by Courtney Elko
Nekupe, which means heaven in the Mayan language, truly is a slice of nirvana situated within the jungles of Nicaragua, less than an hour south of Granada.
This sporting resort that opened in 2017 sits on 1,800 acres of jungle reserve and allows visitors to connect with nature through volcanic and jungle views, outdoor activities, wildlife, and luxurious amenities. Families will love the unique and personalized experiences of Nekupe that can include things like horseback riding, meeting monkeys, swimming in an infinity pool overlooking the jungle and riding ATVs everywhere!
Every room at this all-inclusive Nicaraguan resort comes with its own six-seater ATV and a personal ranger who is ready to become a part of your family and lead you through the wonders of the Nekupe experience.
This luxury sporting resort — owned by the Pellas family who also own the Flor de Cana rum company — offers families a unique Nicaraguan experience that allows you to get dirty outside and rejuvenate inside in the beautifully designed villas, suites and clubhouse.
Our Editor Loves
- All-inclusive jungle reserve
- ATV and ranger with every room
- Monkeys and horses
- All Inclusive Rates
- Horse Back Riding
- Family Room 5+
- Free Wi-Fi
- Onsite Dining
Rooms & Rates
There are eight rooms total at Nekupe. There are four individual villas, and four suites are situated within La Residencia. The suites can accommodate between four and six people or the entire residence can accommodate 14 people. The villas can accommodate up to four people. A coffeemaker and mini-fridge filled with beverages and snacks are included in your rate and found in all of the suites and villas. Cribs are available upon request and free Wi-Fi is available throughout the property.
The Villas overlook the nature reserve and offer great volcano views. The villas feature a king bed, sitting area with a sofa that converts to a bed, flat-screen television and a standup shower and tub in the bathroom. There is a large patio area with a large dining table that's great for checking out the panoramic views.
The suites and grand suites are located within La Residencia. The suites can be booked individually and guests then share the amenities of the residence. Or, the entire residences can be booked as one (see below). The suites feature one king or two queen beds, high ceilings, personal infinity pools only steps away from the beds, coffeemaker, a fully stocked mini-fridge, indoor and outdoor showers and custom tubs, and a separate living room area with large sectional couches and a flat-screen television. The outdoor decks are expansive and feature two levels, infinity pools, lounge chairs and tables with umbrellas -- all overlooking the jungle with the sound of howler monkeys in the distance.
The 24,000-square-foot residence houses both the suites and grand suites and when booked together, families can occupy the entire residence. With the entire residence, families can enjoy a personal chef and two large state-of-the-art gourmet kitchens with subzero refrigerators, a large media room with cozy couch, a poker table, separate living room area with large couches and a flat-screen television, private dining table that seats 12, a second smaller dining table in the second kitchen, two pools and various bar areas.
This review is long overdue since our stay the 1st week of January 2018. My husband and I stayed for 4 nights in what is now called "Nangu Cabana" upgraded from a Jr. Nangu Cabana. Not sure why they changed the names of the room from suites to Nangu.
Our trek to Nekupe started off horribly since the driver we hired on our own got lost and took us over an hour out of our way to get there. So I highly suggest you hire Nekupe's drivers to get you from the MGA airport to the property although very pricey. Once we finally got there we were greeted by our ranger Luis for the duration of our stay. We then hopped on the ATV and Luis drove us to our cabana. Your ranger is w/ you on ALL your activities w/ the exception of when we went to the gym and we asked if he can just drop of us off and pick as up in an hour. You are really not permitted to walk around the property w/out your ranger for safety reasons. You are driven by your ranger to all your activities. You can easily call him from your room and he is readily available.
Chauffer driven ATV or the only way you can drive the ATV yourself is when accompanied by your ranger for liability reasons. Upon your arrival you must sign a waiver saying you're responsible for any damage to the ATV if you choose to drive it which is the norm.
Horseback riding was awesome thru the property. There are numerous monkeys you will encounter while on your ride. I've only ridden a horse a handful of times and it was a pleasant experience for me. The horses were well kept and friendly.
Specialized mountain bikes offered are in great condition but know that the terrain on most of the property is rocky and bumpy w/ a few inclines and more like off road biking if you're into that sort of cycling which I was not so I quickly ended that activity.
The ropes course is only available if there is a minimum number of guests willing to participate in the activity. Unfortunately during our stay, the minimum was not met.
Hiking was very moderate and leisurely. No advanced trails.
Additional cost activities:
Target shooting was awesome although pricey at about $2/bullet
There are plenty of off-site activities that we did not participate in due to its distance from the property as well as high costs.
The culinary was the best! I cannot fault it in any way along w/ the service and the staff. The service and culinary at Nekupe was definitely 5* quality. The staff is VERY ATTENTIVE and FRIENDLY. The only negative about dining was having to sign off on a bill at the end of every meal even though meals are included in your rate. So for example, at breakfast we still had to ask for the check. You are also driven by your ranger to the restaurant for all your meals.
One final note, the roads especially on an ATV is a very bumpy ride. And you are on an ATV daily going back and forth to the restaurant, activities, etc.
All-in-all I would love to return to Nekupe w/ my family next time.
by Erika H
I doubt I can write anything that will serve this resort justice. Nekupe is a truly unique experience with exceptional experiences for the nature lover, adventurer, foodie, spa seeker and more. All with the highest level of service and attention to detail. Having a dedicated park ranger who tailors an experience to make a truly memorable experience for your group or family makes it effortless to plan! Our senses were heightened in every way while there. We will certainly return for more.
Nekupe wants your family to have the best experience possible, so they like to personalize your activities and itinerary during your stay. Let them know at booking (or tell your ranger when you arrive) what you want to do at the resort or off-property and they will arrange the details. Your personal ranger will be with you for your entire stay; even if you leave the property to explore more of Nicaragua, your ranger is always ready to assist with anything.
