2018 Update: this reserve has been closed permanently to the public
Domitila is a private wildlife reserve located along the shores of Lake Nicaragua, 33 kilometers from the colonial city of Granada. Being one of the few places at the Pacific side where a large forest of tropical dry forest is found, Domitila houses a large variety of birds, mammals, insects, reptiles, and other animals. Visitors can hike the nature trails, and there are also lodging options available.
The flora and fauna is spectacular, including 65 mammal species (howler monkeys and wild cats, among others) and 125 bird species (including oropendulas and trogans).
For lodging Domitila offers a rustic but tranquil setting. Surrounded by nature, visitors can comfortably enjoy this friendly environment. The reserve can provide meals as well.
The trails at the Domitila Reserve vary in length and difficulty. Visitors are accompanied by a guide who will tell more about the environment and the reserve's inhabitants. There are special tours, including bird watching, butterfly watching, wildlife observation, night hikes, and horseback riding tours. It is even possible to visit the island located in front of the reserve in Lake Nicaragua (Zapatera Island), or plan an expedition to the Mecatepe Reserve. There are also packages available that include several nights and tours at the reserve. Domitila also organizes courses and has special rates for students.
The general entrance fee is US$5. Special tours vary in price from US$10 per person for the bird watching tour to US$80 for an expedition to Zapatera Island (including transportation, drinks, guide, etc.). An overnight stay including three meals costs US$65 per person. For more information and a complete overview of all prices, be sure to visit the reserve’s website.
Domitila can be reached by taking the Pan American highway, getting off it at kilometer 72.5 (at El Manchón) and then following an unpaved road for 10 kilometers. A map is posted on the Domitila website.
A visitor wrote on Aug 2, 2007:
The setting is beautiful, and birds and butterflies can be found in abundance. The lodge itself, though rustic, is an oasis in this dry tropical forest. Three meals a day are prepared on site and the food is delicious; fresh juices are included. The owner went to every effort to make us comfortable and ensure that our visit was a good one. Highly recommended for those who want to experience nature up close.