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Selva Negra Ecolodge

HopHost since 01 December 2015

Cabane, Selva Negra Ecolodge, Nicaragua
Avec Mausi et Karen a Selva Negra Nicaragua
Selva Negra Ecolodge, Matagalpa, Nicaragua
Agritourisme au Nicaragua
Serre de Selva Negra, Nicaragua
Cabane, Selva Negra Ecolodge, Nicaragua
Avec Mausi et Karen a Selva Negra Nicaragua
Selva Negra Ecolodge, Matagalpa, Nicaragua
Agritourisme au Nicaragua
Serre de Selva Negra, Nicaragua
Address P.O. Box 140
Town : Matagalpa
Country : Nicaragua
Facility : Hostels
Welcoming swaps : all year long

Go to the website


Telephone number : +505 2770 1894

  • 3 bungalows, 14 rooms, 6 dormitories with 6 beds

First and formost, Selva Negra is a coffee plantation and organic farm. Moreover, since 1975, when Karen Kühl’s parents acquired the property, it has also become an eco-lodge at 1200m above the town of Matagalpa, in the north of Nicaragua.

This huge area of 450 hectares is in the heart of the mountain: one third is cultivated (in a very responsible manner as the coffee is shade-grown). One third remains wild, to the delight of hikers, birds, and even monkeys, all waiting to welcome you!

Selva Negra is also an NGO (non-governmental organization) : www.sncfinc.org. Its mission is to promote and develop a sustainable way of life in the northern region of Nicaragua (Matagalpa and Jinotega) through education and research. At best, being an NGO makes it easier for Selva Negra to share its expertise in organic agriculture and alternative energies with other farms in the area.

Read about Florie’s time at Selva Negra on her blog:  Selva Negra, an NGO-organic farm-ecolodge

Good practices for a better tourism implemented by Selva Negra :

Agriculture & Catering

  • 80% of restaurant food & beverage is from the organic production of Selva Negra farm: vegetable, fruits, coffee, cacao, cheese, milk, meat…
  • Use of organic pesticide produced at Selva Negra from Limonaria, Malanga, Eucalyptus and Castor oil leaves (among others).
  • Fruit trees all around the property for hotel guests natural juices and morning fruit, but also for the personal consumption of workers and their families.
  • Organic coffee with over 50% shade for better coffee quality and respect of the environment to avoid deforestation.
  • Cows are rotated on different fields to give the ground time to regenerate itself: “intensive pasture ranching”
  • Soda plastic bottles are reused as insects traps. They are filled in with a mixture of coffee and alcohol to capture coffee borers (in Spanish “broca”).

Waste Management

  • Organic wastes are used to make composts for coffee plantations. About 7 millions pounds of compost are made and placed every year at the farm.
  • Regular truck trips are done to collect ashes, cow manure, rice husk and coffee pulps from other surrounding farms as well.
  • Coffee pulp is used to feed redworms in order to make humus used then as coffee fertilizer.
  • Debris from tree pruning is left on the ground for retaining water and avoid soil erosion throughout the plantation.
  • Leftover food of the restaurant feeds the pigs.
  • Three biodigestors to convert organic waste (honey water from coffee cleaning, cows and pigs manure, human waste) into biogas and organic fertilizer.
  • Although the estate houses more than 400, includes a farm, and an eco lodge, Selva Negra generates less than a 55 gallon drum of trash a week. The rest is all reused and recycled.
  • Selva Negra collects utilizes old tires to build stairs throughout the property and makes it easier for workers to walk around.

Local Development

  • About 200 local people work permanently at Selva Negra’s coffee plantation, sustainable farm and eco-lodges (sometimes for 3 generations already).
  • Workers live with their families in houses offered by Selva Negra: 54 well-maintained houses are found in the community.
  • Selva Negra promotes and sells handcrafts from North Nicaragua and farm workers families. Establishing relationships directly with the artisans.
  • Selva Negra promotes traditional art, heritage and culture by hosting local dance and musical groups.
  • Selva Negra supports local educational institutions by providing training to hospitality and agricultural graduates from local universities, offering placements to these students and trainees when possible, and hosting over 2000 Nicaraguan university students in educational day tours of the sustainable farm and ecolodge.
  • Children of Selva Negra workers are encouraged to develop new skills and services onsite: like wood, metal and mechanical workshops for example.

Social Responsibility

  • Around 70 children go to the farm school. The government provides two teachers, and Selva Negra offers two extra teachers for better education quality. Adventure Travel Agency, from USA, started also to fund one of those teachers.
  • 100% of the personnel in the farm and ecolodge are Nicaraguan. With 99% being local to the neighboring communities and Selva Negra itself.
  • Scholarship opportunities for continued education are sponsored by Selva Negra and private donators such as Richard and Karol Popkin.
  • Teenagers are given an opportunity to receive training on computers as well as hospitality internship at the ecolodge. Giving them better job placement chances outside of Selva Negra.
  • An adult and children’s library is available within the community.
  • Special ONIL wood stoves are installed in workers houses for better efficiency and air quality within the house.
  • Selva Negra offers a clinic and doctor for the community’s health concerns including health education and community hygiene.
  • Students are regularly welcomed at Selva Negra to lead onsite research and learn from their best sustainable practices.

Water Management

  • The farm’s spring water contributes to the beginning of the “Rio Grande de Matagalpa” river.
  • An intensive sanitation process is in place to ensure the proper wastewater filtering through a biodigestors and irrigation.
  • Reusing towels program at the hotel to help save water, electricity, soap, and labor.


  • Cabanas were well integrated within the forest with green roofs and natural colors.
  • Bio-diversity is maintained by preserving natural environments and habitats and enforcing no hunting or deforesting. With the assistance of various local and international organizations, Selva Negra monitors its flora and fauna and uses it as a gauge of bio diversity conservation.

Travelers’ awareness

  • During tours of the coffee estate and sustainable farm, guests can get the full experience of integration. This is the best way to understand how the various sustainable projects work together.


  • The entire estate produces less CO2 than an average American household!
  • The ecolodge’s laundry room enforce a variety of energy conservation methods including gas washing machine and limited ironing policy. Restaurant tables have changed to solid wood tops avoiding the use of tablecloths and their ironing.
  • Selva Negra generates its own power with a hydroelectric turbine sourced from a man-made lake. This eases the dependence on commercially generated energy.
  • Hot water in the showers is heated with solar panels.
  • One cabin has been converted to fully solar with solar panels for both electricity and hot water making it energy self-sufficient.
  • Three biodigestors are on site to produce biogas which is used in the farm kitchen.

Local Heritage & Biodiversity

  • Clinic for animals.
  • Different guided tours to learn about the nature and local agriculture: farm tour, animal tour, coffee tour, cacao tour, bird watching, and a night mountain walk.
  • Eddy Kuhl has studied extensively the history of the Matagalpa region and written several books on these subjects.
  • Located throughout the estate are many educational murals depicting indigenous history, language and art.

Transport & Green Mobility

  • Horseback riding
  • Encourage people to walk through the mountain while respecting nature, observing animals and insects from a respectful distance and staying on the marked trails.

Welcome to Nicaragua,

We look forward to welcoming you !

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