Pool and Casa Club
The main pool can be found at the Casa Club, or the center of Nekupe, and is loosely considered the resort's lobby. This communal area looks more like a residence than a pool clubhouse. Here, guests will find a large pool area with sunken lounge chairs in the water and chairs and umbrellas surrounding the large pool deck and a fire pit. Inside, there is a large living room area with a large sectional couch, flat-screen television and plenty of seating areas.
Upstairs is a smaller lounge area that can be used for romantic dinners. Restrooms and showers are situated by the pool, along with a bar area. The suites at the resort also feature personal pools for guests staying there, but all guests are welcome to enjoy the Casa Club.
The resort and your ranger will cater to whatever your child is interested in doing at Nekupe. For children ages 6 to 9, the resort offers horse and bunny feeding, reptile petting, farming activities, board games and swimming. For tweens and teens, there are bike rides, ATV rides, hiking, tennis, swimming and more.
Included Outdoor Adventure
There are numerous outdoor adventures to be had at Nekupe, and most are included in your stay. ATVs rides, horseback riding for all skill levels on the many trails found within the 1,800 acres, mountain biking on an hour-long circuit, bird watching the nearly 73 species of birds, farming in the gardens, hiking through the jungle and conquering the ropes course high in the trees are a few of the activities your family can enjoy.
Included Indoor Activities
Cooking classes, music and folklore classes, rum tasting and cigar rolling are available to guests. Painting classes are also available for kids and adults for an additional fee.
Families are surrounded by wildlife in this natural reserve, but your family may want to check out a few special friends. A few monkeys, who were domesticated and can no longer survive in the wild, live on the reserve and like to say hello to guests after being pampered themselves with a nice bath and brushing. Nearly 73 species of birds are found throughout the resort and ducks and chickens like to hang out by the resort's large pond area.
Two tennis courts are onsite and complimentary to use. Lessons for all ages and skill levels are available by a professional tennis instructor for an additional fee.
For an additional cost, guests can test their skills at the numerous shooting stations found around the resort. Clay shooting and target shooting are available with a variety of guns. There are a large variety of shooting stations and styles, putting Nekupe's courses on a globally competitive level. Experienced instructors are on staff to educate and guide guests through the sport and the courses.
Offsite adventures like volcano sandboarding, sport fishing, surfing, tours of Granada, boat tours of Lake Nicaragua and visits to local villages and volcanos are just some of the adventures Nekupe can arrange for your family. Your personal ranger will accompany you on your offsite adventures, as well.
All meals and beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) are included in your stay. Guests are welcome to upgrade to a more premium level of alcohol. Much of the food served at Nekupe comes directly from its own onsite farm. The menus are seasonal and offer the freshest and most local ingredients. Any dietary restrictions or allergies can be accommodated.
Located in the Casa Club, this small restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Dinner is a four-course meal, with menus changing daily.
Casual, picnic-style lunches (that are by no means roughing it) can be enjoyed throughout the resort. Lunch can be served under the trees or overlooking a volcano, and the food is divine.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
All meals and beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) are included in your stay. Guests are welcome to upgrade to a more premium level of alcohol as well.
ATVs and Rangers
Each room comes with one ATV and one ranger, who is essentially a personal butler, activities coordinator, chauffer and excursion leader. You will have the same ranger during your entire stay and they will become a part of your family. They quickly get to know you and cater to all of your wants and needs. They will immediately become your child's best friend and they will know where all the fun can be had at Nekupe.
The 1,800 acres of this jungle resort require some alternate transportation and the six-seater, covered ATVs are the perfect way to get around the resort. Of course guests (with a valid driver's license) are welcome to drive the ATVs with the ranger inside. The rocky, dirt trails around the resort have hills and turns, but it's easy to navigate with the help of the ranger. Do keep in mind that the ATV kicks up dirt and dust (and mud during rainy season), but you won't mind getting a little dirty when there's so much fun to be had while driving.
Complimentary Wi-Fi is available throughout the resort.
Guests can use the state-of-the-art fitness center, which features cardio machines and weights overlooking the jungle. A personal trainer is available upon request.
A small boutique can be found in the Casa Club, where guests will find souvenirs, jewelry, clothing and Flor de Cana rum available for purchase.
Located on the highest point of the property, the gorgeous wooden chapel is available for meditation, weddings or celebrations. There is a small pool outside the chapel that can be used for baptisms or other celebrations.
Babysitting can be arranged at the resort.
The Best Time to Visit
Peak season for tourists on the Pacific coast is also dry season, which runs from about November through April and is when Nekupe sees the most visitors. Low and rainy season runs from May through October on the Pacific coast and is a shoulder season for Nekupe. It can be a bit more chilly and muddy during rainy season at Nekupe.
The international airport, Augusto Cesar Sandino International Airport, is located in the capital city of Managua and is less than two hours from this hotel. The resort does offer the option of helicopter transportation from Managua to the resort, as well as a shuttle.
The resort is situated on 1,800 acres of jungle and trees. There are dirt and rock trails up and down hills and around sharp turns to reach most areas of the resort. The ATV provided with each room is the only mode of transportation capable of getting guests around the resort. The six-seater ATVs (which may be the highlight of the entire resort for the kids) are safe and have seatbelts, but the ride can be bumpy and dirty at times.
For Mom and Dad
A beautiful spa situated among the trees of the jungle offers massages, facials and a variety of other spa treatments to guests.
Two complimentary yoga classes take place each day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Meditate and practice your stretches while overlooking the jungle and volcanos of Nicaragua.