Backpackers and Nature Lovers!
The lowest prices for accomodation in Laguna de Apoyo!
Our rustic hostel offers affordable stays and volunteering for backpackers and nature lovers in Laguna de Apoyo.
Estación Biológica is located
near the shore, with access to swimming, diving, hiking and other activities. Come stay with us! Click on the
contact us for prices and availability, or drop by. Photo Jeffrey McCrary.
Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve, Nicaragua
Visit us at Estación Biológica
in Laguna de Apoyo for swimming, hiking,
birdwatching, SCUBA diving, learning, or volunteering.
Backpackers and Nature Lovers--Dorms at seven dollars per night!
Lots of travelers want to see nature, hike, swim, SCUBA dive, birdwatch, see monkeys, and do it all on a budget.
Not everyone has the money for the luxuries of hotels. GAIA provides a service to nature lovers by providing
an affordable option to learn, enjoy, and give back to Mother Nature. Dorms begin at seven dollars per person, and
private rooms are also available at the lowest prices of any option in Laguna de Apoyo.
Sleep and Swim in a Volcano
The Biological Research Station Estación Biológica Laguna de Apoyo offers hostel
accomodations and a variety of activities. Fourteen private rooms and dorms near the shore of Lake Apoyo are available
to travelers and visitors. Our accomodations are basic and rustic, our center designed for the budget traveler who may be interested in the issues of
nature, biodiversity and natural area conservation in Nicaragua. Visitors seeking economic and environmentally friendly hotel
accomodations and great meals with fresh, natural ingredients at Laguna de Apoyo are welcome to visit us.
Laguna de Apoyo (Lake Apoyo) is Nicaragua's largest volcanic crater lake, with clear, warm water (28 degrees Celsius)
- great for swimming! Come and enjoy the lake with a visit of a day or even longer.
Wildlife such as howler monkeys, trogons and toucans can be seen from our property. There is always work to be done
while the animals watch. Photo Jeffrey McCrary.
More than a Hostel
Estación Biológica serves as a support center for
locally organized initiatives in conservation, including community organization and skills training. Our staff work closely
with with the community and local and central government officials to promote actions and policies which protect the wild natural
resources in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve. Training in natural resources management, natural sciences, and
Spanish language and the Nicaraguan popular culture is conducted for Nicaraguans and foreigners planning to work or volunteer in the region.
Through promotion of scientific research, Estación Biológica is the principal reason that Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve
is the most widely cited natural area in Nicaragua in scientific research reports.
Simple, clean rooms are available for your use at hostel Estación Biológica Laguna de Apoyo. We offer the
lowest prices in the lake, starting at eight dollars per person per night. Photo Jeffrey McCrary.
By visiting us and using our hostel services, you help contribute to a local not-for-profit organization whose
proceeds are returned directly to the community in education and conservation actions. Estación
Biológica Laguna de Apoyo is administered by the
Nicaraguan Foundation for Integral Community Development, a foundation registered in Nicaragua and operating
continuously since 1973.
Meals made with fresh, local, organically grown ingredients are served up at Estación Biológica
Laguna de Apoyo. Click on the photo to send us questions or comments about food. Photo Jeffrey McCrary.
Eating Well is Traveling Well
Estación Biológica offers great home-style meals prepared with natural ingredients, and activities such as scuba diving, birdwatching, and
courses in Spanish and environmental issues. Prices for lodging start at eight dollars per person per night -
the best prices around. Come hungry - we serve a great breakfast of fruits, milk and granola, gallo pinto
and world-class, socially responsible coffee. The resources of Estación Biológica are available for scientists, volunteers, and guests. We
can host groups for courses, seminars, and retreats. Individuals and groups are invited for day visits or overnight stays. We have campsites
available for those with camping gear and tents.
We offer rustic accomodations at great prices for a budget traveler. Backpackers and nature lovers are welcome. Go
birdwatching with us. Photo Jeffrey McCrary.
Visit us for a day or a year!
Our place is humble, and we are engaged with the community and environment. Your stay with us helps provide training,
employment and a better-prepared community to deal with the rapid changes facing Nicaragua. Come and share a story,
a meal, a night, or even a month or two with us. Contact us here for inquiries on availability and a price quote. Whether a backpacker travelling alone or a
delegation, we want to help you enjoy and learn for the best possible experience in Nicaragua.
Lots of our visitors stay and volunteer, and sometimes they return to visit us in repeat trips. Photo Jeffrey
Hostel Estación Biol&ogica Laguna de Apoyo is near the water, which is just waiting to be enjoyed. Photo Jeffrey
Waves may develop across Laguna de Apoyo during the dry season, which runs from December until May. Photo Cindy Skeie.
Wetter is Better When It's Warm
Our hostel and research station is just a few steps from the water, and swimming is available day and night. Share
the water with endemic fishes, and take a SCUBA dive to visit them.
Laguna de Apoyo is home for six endemic species of cichlid fishes. The GAIA research group working at
Estación Biológica Laguna de Apoyo discovered five of these
species, and we are continuing research on the evolutionary history, ecology, and conservation aspects of these fishes. One fish species in Lake Apoyo,
the arrow cichlid (Amphilophus zaliosus), is listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List,
and other species may soon follow. But don't worry, none of the fish in the lake bite!
The yard at Hostel Estación Biológica Laguna de Apoyo is managed to be as wild as possible,
to promote the presence of wildlife. Photo Jeffrey McCrary.
