"In the words of Axle Rose, "Welcome to the jungle!" Except the only screaming we heard was from the howler monkeys that came right up to the back balcony of the house and "hung out" with us over dinner (this seriously happened on night three)! Our two young girls (ages 5 and 7) were overjoyed when the monkeys just watched us as they munched on leaves and crashed around on the branches! This place may be in the jungle, but it's an idyllic getaway for young families, or couples. We were a short walk to the common pool (100 yards away) where our kids loved to swim while overlooking the jungle canopy down the hillside! Don't believe the exaggerated reviews of the bugs in the pool. We were staying there a couple weeks later than one reviewer and had a blast in the pool. The ground-keeping guy was excellent and cleaned the pool every day (despite bugs in the jungle, it was super-clean)! The pool is long enough for some laps, while the kids were able to work on their swimming skills (the deepest part is only four feet)! In general, we were so impressed with how clean and well-maintained the grounds were. The house itself is gorgeous! The design is incredibly well adapted to the environment in which it's situated. Coming to Nicaragua from a cooler North American climate, we were expecting to be hot at night in a place that doesn't have air conditioning (the house is made up of an open screen system). However, much to our surprise, the cool evening breezes combined with some well placed fans kept us very comfortable each evening! The fully-functional kitchen was excellent, and we were able to make use of the bbq to grill fresh seafood we bought from the SJDS fish market! Each evening we ate while watching the beautiful Nicaraguan sun set on the ocean horizon below the jungle-covered mountains! The beach was a short drive away, but go at low tide. The Balcones property manager, Gabby, was so helpful when we arrived and frequently checked in on us! She warned us that sometimes we might see scorpions or tarantulas in the house, but we quickly realized that the reason for this is they are often looking for an open door. We just made sure the sliding doors were closed and we never had anything to worry about! Don't get me wrong, you'll see these cool creatures around the property (after all, you are in the jungle baby!), but there's nothing to worry about! The most interesting insect we saw in the house was a six-inch long Praying Mantis on the bug net. Cool!"
Guest: Lisa A.
Date of Stay: July 2016
Review Submitted: August 13, 2016