of Granada. Jicaro Island Ecolodge is located on an isleta in Lake Nicaragua boasting nine private casitas that serve as the setting for a romantic escape filled with peace, tranquility and relaxation. Morning yoga on floating decks and birding are two favorite activities. There is also easy access to a wide variety of activities off the island ranging from kayaking and hiking to zip-lining on volcanoes, bathing in hot springs and exploring colonial treasures. The culinary experience is focused on local ingredients prepared in a creative and healthy way in an open kitchen concept.
Nicaragua’s famous, skilled artisans:
Excursions out of Granada can take you to the Laguna de Apoyo, an extinct volcano crater which can be observed from the Mirador de Catarina, found in the town of Catarina. In and around the small picturesque town of Catarina, you will find some of the country’s finest handcrafts. The town of San Juan del Oriente is especially interesting since it allows you to visit the artisan’s workshops and offers quaint streets perfect for pleasant strolls. Nicaraguans are famous for masterfully working wood, clay and other natural materials. There is also a big handcraft market in the colonial town of Masaya, offering a great variety of souvenirs.
Nicaragua is called the country of lakes and volcanoes. It features nine active volcanoes and various dormant ones. The most spectacular volcanoes are Cosiguina, San Cristobal, Telica, Cerro Negro, Momotombo, Masaya, Apoyo, Mombacho, Concepcion and Maderas.
Many of these volcanoes have the idyllic cone-shaped figure and may be hiked by more more experienced climbers. The Masaya volcano, located between Managua and Granada, is part of a national park and can be reached by car (about a two hour drive from Morgan’s Rock). The view into the crater is stunning. The Mombacho Volcano which surrounds Granada is a volcanic reserve and features hiking, canopy tours and a biological research station (about one hour from Morgan’s Rock).
The Central American isthmus represents only 0.5 percent of the world’s landmass, but is home to over 10 percent of the world’s biodiversity. Nicaragua, being the largest country in Central America, comprises a large part of this biodiversity and hosts a great variety ecosystems ranging from costal mangroves and volcano slopes to lowland tropical rainforests, rivers and lakes.
Nicaragua has gotten off to a late start in terms of protecting its natural resources and it was not until 1990 that protected areas have received planning and support. By 2002, Nicaragua had 76 protected areas encompassing 18 percent of its territory.
While staying at Morgan’s Rock we recommend that you visit the following protected areas: Mombacho Natural Reserve, Masaya National Park, Maderas Volcano Nature Reserve and La Flor Wildlife Refuge.
Ometepe Island in Lake Nicaragua:
The Ometepe Island is one of the most impressive sights in Nicaragua. Magically emerging out of an island are born the Concepcion and Maderas volcanoes. Adventurers can climb the Maderas Volcano, topped with a mystical cloud forest full of birds and animals. The volcano also hosts its own lagoon. There are beautiful rivers and waterfalls to swim in and a visit to a nearby coffee or banana plantation is worth your time. Ometepe is somewhat isolated from the rest of Nicaragua and therefore maintains its special mystery and charm.
From the highest point in Morgan’s Rock Hacienda and Ecolodge it is possible to see the Ometepe Island with its two volcanoes jutting out into the sky. The Pacific Ocean lie west and Lake Nicaragua and Ometepe to the east. All in all a truly spectacular vista.
Morgan’s Rock Hacienda and Ecolodge is located about two hours and a half south of Managua and excursions can be organized by the ecolodge. During the period of the Spanish Conquest, Managua was originally an Indian fishing settlement. In 1857 Managua was declared a compromise capital, mid-way between battling Liberals in Leon and Conservatives in Granada. Today more than a quarter of Nicaragua’s population is concentrated in and around Managua. Sadly, the earthquakes of 1931 and 1972 left Managua quite destroyed. After the earthquake of 1972, the city center was relocated to the safer city outskirts. For many visitors, Managua serves as the gateway to Nicaragua.
Nicaragua has one of Latin America ’s most modern airports and offers an array of hotels, restaurants, shops and entertainment choices. The most important sites include the National Palace of Culture, the new Cathedral, the birth house of Ruben Dario and the National Museum of Nicaragua.