We firmly believe that El Encanto as a human settlement was founded by the Chorotega culture about two thousand years ago. The petroglyphs, which are scattered in the lowlands of the Maderas volcano, are clear evidence that the island was inhabited since ancient times. At the same time, the concentrations of these indicate the physical spaces that the ancient inhabitants chose to build their settlement. Within the boundaries of El Encanto we found 11 petroglyphs, plus more evidence of human presence, such as pieces of pottery and arrow tips. Considering that the nearest concentration of petroglyphs is a mile away, it is conceivable that the land now occupied by the farm, had a special attraction to the ancient inhabitants, the same that we experience now when we arrived at this fascinating space.
El Encanto has the privilege of being the only spot from where you can see the imposing image of Maderas volcano to the south and the stylized figure of Concepción volcano to the northwest at its best aesthetic. Also we have a panoramic view of the isthmus to the north, the Istiam river at the background, the lake to the east and the islands beyond Santo Domingo village. The surrounding beauty, which is a feast for the eyes, also has a relaxing effect on our mind, and it is definitely the same energy that influenced our ancestors to settle in this piece of paradise.
Current El Encanto was founded by Carlos Espino in 2005. It began as a banana plantation with a few rooms and a restaurant. In 2009, we had to choose between an economically viable plantation (by heavy use of chemicals and the sacrifice of the existing trees) and a more nature friendly place. We decided the latest and started a garden whose goal would be to group all the floral and ornamental species, collected from the gardens of local people from the island. The project continues to expand after planting over seven thousand plants.
The unequaled location of El Encanto is not a product of chance. The site was carefully chosen to offer our guests the best of the Maderas area within a maximum distance of 6 kilometers from the hotel. Finca Magdalena, Playa Santo Domingo, Peña Inculta Trail, Ojo de Agua, Istiam River and the crater lake of Maderas volcano are some of the most visited places and all within 6 kilometers of El Encanto. We are right in Santa Cruz, the hot spot of the island, in the middle of the Santo Domingo-Santa Cruz-Balgue corridor (see map), where the action happens. Bars and restaurants, grocery store, scooter and bike rentals... all of them at a walking distance from our place.
Close to the beach, but not on the beach. We are at short walking distance from the beach, but at 40 meters higher at the top of a gentle hill. Our wonderful location exposes the property to the north-east constant breeze from the lake. You will appreciate this in a hot day (most of our days). But probably the biggest advantage of our location is the low incidence of "chayul". Chayul is an insect of the Diptera order, Chironomidae family, similar to mosquito. They don´t bite, but when they come, they come in thick clouds and change paradise to hell in a second. We are far and high enough to avoid the problem... 99% of the times!
Close to the road, but not on the road. If you appreciate privacy and tranquility, get away from the road. The increased popularity of Ometepe and the paving of the main road, brought as a consequence a heavier vehicle and peatonal traffic. More noise and more people are detrimental to the quality of your stay.
Lastly, our proximity to the roads to Balgue and Merida allows the traveler convenient access to both bus routes, facilitating travel to your next destination.