Forests and Wildlife in the Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve
The Apoyo crater, a nationally designated protected area, is especially noted
for the biodiversity encountered there. Nature lovers can take walks through the high-quality dry
tropical forest near Estación Biológica. Take a walk with one of our knowledgeable guides. The grounds
at our hostel alone make for excellent birdwatching: from our patio, one cane see the
Turquoise-browed Motmot, Montezuma Oropendola, Collared Aracari, and the Black-headed Trogon in the trees overhead.
Bring your binoculars, and join us on a nature walk! Black and green iguanas, variegated
squirrels, kinkajous, and many of Nicaragua's 95 species of bats can be seen on the premises. Howler monkeys
can be heard from the deeper forest nearby and often are directly overhead, in the trees above our patio and yard.
Endangered fishes found only in Lake Apoyo are easily sighted by SCUBA diving which can be arranged at
Estación Biológica in Laguna de Apoyo.
Volunteer and learn Spanish with the GAIA Program at Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve in Nicaragua.
Lake Apoyo is great for swimming, day and night. Photo Jeffrey McCrary.
The view of Laguna de Apoyo, Granada, Mombacho and Lake Nicaragua, from Catarina. Photo Sandra Wallace.
Extensive forests cover much of the crater interior surrounding Laguna de Apoyo. Photo César
This baby squirrel was raised by the staff after she fell from a tree as an infant.
Today she has her own family in the trees above Estación Biológica.
Photo Jeffrey McCrary.
Field research is conducted on several animal and plant groups at Estación Biológica Laguna de Apoyo.
Your stay with us helps support these activities to defend nature in Nicaragua. Photo Jeffrey McCrary.
Spanish classes for volunteers, interns and other visitors are vital components of our educational program in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve. Photo
Bird populations are monitored in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve by the staff and volunteers of
Laguna de Apoyo. Photo Joe Taylor.
The forest inside the crater in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve contains dozens of terrestrial species, making the area an
appropriate site for wildlife studies. Photo Jeffrey McCrary.
Field identification of the reptiles of Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve. Photo Kolby Kirk.
Scientists at Estación Biológica Laguna de Apoyo study endangered fish species in the lake. Certified SCUBA divers can accompany us on research dives
where endemic fish species can be readily seen. Photo Topi Lehtonen.
Scientists at Estación Biológica Laguna de Apoyo conduct surveys of wildlife, including
resident and migratory birds. You are welcome to arrange a birdwatching excursion with one of our bird experts.
Photo Wendy van Kooten.
Animal rescue at Estación Biológica Laguna de Apoyo. Here, Gaia Director Jeffrey McCrary is accompanied by
a rapidly healing variegated squirrel that was severely injured by illegal poachers. Photo Anne Sutton.
Classes at Apoyo Spanish School are given by the most experienced teachers in Nicaragua. Our teachers
train the teachers of other Spanish schools. Photo Jen Moran.
Laguna de Apoyo is the best place in Nicaragua for swimming, day and night. The water is always warm and
clear. Photo Jeffrey McCrary.
Spanish language courses and other training workshops are often held under the shade of
huge trees with monkeys looking down. Apoyo Spanish School is the oldest of the intensive Nicaragua Spanish schools. Photo
A tour of students of Apoyo Spanish School visits Catarina, with the lake and Granada in view. Photo Belén Camino.
San Juan de Oriente, on the edge of Apoyo crater, is the most important center of
artisan ceramic pottery in Nicaragua. Gaia supports natural resource conservation in the region which is vital
to rural livelihoods throughout the area. Photo Jeffrey McCrary.
Students at Apoyo Spanish School learn Spanish and lots about the Nicaraguan culture and environment, through volunteer activities
such as reforestation, recycling, and care of rescue animals. Visit Apoyo Spanish School at Estación
Biológica en Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve. Photo Jen Moran.
Everyone enjoys the water at Laguna de Apoyo, the best swimming hole in Nicaragua. Photo
Gaia worked with the local community and the government and people of Japan to build the rural school
y Mártires de Xiloá" a completely new school for a marginalized, rural community on the edge of Laguna de Xiloá. Photo
The chancho cichlid, Amphilophus chancho, is one of the fish species endemic to
Laguna de Apoyo, discovered by scientists working in a GAIA project. This species is easily
seen while diving in Laguna de Apoyo. Join us in a study of this endemic fish species. Photo Ad Konings.
Gaia experts support wildlife studies important to the economy of Nicaragua, such as the impacts of windmills on wildlife. A major
wind farm in Rivas is located along an important bird migration corridor. Photo
Scientific SCUBA diving in Laguna de Apoyo. Gaia provides logistical and scientific support for studies of ecosystems
in Nicaragua such as
freshwater lakes and rivers, and tropical forests. We arrange, coordinate, and support internships and scientific partnerships throughout Nicaragua.
Photo Topi Lehtonen.
Gaia organizes birdwatching tours in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve, as well as in Managua and throughout Nicaragua.
Go birdwatching with us and enjoy nature at its finest. Spanish students can catch views of many birds before classes each
morning. Photo Jeffrey McCrary.
Gaia scientists supported the development of the Environmental and Social Impact Statement for the proposed Nicaragua
Grand Interoceanic Canal, with field work and biodiversity analysis. By studying Spanish and volunteering with us,
you help support activities that impact the environment for all Nicaraguans.